Chocolate is considered an essential ingredient by many chefs when it comes to
desserts. Chef Dispirito says one key element to a good cake is to never use chocolate
that is unevenly melted. He says to check by stirring until it is uniformly smooth.
The second essential factor to good chocolate cake is the baking. The moisture
in the batter becomes steam, which rises and escapes through the foam. The heat
also causes the air in these bubbles to expand and contributes to the rise.
4 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a double boiler over medium heat, melt the chocolate and butter together,
whisking to blend. When fully melted, remove from stove and allow to cool.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and the yolks together.
Add the flour
and sugar and mix until just well blended; as little air as possible to be incorporated.
When chocolate mixture has cooled, add it to the egg mixture with a whisk, again
being careful not to overmix or incorporate excess air.
Butter and flour 4 individual 1/2 cup ramekins or 4 ounce aluminum
tapping afterwards to remove excess flour. Pour the chocolate batter into the ramekins.
Place ramekins in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 9 to 11 minutes. At
9 minutes, test for doneness: cakes are perfectly cooked when surface appears set,
cakes jiggle when shaken, and a wooden pick inserted in the middle comes out coated
with thick liquid. Cook 1 to 2 minutes longer if necessary.
Remove ramekins from the oven and let stand 1 minute.
To unmold, run a knife
along the inner wall of each ramekin, cover with a small plate, quickly invert,
and tap the bottom of the ramekin several times with a heavy knife blade if the
cake does not fall out by itself.