Just 15mins into baking, the cake rose beautifully in the individual ramekins. They puffed up real nice and climbed well over the rim. It was an admirable achievement considering the fact that the ramekins were barely 3/4 filled with batter.
Alas, what goes up would eventually come down (except my age and my weight!)...those little cakes started to sink the minute they were out of the oven. What were once muffin-like domes came crashing down...by the time they were completely cooled off, the cake pulled away from the sides of the ramekin and there were cracks here and there. Unlike the usual classic chocolate cake I have made many times before, there was no sight of nice flaky crusts :_(
Do not expect a soft centre as it is not a molten cake (something which I will bake the next time I crave for something chocolaty)...the texture is excellent for what it is meant to be...a classic chocolate cake! Lighter and not as fudgy as brownies, but denser and so rich in flavour that no chocolate sponge cake or chiffon cake could match it. I will use the adjective yummilicious to describe its taste...according to Urban Dictionary, 'when food is so more than yummy and beyond delicious so it is yummilicious'. Well, but that is IMOHO since taste is something so subjective.
The only thing that I am proud of myself from this little baking episode of mine...was to be able to take the last picture without any help. The picture was taken with my right hand holding on to the camera, while I held the spoon with my left hand, with the spoon turned at an angle so that it faced the camera lens, I know, it is hard to imagine! I had to cross my hands so that my right could rest on my left to steady the camera, and, all the time trying to keep the spoon as steady as possible. Any photographers' toes would be laughing out loud if anyone of them caught me doing such an acrobatic act, lol! Even though the effect was not what I had expected...the spoon didn't really stand out...but seriously, I think I should give myself a pat on my shoulder, at least, for the effort :)
Sunken Chocolate Cake (法式巧克力蛋糕)
(makes one 15cm cake, or about 4 ramekins(6 oz size))
50g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
60g unsalted butter
40g caster sugar
40g egg yolks (about 2 yolks from large eggs)
5ml rum (I replace with pure vanilla extract)
35g cake flour
15g cocoa powder
70g egg whites (about 2 whites from large eggs)
40g caster sugar
icing sugar for dusting
- Melt dark chocolate and butter in a saucepan over very very Low heat. Remove from heat. Let cool.
- Line the bottom of a 15cm round pan (with removable base) with parchment paper. Grease and flour the sides. If using ramekins, grease the inside with butter, set aside.
- Separate egg whites from egg yolks when the eggs are still cold from the fridge. (It's easier to separate eggs while they are cold). Sift together flour and cocoa powder, set aside.
- With a manual whisk, whisk egg yolks with the caster sugar, till the mixture turns pale, becomes thick and creamy (takes about a couple of mins). Add in the melted chocolate/butter mixture. Whisk till well mixed. Add in rum (or vanilla extract), whisk till combined.
- Add in flour mixture and fold gently with a spatula. Set aside.
- In a clean, dry mixing bowl, beat egg whites with a handheld electric mixer on high speed until mixture becomes frothy and foamy. Add the caster sugar in 3 separate additions, beat well after each addition. Continue to beat until the egg whites reaches the soft peak stage. The soft peak stage is reached when the peaks of the whites curl over and droop slightly. The egg whites should appear smooth and glossy. (Do not over beat the whites still stiff, it is better to beat the whites still soft peaks for easy folding with the yolk batter.)
- Add the egg white to the egg yolk mixture in 3 separate addition. Each time, fold in gently with a spatula, making sure all the egg whites are incorporated into the batter, take care not to deflate the batter. (Note: finished batter should be thick and flows like lava when pouring.)
- Pour batter into the prepared cake pan or ramekins (fill up to about 3/4 full). Tap the cake pan/ramekins gently on tabletop a few times to release any trapped bubbles in the batter.
- Bake at 160 degC for 15 mins, turn down the heat to 140 degC and continue to bake for another 10 ~ 15 mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out with a few moist crumb. Do not over bake.
- Remove from oven. If using ramekins, leave them to cool. If using cake pan, leave it in the pan for about 5mins. Unmould and let cool, right side up (do not invert) on wire rack. Decorate cake with berries (optional). The cake is best eaten at room temperature. If stored in fridge, bring the cake to room temperature (to soften) before serving.