Fondant au Chocolat Brownies

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One of my favourite desserts is fondant au chocolat.  My Montréal destination of choice when I want to treat myself to one is dessert bar Juliette et Chocolat.  Molten lava cakes seem so fancy and special, and this recipe shows you how to recreate these little cakes with the gooey centre in your own kitchen.  They are dense like brownies rather than cake-like.  This recipe is a quick fix for intense chocolate cravings, and it comes together without any fuss.  One of the best parts: ingredients + 1 saucepan and voilà!  They are best served right away, while they are still hot from the oven.

I first baked these babycakes a few weeks ago for Valentine’s Day.  For the occasion, I used my (admittedly cutesy and kitsch) heart-shaped silicon cupcake mold for my man.  The dessert after a night of cocktails and burlesque at The Wiggle Room on St Laurent.  I paired these intense chocolate sweets with a scoop of Divine Vanille ice cream from local creamery Bilboquet.

Bon appétit!

Recipe Source: Food52 Baking

Yields 12 portions

Ingredients:

285g (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter

450g (2 1/4 cups) granulated sugar

130g (1 1/2 cups) unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon water

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

3/4 teaspoon salt

4 cold eggs

85g (2/3 cup) all-purpose flour

175g (1 3/4 cups) walnuts, finely chopped (I did not use any)

170g (1 cup) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions:

1)Preheat the oven to 325F.

2)Line a cupcake tin with 12 paper liners.

3)Melt the butter in a large saucepan.  Leave it on the medium-low heat until it browns and releases a nutty aroma, about 8 minutes.

4)Remove the saucepan from the heat and quickly mix in the granulated sugar, cocoa powder, water, vanilla, and salt.

5)Let the mixture cool down for 5 minutes.

6)Whisk in the eggs, one at a time.

7)Fold in the flour until well incorporated, about 1 minute.

8)Mix in the nuts if you are using any.

9)Scoop the batter into the prepared cupcake tin.

10)Distribute the chocolate chips evenly, pressing them down in the centre of each cupcake brownie.

11)Bake for 15 minutes.  The edges will have set and the centre will be molten.

12)Let the brownies cool in the cupcake tin for 10 minutes.

Store at room temperature in a resealable bag for up to 3 days.  They can also be kept in the freezer for a few months.  When ready to serve, reheat in the oven at 325F for 15 minutes to get that lava centre back.

 

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