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The Baker's Dozen Cookbook

Book Review by Norene Gilletz

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If you want to become a better baker, you need a copy of The Baker's Dozen Cookbook. This tip-packed book contains the collective experiences and favorite recipes of some of the most respected and accomplished bakers in the business. Learn the secrets of making perfect pastries, breads, coffee cakes, muffins, cheesecakes and cookies.

These tender little cakes deliver a gush of bittersweet chocolate sauce from within and can be prepared well ahead of baking. Mmmm!

The Baker's Dozen Cookbook

William Morrow
(Cdn.$59.95)

Order Now from Chapters.Indigo.ca or Amazon.com

Molten Chocolate Cakes

Softened butter and sugar, for the ramekins
8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
8 tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into bits
2 tbsp. milk
3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 large egg white, at room temperature
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
3 tbsp. sugar
Sweetened whipped cream (to garnish)

1. Lightly butter insides of six 6-ounce custard cups, sprinkle with sugar; tap out the excess.

2. In a medium stainless steel bowl placed in a skillet of hot, not simmering, water, melt chocolate and butter, stirring often, until smooth. Remove from heat. Measure 6 tbsp. into a small shallow bowl. Add milk and stir well. Place in freezer while preparing rest of recipe. Stir cocoa and egg yolks into remaining chocolate-butter mixture.

3. In a grease-free medium bowl, whip egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in sugar until peaks are stiff and glossy but not dry. Fold about 1/4 of egg whites into cocoa mixture, then fold in remaining whites. Spoon batter into custard cups, filling half full. Set remaining batter aside.

4. Remove chocolate-butter mixture from freezer; it should be firm. Using a dessert spoon, scrape up mixture and roll into 6 truffle-like balls. Embed a truffle into the center of each custard cup, top with remaining batter and level the tops. Place on a baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours. (Can be prepared and refrigerated up to 3 days ahead.)

5. Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 400 F. Bake until cakes are puffed and cracked and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out gooey, indicating the truffle is melted, about 12 minutes. Let cool for 3 minutes.

6. Run a thin knife around inside of each cup to release the cake. Protecting your hands with a towel, invert a cup in the center of a dessert plate to unmold. Repeat with remaining cakes. Serve immediately with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream.

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All images and recipes Norene Gilletz, 2003 unless otherwise noted.
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