The Sweetest Thing

If you’re anything like us, the mere mention of chocolate makes your heart sing. While we’d love to replicate Mandakini Gupta of Smitten Bakery’s pastry, we’re just not quite there yet. Her chocolate cake is the stuff of legend, as well as a staple at most of our birthdays. Her salted caramel mousse defies description, but if we had to, we’d be reaching for words like ‘unctuous’. Once you’ve dipped into her little pot of bittersweet, toasty sugar, there’s no going back.

Delicious, yes. Achievable by us mere mortals? Possibly not. Mandakini was, however, kind enough to share a recipe for moelleux au chocolat (molten chocolate cakes), that sound just as delicious, and considerably easier to DIY. Hallelujah!
Mandakini’s Moelleux au chocolat (Molten chocolate cakes)

You’ll need:
120g of unsalted butter
170g of dark chocolate (very good quality couverture chocolate, 55%-64%)
100g of whole eggs
40g of yolk
1.5 tsp of flour (this can be made gluten free by substituting the flour with almond flour or GF cornflour)
40g of sugar
1/4 tsp of good quality sea salt

1. Butter 4-6 ramekins (depending on the size) and dust with cocoa powder. Keep aside.
2. Boil a saucepan of water, reduce to a gentle simmer.
3. Place the butter and chocolate in a bowl that can nestle on the saucepan without touching the water.
4. Melt butter and chocolate, stirring often.
5. In another bowl, whisk eggs, yolks and sugar (using either a stand mixer or hand held electric whisk).
6. Whisk till nearly three times its original volume.
7. Then whisk in the melted butter and chocolate into the tripled eggs (only till no streaks show, do not over-whisk!).
8. Using a spatula, fold in the flour and sea salt.
9. Pour this into the ramekins, until 3/4th full.
10. Refrigerate for at least one hour before baking.

At this point, the cakes can either be baked after one hour or covered with cling wrap and kept in the fridge for 2-3 days and baked directly.

To bake:
1. Preheat the oven to 230 degrees celsius at least 20 minutes before baking.
2. Bake for approximately 12 minutes or till the sides are puffed, the center is gooey and not puffed. Do not over-bake or you will not have a gooey, oozy centre (and that’s the whole point).
3. Let it cool for 2 minutes

Upturn on a plate or serve in the ramekins. Best served with slightly-sweetened whipped cream and strawberries or mango.
More Mandakini here and spot the Nico Bar here.