Simple ingredients that you can easily scale from 4 servings up to 6 or 8 to suit the size of your dinner party. These can bake in the ramekins while you are having dinner – I put them in the oven as we are seated to eat. In twenty minutes, you can pull these from the oven, place each ramekin on a small serving plate, and your guests will be in heaven at the end of the meal!
Chocolate is a very popular dessert, which is why I chose it the first time I invited my (now) husband for dinner to my house. We had just begun dating, and I wanted to flaunt my chef skills and make a really elegant dinner. Distracted, I had let a pan get too hot on the stove before pouring oil in it to begin sautéing, which burst into flames at the same moment my doorbell rang. I managed to not only put out the fire but pull-off the dinner and fondly remember this was the first dessert I ever made for him.
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick) plus more at room temperature for buttering the ramekins
- 4 oz good semisweet bar chocolate with at least 60% cocoa (not chips) broken to bits
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Special equipment: 4 (2/3 to 1-cup capacity) ramekins
Place a baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.
Butter the ramekins liberally and set aside (not in the oven). If you don’t have ramekins use coffee cups or small cups that can tolerate a hot oven for 20 minutes.
Either in a microwave or in a bowl suspended over a pan over simmering water, melt the dark chocolate and 1 stick butter. If using a microwave, go NO more than 30 seconds at a time and stir. When melted and well combined, set the bowl aside to cool a little.
In another bowl, mix the eggs with the sugar and flour with a hand whisk and then beat in the cooled butter and chocolate mixture. Divide the mixture between the 4 buttered ramekins. Place ramekins on the pre-heated sheet pan; bake for about 20 minutes, by which time the tops will be cooked and cracked and the chocolate gooey underneath.
Place each ramekin on a small plate with a teaspoon and serve. Make sure to warn people that these desserts will be HOT! If desired, you could serve a scoop of vanilla ice cream in another ramekin or small cup, on the side, but I would not put ice cream or whipped cream right on the top of this dessert when you serve it.
I have to thank my British idol of all things good to eat, Nigella Lawson, for inspiring me with this recipe.