Aubergine Warm Center Chocolate Pyramid Cakes
Source: Chef Gene Bjorkund - Aubergine, Memphis, Tennessee
Because the chocolate cakes need to freeze 24 hours before they can be baked, this dessert takes some advance planning.
5 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
2 eggs, separated
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 ounces semisweet chocolate
3 tablespoons cake flour, sifted
3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons almond powder
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
7 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 cup heavy cream
Confectioners' sugar for dusting cakes
To make the nuggets: In a heavy-bottom saucepan melt the chocolate, cream, butter, and water over low heat. Mix gently until well combined and pour into a small ice cube tray. Freeze for 24 hours.
While the nuggets are freezing, proceed with the cake recipe and let the cake remain in the refrigerator until you are ready to complete the dessert.
To make the chocolate cake: Lightly butter and dust with flour six 4-ounce cupcake molds or cups in a muffin tin.
Separate the eggs. Place the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a balloon whip. On high speed whisk until soft peaks form. In a steady stream add the sugar and continue beating on high speed until stiff.
Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. While maintaining a very low heat, gradually add the cake flour, mixing until a paste is formed. Add the softened butter, mixing until it is well incorporated. Mix in the almond powder and sugar. Remove the pan from the heat and add the egg yolks. Gently fold in the egg whites, and set aside. The cake batter will be somewhat grainy. Fill the prepared molds with the cake batter. Place the frozen nuggets in the center of each mold (not the bottom) and let the molds rest in the freezer 24 hours before baking.
To make the chocolate sauce: In a medium saucepan combine the sugar, water, cocoa powder and cream, and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer to a clean container. Cover and chill for 24 hours.
To assemble: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the cake molds in the upper third of the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until firm.
While the molds are baking, decorate individual dessert plates with the chocolate sauce. The chef likes to serve the sauce cold to contrast with the warm cakes but, if you prefer, the sauce may be warmed slowly over a low heat.
Remove the cakes from the oven and let cool on a rack. To remove the cakes from the molds, carefully run a sharp knife around the inner edge of the mold and invert onto dessert plates. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.