Prep. time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Special equipment: Small (about 1 cup size), ovensafe dishes (ceramic ramekins, like the Corningware brand dish pictured above, are perfect)
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter, plus about 1 tbsp. to butter the ramekins
- 2-2.5 oz. semisweet chocolate chips (I highly recommend Ghirardelli brand)
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup plus half of a 1/4 cup granulated sugar (fill up a 1/4 cup, then fill it up again only halfway—I know it's not precise, but just watch carefully and you'll be fine)
- 1 tbsp. of plus 1/2 tbsp. all-purpose flour (do that same thing as above: fill up a tbsp., then fill a tbsp. halfway)
- Caramel, powdered sugar, or sliced strawberries for garnish, if desired
Place a small baking sheet in the oven and preheat the oven to 400*F. Butter the ramekins (rub a pat of butter around inside the ramekins) with the 1 tbsp. butter. In a microwave, gently melt the chocolate and butter together in a bowl (heat in 25-30 second increments, stirring after each time, until the mixture is melted but not burnt). Set aside to cool. In another bowl, whisk together the egg, sugar, and flour, then add in the cooled butter and chocolate mixture and mix until thoroughly blended. Divide the mixture between the two buttered ramekins. Bake for approx. 20 minutes, until the tops are slightly cracked and the chocolate cake is moist-looking inside. The ramekins and cake will be very hot, so let them cool slightly, and serve the ramekins on a plate, so you don't burn yourself on them. Garnish with a drizzle of caramel sauce, a dusting of powdered sugar, or some slices of strawberries.
These cakes are so easy and quick to pull together and, for the little amount of effort and ingredients involved, they turn out incredibly well. Using semisweet chocolate makes them rich and decadent, but their small size makes you feel a little less guilty when you dive in. They are the kind of thing you can make any time of day, whether you just want a little cake with your afternoon tea or you want an easy dessert to serve after dinner. They're gooey, chewy, warm, melty, and oh-so-chocolatey and they're quite possibly my new favorite dessert. You can eat them as is or dress them up with fancy garnishes and you can easily double the recipe or quadruple it to serve more people.