tiny flourless chocolate cake

DSC_6361The main effect of this cake is to satisfy that chocolate cake craving we get around 9pm every night, without producing tempting leftovers that test our self control from the countertop for days afterwards.

The side effect of this cake is to remind you (me) that baking is easy, available, and always worth it. This is what I bake when I don’t want to wash my measuring cups. When I really want cake but I really don’t want to put on pants.

This recipe makes two perfect portions in 30 minutes, and that includes baking time in the toaster oven. Because who wants to wait for an oven to preheat? Did I mention that there are only four ingredients?

If you know you’ll need a pick-me-up tomorrow, you can keep the second portion unbaked in the fridge overnight, and pop it straight into the toaster oven when you need it. It just works.


Modified from:
Martha Stewart’s Flourless Chocolate Cake
Scales up easily
You need:
2 medium sized bowls (metal or glass) and 1 small bowl. 2 4-oz ramekins or oven-safe bowls.
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 c (2 oz) chocolate chips or chunks, approximate
1 large egg*
2 tsp granulated sugar

DSC_6350DSC_6353Melt 1 Tbsp butter and 1/3 c chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave until mixable – about 30 seconds. Use spatula to mix until smooth, and set aside to cool slightly. Separate egg yolk and white into the two medium bowls, and begin whisking the egg white. When the egg white is more than just frothy, add in 2 tsp sugar and continue whisking ’til soft peaks. Set aside.

Dump chocolate mixture into the bowl with the lone yolk and mix quickly with the spatula until combined. Introduce about a third of the meringue into the chocolate, mixing completely. Add in remaining meringue and fold lightly until batter is barely mixed. “Taste test” the meringue that didn’t make it into the chocolate… and then split batter into two ramekins.

DSC_6355DSC_6357DSC_6362Bake in a toaster oven (or oven) at 300 deg F for 10-12 minutes – on the lower side if you prefer it molten, or until you see small cracks if you prefer well-done. Wait a few minutes before scooping your favorite ice cream directly onto the cake and shoveling into your mouth.

*Room temperature egg whites are much, much easier to whip into meringue. In a quick pinch, put the egg in a bowl of lukewarm water for 20-30 minutes before baking.

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