Despite the sweltering heat, baking therapy was in full effect this week as I was working through deadline after deadline at work. My baking /cooking therapy usually starts with a fresh ingredient for inspiration and consoling myself in the evening by flipping through food blogs and epicurious pages…always searching for something interesting or challenging that I haven’t made before.
On this particular evening my real life inspiration was all of the lush cherries I bought at the Farmer’s Market on the weekend. This summer I had transformed them into a delicious port sauce for duck, granita, topped delicate phyllo tarts piled high with marscapone cream but hadn’t done anything with chocolate and cherries yet.
I came across a recipe for Molten Chocolate cakes with cherries that piqued my interest, with cherries baked into the cake as well as adorning the top in a delicious sauce, I knew I had found a good one. I can easily walk away from chocolate cake when presented on any ordinary day but a combination of rich melting chocolate with lush cherries dressed lightly in brandy and cinnamon? Well that just sounded too good not to make
Molten chocolate cakes with local cherries adapted from Bon Appetit on epicurious
2 cups fresh cherries pitted and cut into halves
3/4 cup sugar
3 TBSP brandy or Kirsh
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 large egg yolks
1 large egg
2 teaspoons all purpose flour
1 TBSP pure vanilla extract
Combine cherries with, 1/2 cup sugar, brandy, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan.
Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Simmer until sauce thickens and is slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. Remove 1/2 cup cherries from sauce drain off excess liquid. Chop coarsely and set aside. Set aside remianing cherry sauce for topping your cakes when you are plating.
Butter two 3/4-cup ramekins or custard cups. Stir chocolate and butter in heavy small saucepan over low heat until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat. Whisk in vanilla, egg yolks,whole egg and flour. Fold in 1/2 cup chopped cherries. Divide batter between prepared ramekins.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake cakes uncovered until edges are set but center is still shiny and tester inserted into center comes out with some wet batter attached, about 15 minutes.
Run knife around edges of cakes to loosen, and turn out onto plates. One of my tips place your plate over top of ramekin and turn over so it ends up exactly where you want it and so there is less stress on the cake as.
To plate lightly sift powdered sugar over, spoon sauce with a few whole cherries over top and garnish with mint.
This was so decadent and the cherries with cinnamon added depth to the chocolate and made this girl just a little more of a chocolate fan than I was before