In college, I worked briefly for a French bakery and cafe. We sold all manner of glorious crusty loaves and flaky pastries, as well as an assortment of beautiful chilled tortes and cakes. My employment provided an invaluable lesson in commercial baking and running a kitchen like a pro, even if my job responsibilities technically only encompassed making lattes and toasting croutons. (Incidentally, this is where I figured out that I was gluten-intolerant–it turns out that when gluten is causing your migraines and sexy, sexy GI issues, living on rosemary boules is a bad idea. But I digress…) Once, we received a chocolate-espresso cake from the bakers, each slice dotted with a coffee bean atop a frosting rosette, and the manager rejected it outright on the grounds that it was “too ’90s.” While it seemed a little crazy at the time (we probably could have sold it for $40 rather than sending it home with the dishwasher) I have to agree. For me, flourless chocolate cake falls into the “’90s dessert” category, too. Can’t you see the cast of “Friends” or “Seinfeld” digging into one?
But you know, high-waisted jeans and flannel are back (ahem, hipsters, I’m looking at you). Maybe we can resurrect and re-style the flourless chocolate cake in the same way?
This time, let’s incorporate the Greek yogurt fad and the reality that most of us spend 10 hours a day sitting in front of a computer and/or fiddling with our smartphones. I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t feel justified in making anything these days with two sticks of butter, 10 eggs, and a pound of chocolate. Certain sacrifices seem reasonable in light of jeggings and swimsuit season.
So, here’s a lightened-up, modernized recipe for flourless chocolate cupcakes. These cakelets are a hybrid of the rich, heavy flourless chocolate cake of yesteryear and a chocolate souffle–airy on top and densely fudgy on the bottom. The recipe is portioned up into freeze-able servings to hit the spot when you’re craving chocolate and, skinny jeans be damned (but only sort of), nothing else will do.
- 6 eggs
- 6 oz. sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 4 oz. butter
- 8 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
- 3 oz. almond meal
- 1 oz. cocoa powder
- 4 oz. plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- Preheat oven to 375F. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners, and keep about 8 more on hand.
- With a whisk attachment on your mixer, beat whole eggs with sugar and salt for 4 minutes, until thick and pale yellow. (Yes, seriously, 4 whole minutes. I set a timer.)
- Melt chocolate and butter over a double-boiler on the stove or in the microwave on 50% power. Whisk in almond meal, cocoa powder, yogurt, and vanilla.
- Fold chocolate mixture into beaten eggs, working not to deflate the eggs too much but ensuring that the chocolate mixture is evenly incorporated throughout.
- Pour batter into prepared muffin tins, filling almost to the top. Bake 15-17 minutes. They will puff and sink, then form a light crust on top, yet defy all normal rules of doneness by still being rather soupy under the crust. Fear not. Remove from oven, cool almost completely in the pan, and use the rest of the batter to make about 8 more cakelets.
- These are best chilled in the refrigerator, and they do freeze well.