Sunday, January 4, 2009

Chocolate Bouchons

This dessert wasn't supposed to be next in line. In fact, I have two other recipes to write about that were made before this. All that changed when I was walking through Williams-Sonoma the other day and saw this. Apparently Mr. Keller owns Williams-Sonoma now, because you'll see his name there more often than the stores name. After picking up these molds I was given a free little book of waffle recipes, designed by Keller himself. Seriously.

Bouchon is a French word that translates to cork in English, so it's not hard to guess why these desserts are named how they are. It's a little bit of a longer jump to connect the name of the restaurant to these desserts, but the connection is there, I promise. According to Keller:

"...the first proprietors put a pine branch or bouquet--called a bousche--above their doors, a reference to Bacchus that announced that they served wine"

So wine is the connection between the restaurant name and this seemingly unrelated chocolate dessert. Anyway, I made these for dessert after Christmas dinner. And then again for New Year's Eve. That probably gives away the ending a little early.

The ingredients here are pretty simple. You probably have all of it already, with the possible exception of 6 oz of semisweet chocolate. And all of the butter you need. The rest of the stuff is vanilla, cocoa powder, salt, sugar, flour, and eggs.

That's not a joke. That's 3 sticks of butter. That's a step in the right direction, right? The first thing I did was chop the chocolate into tiny chips. I used a 61% chocolate I found at Whole Foods (the recipe calls for 55%), and to me it was an improvement. But I'm a dark chocolate fan, so do what you like....

I put the 3 eggs and most of the sugar in the mixer and beat it on medium speed for about three minutes, until it looked roughly like this:

I added the vanilla and mixed it until just combined. To this mixture I added the dry ingredients, which had been sifted:

and 24 tablespoons of butter, alternating 1/3 of each mixture at a time. The last step was to throw in the chocolate pieces and stir it until they were evenly incorporated. Batter complete. And tasty.

A couple of hours after Christmas dinner we decided it was time for dessert. I took the batter out of the fridge and did...nothing. The batter had hardened to the point that I wasn't about to do anything with it for the next 30 minutes or so.

After it softened some, I poured the batter into a ziploc bag I had cut one corner off of and piped it into the mold I bought:

Here's another shot so you can revel in how perfectly consistent I was filling each mold:

I figured they'd melt and settle some (they did), and things would be ok. They mold, placed on a baking sheet, went into a 350 degree oven for about 22 minutes. The tops, which are really the bottoms, looked kind of like a brownie when they were finished.

I took the mold out and moved it to a cooling rack. After letting it cool for just a couple of minutes, I flipped the mold over and let the cakes finish cooling upside down (or right-side up I guess). Since this was a fancy silicone mold, they cakes popped right out, and they were ready for serving.

I dusted them with confectioners' sugar and served them with some homemade vanilla ice cream. They were fantastic. Very chocolatey, moist, and rich. For a total time investment of maybe 45 minutes, it's a dessert you probably can't beat. It's probably at the top of the list of Bouchon desserts, at least for now.

As usual, I don't post recipes here, but this one is readily available other places on the net. Check out this for more info. There are some discrepancies on the yield depending on what size molds you use, but it'll all taste the same...