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Cupcakes, Chocolate Melting II (D, TNT)
Source: Recipe adapted from "James McNair's Favorites"
Serves: 6

Solid vegetable shortening for greasing, at room temperature
2 oz. finest-quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
4 eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1/2 cup cake flour
1 tsp. vanilla
Gold leaf for garnish (optional) OR powdered sugar for dusting
Mango and raspberry purees for swirling (optional)

Position racks so that the cakes will bake in the middle of an oven and preheat the oven to 400°F.

Using a pastry brush, generously grease the bottom and sides of six 6-ounce custard cups or souffle dishes with shortening. Line the bottoms of the containers with rounds of kitchen parchment, then lightly brush the parchment with shortening. Set aside.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or microwave oven, and set aside to cool slightly.

In a bowl or food processor, combine the butter, granulated sugar, salt, and eggs, and beat with an electric mixer at medium speed or process until well blended. Add the flour and blend well. Add the vanilla and cooled chocolate and blend until smooth.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared baking dishes and smooth the surfaces with a small rubber spatula. Place on a baking sheet, transfer to the oven, and bake until the tops are well puffed, about 17 minutes.

Remove the baking dishes to a wire rack to cool for about 5 minutes. Run the blade of a small metal frosting spatula or dull knife around the insides of each baking dish to loosen the cakes. Invert the plate and baking dish together, and lift off the baking dish. Peel off the parchment. Repeat with the remaining cakes.

Top each cake with a sheet of gold leaf (if using) or lightly sift a little powdered sugar over the tops of the cakes. Spoon a portion of the Creme Anglaise or other sauce around each cake, then add dollops of mango and raspberry purees (if using) and swirl with a wooden skewer.

Poster's Notes:
Hi! Here's the one that I've made several times. It is fabulous and very easy. The directions say that you can make them in advance and it works well; but serving them right out of the oven the first day is more amazing. I just have all the ingredients measured before the guests even arrive; it doesn't take very long to throw them together. I haven't made the purees yet; I've just served it with ice cream. I think a vanilla sauce would be nice too. Enjoy!

Posted by Paula Miller Jacobson

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A