I don’t remember how I came across this recipe for chocolate bouchons, but as soon as I saw it, I knew that I had to try it using a set of cake tins that Josh bought me at the end of last year. These tins are a little bit bigger than what should be used for the recipe, but they worked out pretty well. I think bouchons are meant to be bite-sized, but these were more of a single serving dessert size. I am just glad that I found a recipe that I can use for these tins since they cost quite a bit!
This was also the first time I’ve successfully made a cake without using baking soda or baking powder in the batter. I have tried a few times before using these cake tins (and a different recipe) and the cakes didn’t rise properly. They were underbaked, dense, and inedible in the bottom layer while the top half was spongy and light. I still haven’t figured out what I did wrong with those cakes. Maybe I will give them another try now.
A few words about this recipe: it was a lot easier than I thought it would be. And the chocolate cake was AMAZING. My chocoholic son Corran has already asked me to make them again. Gwennan was watching me write this blog post, saw the chocolate cake pictures, and asked, “Mommy, can you make those today?” Yes, I think these little cakes were a big hit with my kids.
These cakes would be even better with ice cream. Sadly, we didn’t have any ice cream at the time so we had to eat the cakes without. But that was a small sacrifice because have I mentioned that these were amazing?
Recipe from Delish: Thomas Keller’s Chocolate Bouchons
Let’s start with the chocolate. I love Guittard, but I’ve only ever bought the Guittard chocolate chips, not the bars. Valrhona is very, very expensive, and since this was my first time baking these, it’s probably a good thing I didn’t go with the expensive chocolate. Maybe next time I’ll try to have Valrhona on hand.
I used 1 and a half bars of Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate. I’ve mentioned before that my kids are huge fans of dark chocolate, so I figured I could get away with the 60% chocolate.
I don’t really enjoy chopping chocolate much, but these did work beautifully in the batter. I usually only chop chocolate for chocolate chip cookies. I’d better be careful or I’m going to stop buying chocolate chips altogether and buy only chocolate bars for baking!
I had a feeling I would only need 12 of these tins for the cakes even though there are 16 of them. I decided to use my nylon pastry brush to butter these tins. I’ve used my fingers before and the rims of these tins can be sharp. I dusted them with flour over a bowl so that I could reuse the flour that fell out of the tins. I also cut a piece of parchment paper to the same size as the baking tray to line it. Doing this makes it easier to clean the tray after baking.
I did sift my dry ingredients and made sure to beat the eggs and sugar together for 3 minutes. What I liked best about this recipe: it uses real butter, not oil.
Once I needed to fill the tins, I strayed from the recipe. My chopped chocolate had a hard time making it through the hole I had cut for my pastry bag, so after a few false starts, I just scraped the cake batter into the tins with a spatula. This made for a messy set of tins! But at least I didn’t have exploding cake batter from my pastry bag.
I filled each tin about halfway since they are larger than the timbale molds called for in the recipe. I let the cakes bake for about 20 minutes at first, but they weren’t done at that point, so I gave them 5 to 10 more minutes.
The cakes were done when a toothpick tested clean with just some melty chocolate from the chopped chocolate in the cake. Some of the batter did leak out of the tins and onto the tray, but it wasn’t too bad. I let these cool for about half an hour in the tins and then pushed each cake out of its tin into a muffin pan liner.
The recipe says that these taste like brownies, and they really do! They aren’t quite as dense as a brownie though, so I guess their texture is somewhere between a cake and a brownie. Whatever they are, they for sure were delicious and I will be making these again. Just not this week…
Jumbo muffin pan liners were perfect “plates” for these cakes after dusting the cakes with powdered sugar.
This is not the best picture, but it is the only one I have of one of the cakes after slicing. You can see that the top did fall a bit in the middle. This cake didn’t last long after this picture. I let my kids come in and eat the rest of it and it disappeared in about 30 seconds.
The recipe says that these are best eaten the day they are made, but they were good the next day as well. I know that not everyone will have this set of cake tins, timbale molds, or a bouchon pan, but perhaps a popover pan would work or even a mini cupcake pan or regular cupcake pan. I think I will try this recipe in a mini cupcake pan next time and see how it works!
Note: To clean my round cake tins, I let them sit in a mixing bowl in water for a little while and they are much easier to clean. Hopefully, my next experiment with these tins will be mini cheesecakes!