Caramelized White Chocolate Cakes
Laura Adrian is half of the team behind Verjus, a wine bar in Paris that she runs with her partner Braden. With a little help from an adorable Boston Terrier that pops his head into the action every once in a while.
Laura worked for one of my favorite bean-to-bar chocolate makers in America, Theo chocolate in Seattle, before moving to Paris. Due to word-of-mouth, and because of the innovative yet familiar cooking, their supper club Hidden Kitchen (which they ran before opening Verjus) was deservedly booked months in advance.
One night I was having dinner there, and Laura leaned over and said, “I’ve been making a cake with the caramelized white chocolate recipe that’s on your site. It’s pretty amazing.”
Always on the lookout for new ways to use one of my favorite recipes of all time, I was intrigued because the caramelized white chocolate has such a specific burnished flavor, similar to dulce de leche, and I was curious to taste it baked into a cake. It seemed like a great idea. And sure enough, on my next visit, she prepared these cakes for dessert and I have to say, they’re as good as they sound.
She serves the cakes with a scoop of homemade ice cream or sorbet, but sometime in the future, I’m going to try poking a wayward chocolate bonbon or chocolate truffle into the center of each cake midway during baking, when the batter is just stiff enough to support a chocolate. Imagine an oozing chocolate center smack dab in the middle of each cake, which would be a nice surprise when you cut into the little cake, spilling out some of that dark chocolate goodness, spreading the chocolate love around. Sounds good to me too.
Another option would be some warm cherries or plums, or a compote of fresh fruits, such as nectarines, peaches, or pears, depending on the season. Of course, you could gild the lily with a scoop of white chocolate-fresh ginger ice cream, too.
When you melt the white chocolate and begin the recipe, it may look a bit lumpy, and those small lumps might remain as you spoon the batter into molds. But they’ll melt during baking, so not to worry.
Feel free to use any size molds. I would imagine rectangular mini-cake molds would be nice, or another pan that bakes individual cakes that you have on hand.
Be sure to underbake these rich little cakes. They’re not meant to be runny inside, like individual warm chocolate cakes, but when served, should still on the side of just-baked, not too firm.
And serve them warm, if you can. The molds can be filled in advance and baked a bit later.
Related Links and Recipes
Rhubarb Sorbet (Simply Recipes)
Hot Caramelized White Chocolate (Ideas in Food)