A few weeks ago I was visiting my folks (and getting some snow time in- Ski Alta!) and as I was packing up to go home my mother handed me a bag of what looked like chocolate muffins and said that I should take them to my kids. Upon arrival back in California I opened them up and discovered that they were bouchons, which are like chocolate brioche. When we had eaten them all a few days later I sent my mom a note thanking her and she sent me back the recipe. In the interest of letting my Jewish mother share her baking skills with the world, I present you with her version of this very tasty treat. You should have a batch on hand when Passover ends later this week.
Max Polaine is a famous baker in Paris and it is said that he makes these dense little chocolate cakes that are supposed to resemble wine corks. They are a bit firmer than a brownie. And have a dense texture. This is the way I bake them. The perfect pan is the IKEA deep, 12 mini-muffin pan. At IKEA’s prices, if you burn the pan you can get another.
4 large eggs
¾ of a cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¾ plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter softened
½ cup plus one tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup of chocolate chips
But a rack in the center of the oven and pre-heat it to 375 degrees F/190 C.
Spray the muffin tin with Pam or another non stick spray.
Insert a paddle in a mixing bowl. The secret to this recipe is to be sure to incorporate all the ingredients and scrap the bowl often.
Soften the butter.
Add the sugar. Beat on medium speed until it is soft and light.
Slow the mixer to stir. Add the cocoa powder making sure it is thoroughly incorporated and then return to medium speed..
Continue beating, adding the eggs one at a time. The batter will start to look lumpy. Fear not. Continue beating until it has a fudgy consistency.
Turn off the mixer.
Add the flour. Start the mixer on stir and after the flour is incorporated, return the mixer to medium speed until the ingredients are thoroughly blended.
Stir in the chocolate chips.
Scrape everything in the bowl into the center.
Use two table service tea spoons to drop the mixture evenly into the muffin cups. Then moisten two fingers with cold water and smooth the tops. This will enable you to see if all the cups have been filled equally. If not readjust.
Bake for approximately 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out somewhat moist.
Cool the pan on a wire rack. The cakes should just pop out.
Icing is over the top, but I like to drizzle a little chocolate ganache on top with a fork.
To make ganache.
Put 2 cups of chocolate chips, semi-sweet or sweet, in a medium sized bowl.
Take a small sauce pan, much deeper than what you need because boiling heavy whipping cream can get nasty. It climbs up the side of the pan very quickly. Swish some cold water in the pan and dump it. This helps prevent the cream from sticking to the pan. Bring 1 cup of heavy whipping cream to a boil. As soon as it does pour it into the bowl of chocolate chips and quickly stir with a whisk until all the chips are melted and there are no streaks. Cover and place in the refrigerator until it sets. At this point, you could soften it slightly in the microwave – no more than 10 seconds at a time and spread it on the bouchons, or soften it a little more so that it drizzles. Ganache, in a sealed container seems to keep in the refrigerator almost forever.