in the kitchen with: justyna’s chocolate mini-cakes

Because I am an ardent lover of desserts, people are always surprised to learn that I’m not a fan of chocolate and definitely not gooey chocolate.  This recipe by food blogger Justyna Anna Miziolek, of the blog Love Lives in the Kitchen, however, was so good I had to instantly freeze the cakes so that I wouldn’t eat them all at once!  I believe the tortino al cioccolato, or chocolate cake with the molten center, is like the little black dress of the baking repertoire.  Everyone needs a good one.  (AC, what’s the equivalent of the “little black dress” for men??).  Here, the cakes are paired with blackberries which are in season in August in Italy, where Justyna lives.  You can use any fruit of your liking, however.  Let us know what you choose, especially if it’s an uncommon combination! –Kristina

About Justyna: Justyna Anna Miziolek grew up in the Polish countryside between Mazovia and Warsaw.  It was here that she developed her preference for natural and seasonal food and for a simple and aesthetic way of life. She moved to Milan in 2006, and started a blog last year called Love Lives in the Kitchen. Cooking, especially baking, has always been her favorite activity and she dreams of dedicating her professional life to kitchen and lifestyle one day.  She strongly believes that good food and good presentation of food is the key to success in any kind of human relation and an antidote to stressful and chaotic life.  She tries to spread this philosophy using her motto “love lives in the kitchen”.

CLICK HERE for the full recipe after the jump!

Molten Chocolate Mini-Cakes
For the Garnish:

Wild berries garnish: wash 1 cup of fresh wild berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, red currant, black currant etc.) and cut them in small pieces. Put them in a pan, add 1 tablespoon of sugar and cook on a small fire for at least 15 minutes to obtain berry sauce
Raspberry garnish: same as above but with use of raspberries only. To be served with few leaves of fresh mint (to decorate and scent the dessert)
Raspberry mousse: wash 3/4 cup of fresh raspberries, add 1 teaspoon of powdered sugar and whisk them with a hand blender. Put whisked raspberries in a sieve and press with wooden spoon in order to remove all the seeds. In a separate bowl whip 1 cup of fresh cream with 1 tablespoon of icing sugar to stiff peaks. Mix gently raspberry sauce with cream

For the Cakes

115g (1 stick) of butter + 10g (2 teaspoons) to butter the molds
115g (4 oz)  dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
115g (2/3 cup)of sugar
4 eggs
50g (1/2 cup minus 1 tbsp, or 6.5 tbsp) flour
Powdered sugar
6 cake molds of 75ml capacity each (5.3 oz or 1/3 cup)

To make the cakes

Heat the oven to 180°C (360°F).

Butter the baking molds and sprinkle them with flour, tapping out the excess.  Put them in the refrigerator.

Place the butter and chocolate in a small metal bowl over a pot of simmering water.  Alternatively, melt the two in a saucepan over very low heat.  Once the butter has melted and the chocolate is soft enough to mix, remove the bowl/pot from heat and mix with a spatula until the ingredients are thoroughly combined.  Set aside to cool, approximately 10 minutes.

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, mix the eggs and sugar for 5-7 minutes to obtain a pale yellow mixture which has increased in volume.  With the mixer on low, slowly add the chocolate/butter mixture until the batter is uniform in color, stopping to scrape the bottom of the bowl halfway through.  Stop the mixer and sift the flour over the batter.  Gently incorporate the flour with a spatula or wooden spoon.

(You may prepare the cake mix up to this point, place in the molds, cover with cling wrap, and refrigerator over night.)

Remove the molds from the refrigerator and fill each one up to the edge, and place on a baking tray to catch any batter which may overflow.  Bake for 15 minutes, maximum 18 minutes.  They will have crested like muffins, don’t worry!

Remove the cakes from their molds and serve immediately with 3-4 tablespoons of garnish. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

(Food photography by Kristina Gill.  Platter with three cakes by Astier de Villatte; individual baking molds and pastry brush from Peroni; ingredients small dishes by l’atelier de madame M; “Prospérité” dessert plate (assiette à dessert) and plate with stars (assiette étoiles) for individual cakes by Le Petit Atelier de Paris; small pebble bowl (white) for individual cake by mud australia; silver spoons traditional Cambodian silverwork; white striped background Christmas wrapping paper by IKEA)

Why Justyna chose this recipe

I love giving parties and organizing dinners. For me, the most important part of every reunion is the time of dessert.  I’ve observed over the years that chocolate-based desserts are the most appreciated. The tortino al cioccolato is one of these recipes that is perfect for any kind of party: it’s fast and easy to prepare, it takes a short time to bake and it can be even prepared in advance! It’s perfect both hot and cold and always looks beautiful. You can vary the garnish every time: whipped cream or icing sugar in the winter and any kind of fruit (especially berries) in the summer. If you are not a fan of eating desserts post-dinner/late in the night you can have it with your afternoon tea or (like my husband) for breakfast. Hands down, it’s one of my favorites!

  1. Love how she spells her ‘justyna’ that ‘y’ is so much sexier than my ‘i’. Those cakes look absolutely divine.

  2. This is making me very hungry!

  3. Neada B says:

    Oooh la la! Those look amazing! Next pay day, I know what I’m shopping for! Oh, and by the way, a man’s version of the Little Black Dress is a well tailored midnight blue suit :^)

  4. Marissa says:

    Oh wow. Is 10 in the morning to early to make these?

  5. YUMMY! these are so gorgeous and must taste just as great as they look!

  6. Kenneth says:

    Off topic: the ‘little black dress’ for men is a navy blazer. Goes with everything from jeans to wool trousers. In the deep sea between casual clothing and a suit, the navy blazer is the anchor of a man’s wardrobe.

  7. Shones says:

    …but they’re too cute to eat!

  8. Sharon says:

    Question: Do you fill the molds with the batter and then refrigerate over night? Of, refrigerate the molds and batter separately filling the molds just before baking?
    Thanks. Looks delicious.

  9. Angela says:

    I am drooling. These cakes are so beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

  10. deeba says:

    How gorgeous … a beautiful post from a beautiful blog {and blogger}. Great blog name BTW!!

  11. Lola says:

    Yummy, those mini-cakes look really tasty!
    Hello from Poland :)

  12. Kristina says:

    @NeadaB and @Kenneth Thanks for that! Next time I am talking to men about “Essentials” I’ll know what to say!

    @Sharon: Because there is no leavening, you can make the batter in advance, fill the molds, and refrigerate them if need be. When you’re ready to cook, just put in the heated oven and proceed according to directions. If you have no need to pre-prepare, you can just bake immediately after filling the molds.

  13. Diana says:

    I had an urge to grab the cake from right out of my screen. Looks mmmmmmmmmmmmm . . . .

  14. teresita alliende says:

    did them! they were a success!! thanks!!

  15. Suzanne says:

    I made these this weekend in muffin cups because I didn’t have the cake molds. I just bought a chocolate mint plant so I added that to the berry sauce and it was divine.

    We had to try hard not to eat them all in one sitting. Thanks for the recipe!

  16. Chris says:

    Kenneth is right, LBD for men = Navy Blazer.

  17. Kristina says:

    I like to make them also by setting the molds in a hot water bath and let them cook a bit longer. They come out very silky and cooked all the way through! As a matter of fact, I might go make some now!

  18. i’m very glad to see this lovely presentation of my recipe! i’m also happy to hear that you like it :)
    thanks design sponge!

  19. Ciao, Jus! Che bel post e che bella che sei in questa foto. Evviva l’estate! (Tra poco arriva la primavera qui, nn vedo l’ora) L’Italia mi manca già da morire, cara. Un bacione e salutami tutti!

  20. Kathleen says:

    Yummmm… super looking forward to making this on a cold winter night when the mandarin oranges are in their prime!


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