The 83rd Academy Awards take place this Sunday night, a feast of movie glitterati and glamour for those of us who enjoy such things. Are you planning to throw an Oscars bash, complete with red carpet? If so, then you should definitely include these little starlets — easy fudgy chocolate cakes all dressed up with a pinch of glamour.
Underneath their red gowns and sparkling glitter, these little cakes are quite ordinary. They are mixed up in a pan like my favorite brownie recipe, and they take all of 5 minutes (truly!) to mix up. In fact, the last time I made these I whipped them up while idly waiting for overdue guests. They are stress-free and completely reliable.
But dress them up a bit and wow! They can make quite an entrance. See, these aren't just ordinary brownies or chocolate cake. They are extra-dense, and extra-fudgy. They aren't exactly flourless cake or those hot molten lava cakes either. They can be baked in liners and passed around at a party. But if you serve them warm then oh, that first bite just melts in your mouth, like the best performance butter and chocolate can make together.
These aren't terribly sweet. I like to lighten the taste with just a swirl of lightly sweetened whipped cream and, if you are so inclined, a scattering of edible gold stars.
3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon bourbon (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup cake flour
Heat the oven to 325°F and line 6 wells in a muffin pan with paper liners. Lightly spray the liners with baking spray.
Place the chocolate and butter in a 1-quart saucepan over medium heat. Melt the butter and chocolate, stirring frequently. As soon as both are completely melted, turn off the heat. Stir in the brown sugar and white sugar, as well as the vanilla, bourbon, and salt. Stir in both eggs, and the cocoa powder and cake flour.
Divide the batter evenly among the 6 cupcake liners. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the middles of the cakelets are just barely set.
Serve warm with a touch of whipped cream and razzle-dazzle sprinkles, if so desired.
(Images: Faith Durand)