James McNair's Molten Chocolate Babycakes

READY IN: 37mins




  • Position oven racks so the cakes will bake in the middle of the oven; preheat oven to 400F.
  • Grease and line six 6-ounce custard cups or souffle dishes.
  • Here's how; using a pastry brush, lightly grease the bottom and sides of each pan with room-temperature solid shortening; place each pan on a sheet of parchment paper and trace around the bottom of the pan with a pencil, then cut out the traced shape with scissors; lay the parchment in the pan and use your hand to smooth out any wrinkles; if desired, lightly brush the paper with more solid shortening for easy removal of the paper after baking.
  • Melt the chocolate and set aside to cool slightly.
  • In a bowl or food processor, combine the butter, granulated sugar, salt and eggs and beat with an electric mixer at medium speed or process until well blended; add the flour and blend well.
  • Add the vanilla and cooled chocolate and blend until smooth.
  • Divide the batter evenly among the prepared baking dishes and smooth the surfaces with a small rubber spatula.
  • Place on a baking sheet, transfer to the oven, and bake until the tops are well puffed, about 17 minutes.
  • Remove the baking dishes to a wire rack to cool for about 5 minutes, then run a thin knife blade around the sides of each cake and invert directly onto individual serving plates; peel off the parchment.
  • Sift a little powdered sugar over the tops of the cakes.
  • James McNair recommends serving by spooning custard sauce or creme anglaise around each cake, then add dollops of mango and raspberry purees and swirling with a wooden skewer; he also recommends using edible gold leaf as the garnish instead of powdered sugar.