Chocolate Velvet with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
So, what, exactly, is Chocolate Velvet? "Velvet" is not an actual pastry term. It's a little like saying "Chocolate Surprise," but more descriptive. To me, this dessert is something like the love child of chocolate mousse and a brownie: creamy and smooth, it melts in your mouth, but it's dense and intensely chocolaty. You can eat it warm or chilled. You can eat it plain or capped with a snowy mound of vanilla ice cream. You can share it with a loved one, but you probably won't. Better make enough for everyone to have his or her own.
Chocolate VelvetYield: 6 servings
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I like Perugina)
- 1.5 ounces butter, room temp
- 4 large eggs, room temp
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons coffee, almond, or hazelnut liquor
Vanilla bean ice cream to serve (optional)
Chocolate syrup to garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease six 6-ounce ramekins with nonstick baking spray. Place ramekins in a 13x9-inch glass baking dish or roasting pan.
- Melt chocolate and butter together in the microwave or in a double boiler; stir until smooth. Allow to come to room temperature.
- Beat eggs with sugar until light and foamy--about 5 minutes. Add vanilla extract and additional flavoring, if using; beat 1 minute more.
- Fold about 1/4 cup into cooled chocolate mixture to lighten; add chocolate mixture to beaten eggs and fold gently to combine completely.
- Divide batter among the six ramekins. Pour very hot water into baking dish to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
- Bake at 350 degrees F 20 to 25 minutes, until velvets are set and the top is no longer glossy. Remove from water bath and allow to cool 10 minutes on rack. Eat warm or let cool completely, then wrap in plastic wrap and chill. You can eat them cold or rewarm in a microwave for 20-30 seconds.
- Serve with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and drizzle with chocolate syrup to garnish, if desired.