Restaurant Biga Chocolate Gooey Cake

Restaurant Biga Chocolate Gooey Cake

Yield: 8 portions

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
3/4 cup granulated sugar
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate
6 large eggs, separated
Ganache balls (recipe follows) as needed

Using 2 tablespoons butter, grease 8 (6 ounce) custard cups or ramekins. Use 1/4 cup sugar to dust cups; reserve.

In double boiler, melt chocolate and remaining butter; stir until smooth. (Alternately, microwave the mixture, checking and stirring at 30-second intervals.) Let cool.

Whip egg yolks until thick and lightly colored and tripled in volume; reserve. Whip egg whites until they are on the verge of forming very stiff peaks. Add remaining sugar; whip until very stiff peaks form; reserve.

Stir some cooled chocolate into egg yolks. Add remaining chocolate. Gently fold egg whites into chocolate mixture.

Pour small amount of batter into each custard cup. Place 1 ganache ball in cup. Add batter until cup is 4/5 full. Bake in oven preheated to 325 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes, checking periodically, until cake is crusty on top but still gooey in center. Let rest 5 to 6 minutes. Use small knife to loosen cake. Invert onto dessert plate. Serve warm with cr?me Anglaise, if desired.

Ganache balls
Scald 1/2 cup cream in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove to bowl. Add 4 ounces finely chopped bittersweet chocolate and 1/8 cup strong espresso. Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Form into 8 (1-inch) balls; reserve cold until use. Store up to 1 week refrigerated.

Source: Chef-owner Bruce Auden, Restaurant Biga, San Antonio, Texas