Flaming cherries over individual chocolate cakes

Time 40 minutes
Yields Serves 6
Flaming cherries over individual chocolate cakes
(Los Angeles Times)

Chocolate ganache cakes


Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 6 (4-ounce) ramekins with the 1 tablespoon softened butter and dust with cocoa powder; tap out excess. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler or in a bowl over hot water, stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat.


In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks and sugar until well combined. Whisk in the melted chocolate mixture. Sift the cake flour over the mixture and fold in.


Divide the batter among the ramekins. Arrange the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 5 to 6 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake an additional 4 to 6 minutes, until the edges look set and have pulled slightly away from sides but the centers are still slightly liquid. Do not overbake.


Invert the cakes onto plates immediately and serve with the cherries.

Cherries and assembly


Melt the butter in a medium saute pan. Add the sugar and stir over medium-high heat until the sugar melts and begins to turn color and caramelize, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the vanilla, zest and cherries and cook until reduced and syrupy, about 5 minutes.


Remove from the heat, add the Cointreau or Grand Marnier. Ignite the cherries and pour over chocolate cakes either while still aflame or after the flame dies out.

The cake recipe is from Marcus Samuelsson’s cookbook “Aquavit.” Gather and measure the ingredients for the cherries and the cakes before starting. Prepare the cake batter; begin cooking the cherries when the cakes go into the oven.

Amy Scattergood is a staff writer for the Food section of the Los Angeles Times.
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