Even when they leave their native lands, some dishes are known by their original names. A recipe for Trifle in a French cooking journal will go by the English term for the dessert. German–and French–breakfast menus call a muffin ‘a muffin’. English speakers are unlikely to call a Chocolate Mousse–‘Foam’.
Mi-Cuit Chocolat goes into the category of untranslated, not because it is so well-known around the world by its French name, but because the English translation (‘Half-Baked Chocolate’) is too pedestrian and undescriptive of the fine dessert it is.
There are two ways to make Mi-Cuit Chocolat. The first version has only a thin layer of cake over a hot, chocolate filling. The second form of Mi-Cuit is a soft cake surrounding a runny chocolate interior. Both versions are made from the same simple batter. The only difference in the way they are made is that the soft cake version is produced by letting the Mi-Cuit sit in the ramekins for 5 minutes after baking so that the outer portion of the dessert firms up and becomes more cake-like. The recipe easily doubles or triples. This may be an especially significant feature if there are children in the household where Mi-Cuit Chocolat is being served for a dinner party of adults only. Making a few extra Mi-Cuit for the loved and uninvited will not be a problem.
Mi-Cuit Chocolat Two Ways ~ A Warm, Dark Chocolate Dessert (Servings are given below for each version of Mi-Cuit Chocolat)
I. Ingredients for both Mi-Cuit~ Way I and Mi-Cuit ~ Way II:
A Note: This Recipe is an adaptation from one in the French food magazine Guide Cuisine. It is given in metric measurements that are simple to double or triple. Conversion to American measuring units works out into awkward amounts and although for many recipes, approximate conversions will produce excellent results, in this case, weighing the ingredients is important for getting “Mi-Cuit” and not “Cake”.
- 100 grams of dark chocolate
- 50 grams of butter
- 2 eggs
- 100 grams of sugar
- 40 grams of flour
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
A. Mi-Cuit Chocolat ~ Way I
Way I is a thin shell of cake with chocolate insides that are something between a sauce and a pudding–and the better part of both. The logistical advantage of Way I is that it is served straight away, still in the ramekin, after baking for exactly 12 minutes. In a lunch or dinner of serveral courses, people like a break before Dessert. Mi-Cuit Chocolat ~ Way I may be baked in that interval. There is no rush or uncertainty about when the desserts will be done.
Ingredients: Use the Ingredient List above to make the batter in the following quantities, depending on the number of ramekins of Mi-Cuit ~ Way I you wish to make.
- 1 recipe of batter for 3 ramekins
- Double the recipe of batter for 6 ramekins
- Triple the recipe of batter for 10 ramekins: tripling mysteriously provides an extra ramekin
Ingredient Suggestions for Decorating the Finished Dessert:
- Strawberries, one for each ramekin
- Cocoa Powder
- Powdered Sugar
- a Digital Kitchen Scale
- an Electric Mixer, either a standing or a hand one
- 1/2-cup size ovenproof Ramekins: the number is only dependent on how many desserts you want to make
- a small strainer if you sprinkle the baked ramekins with cocoa and powdered sugar
- a Double Boiler or a homemade ‘Bain-Marie’: the Bain-Marie is made out of a pot partially filled with water and a heatproof bowl that will fit in the rim of the pot without touching its bottom. Ideally, the water in the pot should not touch the bottom of the bowl…but if it does…it will be alright:
1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
2. Butter the ramekins and put them in the refrigerator. (Putting them in the freezer for 5 or 10 minutes just before filling them with batter is ideal, but timing everything to include doing it is not always possible.)
3. Bring the water in the bottom of the Double Boiler or Bain-Marie to a simmer. Chop up the chocolate and melt it in the top part of the Double Boiler (or bowl of the homemade version).
4. When the chocolate is melted, stir in the butter and vanilla, then set this bowl aside:
5. Beat the eggs and sugar in the mixer until they form a pale yellow mixture that drops slowly from a spoon:
6. Continue to beat and slowly add the flour:
7. Stir in the melted chocolate mixture:
The batter may be made in advance up to this point, covered, and left at room temperature until you are ready to bake the Mi-Cuit:
8. Divide the batter among the number of ramekins you are using:
9. Bake them for exactly 12 minutes. Place the ramekins on dessert plates. Sprinkle them with cocoa powder and powdered sugar:
Place a strawberry alongside each one…if you use them…
and serve the Mi-Cuit Chocolat ~ Way I:
B. Mi-Cuit Chocolat ~ Way II
Way II is the more traditional version of a soft cake surrounding a runny chocolate center.
Ingredients: Use the same Ingredient list that is used in making Mi-Cuit Chocolat ~ Way I. The batter for Mi-Cuit ~ Way II is exactly the same as for Mi-Cuit ~ Way I. The proportion of batter to number of ramekins is the only difference. There is less batter in each ramekin of Mi-Cuit ~ II–one recipe of batter for 4 ramekins instead of one recipe of batter for 3 ramekins.
- 1 recipe of batter for 4 ramekins
- double the recipe of batter for 8 ramekins
- triple the recipe of batter for 12 ramekins
Ingredient Suggestions for Completing the Baked Dessert:
- Cocoa Powder
- Powdered Sugar
- Vanilla Ice Cream: a recipe for Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream may be found here on the diplomatickitchen
- Strawberry Flowers: the instructions for making the Flowers are given below in this post
- exactly the same as is used for making Mi-Cuit Chocolat ~ Way I
1. Preheat the oven, butter and refrigerate the ramekins just as for Mi-Cuit Chocolat ~ Way I. Ideally, place the ramekins in the freezer for 5 or 10 minutes, just before filling them with batter…but in a less than ideal set of circumstances, if that is not possible…never mind. The batter may be made in advance, covered, and left at room temperature until you are ready to use it.
2. Make the batter according to the method described for making Mi-Cuit ~ Way I.
3. Bake exactly 12 minutes.
4. Let the ramekins of Mi-Cuit sit for 5 minutes so that their soft chocolate centers set a little. Then run a knife around the sides of the ramekins…
…and unmould the little Mi-Cuit cakes onto dessert plates:
5. Sprinkle the cakes with cocoa powder and powdered sugar; add some ice cream at the side, and, if you want, decorate each with a Strawberry Flower.
- Strawberries, still attached to their stems, equal to the number of ramekins of Mi-Cuit Chocolat you bake
1. Cut down through the middle of the berry from stem to tip:
2. Cut from stem to tip again so that the berry is divided into quarters, but is still attached to the stem:
3. Stretch the quarters out with your fingers to resemble the open petals of a flower:
A Note: Mi-Cuit Chocolat is the Dessert for the Dinner Menu: Killing Time With a Killer. It is adapted from a recipe in the French food magazine Guide Cuisine.
© Elizabeth Laeuchli, the diplomatickitchen, 2011-2012