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New Year’s Resolution Chocolate Mousse Cakes

Here are a few of my New Year’s resolutions:
1. Post recipes more often
2. Eat chocolate every day
3. Learn how to use Lightroom
4. Post a few recipes that don’t require large amounts of butter
5. Cook every recipe in Debbie Madison’s Vegetarian Suppers cookbook

Since this recipe helps satisfy four of the five resolutions I am naming it New Year’s Resolution Chocolate Mouse Cakes. I’m not claiming that this is exactly a nutritious dessert, but if your New Year’s diet can’t make room for a little chocolate then you might want to examine the sustainability of your commitment.

Individual Chocolate Mousse Cakes
adapted from Cooking Light

1 ¼ cups sugar, divided plus extra for ramekins
½ cup unsweetened cocoa
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup water
5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 large egg white

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Lightly grease 7 (6-ounce) ramekins with butter. Place several teaspoons of sugar in each ramekin, swirl to coat and tap out excess.

3. Chop the semi-sweet chocolate and place in a large mixing bowl.

4. Combine ¾ cup sugar, cocoa, flour, and salt in a small saucepan. Add water and stir well with a whisk. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat; cook about 1 minute, stirring constantly and being very careful to not scorch the mixture. Immediately pour the hot cocoa mixture over the chopped chocolate and stir until chocolate is melted and very smooth. Stir in the vanilla. Set aside to cool.

5. Place ½ cup sugar, eggs, and egg white in a bowl. Beat with a stand or hand mixer at high speed for several minutes, until mixture is pale yellow and thick. Gently fold the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture.

6. Divide the chocolate mixture evenly among the 7 prepared ramekins. Place ramekins in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan, place baking pan on oven rack, and very, very carefully add hot water to pan to a depth of about 1 inch. Try not to splash the cakes. Bake at 350 degrees for 27 to 30 minutes or until puffy and set. Carefully and without splashing, remove pan from oven. Using tongs, remove ramekins from pan and place on counter. Let cool for about 5 or 10 minutes. Serve plain, or with a sprinkle of powdered sugar, or a bit of slightly sweetened whipped cream. Serves 6 with 1 leftover.

Notes on the recipe:
The original Cooking Light recipe divided the batter between 10 (4-ounce) ramekins. I divided the batter to fit my 6-ounce ramekins. More (chocolate per serving) is better anyway.

The leftover mousse cakes are astounding for breakfast the next day. The texture changes from fluffy mousse to chocolate velvet.

This dish is all about chocolate. Don’t cheat on the quality. If you don’t like eating it out of hand you won’t like it in the mousse cakes. Once again, I recommend the Ghiradelli semi-sweet baking bars. For a mere 5 ounces it won’t break the bank.

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