I have never in my life experienced a total flavor hole-in-one like this dessert. That is not to say there isn't another dessert that tastes this good. It would just be a challenge to find one that had all the mandatory components of a perfect dessert like this one: gooey chocolate cake that is served still warm, fluffy around the edges and soft in the center … add to that the heavenly mouth feel and buttery snap of home made caramel sauce and FORGET. ABOUT. IT.
This is a one-two punch of just what you're looking for in a holiday dessert — maybe even in life, in general. To lighten the mood just a bit, I add a nice, puffy cloud of hand-made whipped cream with just a hint of vanilla to the top of this beautiful inferno of sugar and joy.
To hear about this perfect creation and the love it spreads is made all the more ridiculous by one very important fact: A warm chocolate pudding cake with caramel sauce and vanilla whipped cream IS SO EASY TO MAKE, YOU ARE GOING TO CRY. Weep with Joy. It will renew your faith in mankind and have you shouting from the roof tops, "HAPPY HOLIDAYS … everyone!"
Let's get this party started … with a little help from Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings!
Warm Chocolate Pudding Cake with Caramel Sauce and Whipped Cream
CARAMEL SAUCE INGREDIENTS
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons of SALTED butter
Pinch of sea salt
Mix the brown sugar, heavy cream, butter, and salt in a thick-bottomed sauce pan over medium-low heat. Cook while whisking gently for 5 to 7 minutes, until it thickens and slowly moves down the back of a metal reason. Turn off the heat, cool slightly, and pour the sauce into a jar. Refrigerate until cold.
Make this first so it can cool while you make the cake.
Butter, room temperature, for baking dishes
1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for baking dishes
7 large eggs, room temperature, separated
6 ounces, semisweet chocolate, melted
6 ounces, milk chocolate, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 4 oz soufflé cups
Preheat oven to 350, wipe the inside of the soufflé cups with butter, and tap in a layer of sugar to coat the inside.
Separate egg whites and yolks. Mix the yolks, salt, and sugar together until smooth and set aside.
Melt the chocolate and add slowly to the egg mixture in small spoonfuls. (You don't want to scotch eggs with hot chocolate, so you add it slowly to temper the eggs.)
Let the mixture sit for a moment and rest.
Using an ice cream scooper, scoop mixture into soufflé cups. Let the cups sit in fridge for about 5 minutes then bake for 15-20 minutes. Adjust time, if your oven runs hotter or colder.
SPICED WHIPPED CREAM INGREDIENTS
1 pint of heavy cream — very cold
1 teaspoon vanilla
One teaspoon cold coffee
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of ginger
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
Mix ingredients in a blender, food processor, bowl, electric mixer, or KitchenAid until light and fluffy.
Eat it on everything!
Chef Saskia Nugent is a native of Cape Ann, Massachussetts, a mom, a wife, an animal lover, a part-time comedian, and a full-time flavor junky.