Cookbook Preview: Vegan Chocolate by Fran Costigan, Part 3

Fran Costigan’s new dessert cookbook, Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts*, is due to hit stores in mid October, but you can pre-order one now. In the meantime, how about trying her luscious Chocolate Dulce de Leche, Gluten-Free Chocolate Chunk Cookie or the recipe below?

Brownie Pudding Cakelettes

Brownie Pudding Cakelettes – Photographs by Kate Lewis, courtesy of Running Press

There is almost nothing I’d rather bake and eat than these curious cakes that separate into two layers––moist cake and chocolate sauce—as they bake. I’ve often wondered if old-time pudding cakes were the pioneers for today’s refined molten chocolate cakes. Frankly, I like pudding cakes better and they are certainly easier to make. While topping each cake with a scoop of Chocolate Espresso Gelato (page 198) may seem required, these cakes are fabulous served au natural. Bake the cakes during dinner and serve warm for dessert. The oat flour (see Sidebar, page 81) is easy to make, but you can use an extra tablespoon of pastry flour instead of the oat flour.

Makes 6 cakelettes

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons / 108 grams organic whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup / 127 grams organic whole cane sugar, ground in a blender until powdered
1/2 cup / 58 grams Dutch-process cocoa powder, divided
1 tablespoon / 6 grams arrowroot or tapioca starch (7 grams)
1 tablespoon / 6 grams oat flour (substitute 1 tablespoon / 10 grams  whole wheat pastry flour)
2 teaspoons / 10 grams aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup / 207 grams organic granulated sugar
1/2 cup / 120 ml any nondairy milk, at room temperature
1/4 cup / 60 ml coconut oil, melted, or mild tasting extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon / 5 ml pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups / 360 ml boiling water

  1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350ºF / 180ºC. Place six 1/2-cup / 120-ml ovenproof ramekins on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Oil the sides and bottoms of the cups.
  2. Place a wire mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Add the pastry flour, whole cane sugar, 1/4 cup / 25 grams of the cocoa, the arrowroot, oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the strainer and stir with a wire whisk to sift the ingredients into the bowl. (If any small bits remain in the strainer, add them to the mixture in the bowl.) Whisk to aerate the mixture.
  3. Sift the remaining 1/4 cup of the cocoa and the granulated sugar through a sieve into a small bowl and set aside.
  4. Whisk the nondairy milk, oil, and vanilla in a separate small bowl until completely combined. Pour into the dry mixture and stir with a silicone spatula until the batter is smooth. Expect the batter to be fairly thick.
  5. Divide the batter among the prepared ramekins, using a scant 1/3 cup / 80 ml of batter for each. Sprinkle the top of each cake with scant 3 table-spoons of the cocoa/sugar mixture. Pour 1/4 cup / 60 ml of the boiling water over each; do not stir.
  6. Set the baking pan on the center rack of the preheated oven. Bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Open the oven door and carefully and quickly insert a dinner knife in the center of each cake. If the sauce center is oozy and has thickened, remove the cakelettes from the oven. If not, return the cakes to the oven for 3 to 5 minutes longer. Expect the cake and sauce to have oozed over the sides. Remove from the oven and set the baking pan on a wire rack. Wait about 10 minutes, or until the cakes are no longer steaming hot before serving.

The cakelettes are best served warm, but they taste good at room temperature or even chilled, although the textures will be different. Add a small scoop of any of the frozen desserts in Chapter Eight.

The cakelettes can be baked up to two days ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container. Warm in a 350ºF / 180ºC oven for 5 to 8 minutes or eat the cakes chilled.

From Rolled Oats to Oat Flour
You can make your own oat flour using rolled oats you toast and grind in a blender. Preheat the oven to 325ºF / 160ºC. Spread the oats on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Toast the oats in the oven for 5 minutes, then remove and cool completely. Use the toasted oats in recipes like the Chocolate Pecan Cranberry Coffee Cake (page 75).

To make oat flour, grind the toasted oats in a blender or clean coffee or nut grinder until they are the fine consistency of flour (a food processor does not make fine enough flour). Depending on the type of blender, grind 1/2 to 1 cup of oats at a time (about 50 to 100 grams). Each cup of oat flour requires approximately 1 1/4 cups / 125 grams of rolled oats.

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