03 February 2011

Happy Snow Day To Me

Triple Chocolate Babycake studded with bittersweet chunks

Today is a day for celebration. I did my taxes (before April 14 for the first time ever in my life). I shoveled (a lot). I was able to start the car (eventually). And while I've been trying to lay off chocolate in anticipation of the dark things I intend to bake for Valentine's Day, I decided there was no harm in enjoying a few Triple Chocolate Babycakes on a blustery day of such fine accomplishment.

These cakes are small and unadorned for a reason: they are meltingly rich and a few bites will do you (not that I am anyone to judge responsible chocolate intake), and frosting would be unwelcome overkill. 

I enjoyed mine with an icy cold glass of milk, shared a few, and froze the rest.

The moist and gooey insides

Triple Chocolate Babycakes

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped (I used 3/4 of a Ghirardelli 70% cacao bittersweet baking bar)
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (chips work fine, too, of course)
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60% cacao), coarsely chopped (chips, again, are fine)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt (if you use unsalted butter, use a 1/2 teaspoon salt)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Position racks in upper and lower thirds of oven. Line or grease muffin tins (I used 2 standard tins — one 12-cup and one 6-cup — but filled only 16 cups).

Whisk flour, salt and baking soda together. Set aside.

Melt unsweetened chocolate and 1/2 cup of the semisweet chunks in microwave or double boiler. Set aside to cool slightly.

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated.

Add melted chocolate to butter/sugar/egg mixture, mixing well.

Add flour mixture and milk to batter, alternating in a few batches. 

Fold in the bittersweet chunks and remaining semisweet chunks.

Fill prepared muffins cups about 3/4 of the way.

Bake in preheated oven for 24-26 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. (You can test for doneness with a cake tester / toothpick, but try to avoid any molten chunks that might throw you off. Good luck. ... Really, though, the cakes will set up nicely and lose that wet look when fully cooked. Also, it's a good rule of thumb to check them when you smell them.) 

Cool in pans about 15 minutes before releasing to wire racks to continue cooling.

Serve warm or cooled, as is or with a scoop of your favorite vanilla bean ice cream.

(Recipe makes 14-16 Triple Chocolate Babycakes, depending on the size of the tins. Babycakes freeze well.)


  1. I showed this post to my 9 year old, and he begged for me to make them tonight - we are a family of chocoholics! They are THE BEST!!!! And so easy to make - the recipe was easy to follow, and took less than 20 minutes to whip up! Brava!!!!

  2. I was so happy to read this — and thankful to your 9-year-old. Thank you. ... Brace yourselves for the days leading up to Valentine's Day; more chocolate projects are in the works.

  3. I have a new, not terribly fancy microwave but it sure beats the Suzy Easybake type I had previously... my question is, at what temp and for how long do you suggest setting it to melt chocolate? I don't think I can handle jerryrigging a double boiler. - Brenda

  4. Honestly, Brenda, my microwave is spotty, too. I place the chocolate chunks/chips in a glass bowl and microwave on high for 25 seconds, check and stir, then another 25 seconds, check and stir, then another 25 seconds (or less, depending on progress), check and stir. You won't be going on all day like this, I promise, but it is important to keep checking and stirring. I use this method all the time; it always works.

  5. Oh, and your comment reminds me of the Holly Hobbie Oven I had back in the day. I used to dream about that blue powerhouse before I actually had one.

  6. I actually loved my Easybake oven and used it a lot. I remember making "brownies" (made from mixes in sealed packets) that were really more like spongy cupcakes and tasted a bit like chocolate-flavored chalk, but hey, it was fun to cook! Later, I used the old-fashioned gas oven in the basement of my parents' house to try out recipes from TV cooking shows. My mom, I am sorry to say, but it's true, was/is a terrible cook, so I was trying to teach myself. - Brenda (I keep posting as Anonymous coz I don't know how to use the other "comment as" selections.)

  7. I bought one for my nephew for Christmas a few years ago, along with an apron, chef's hat and various utensils. He was 2 or 3 at the time and loved to bake/cook/help in the kitchen. ... I can just see you as a kid in the basement, cooking up a Julia Child-inspired creation. So cute. ... As far as the "comment as" options go, several are a mystery to me. Do you have a Google account? Regardless, "anonymous" works just fine.