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.)