The Altitude Adjustment Section
This recipe is from Thomas Keller of The French Laundry and Per Se fame. Keeping with the homemade gift idea, for some, nothing but chocolate will do — and you know who you are. This requires a special 3 ounce timbale mold which is available on line at Sur la Table or amazon.com.
3/4 cup (3 1/2 ounces) flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, melted and just slightly warm
6 ounces semisweet chocolate,chopped small
Butter and flour for the timbale molds
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder and salt. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the eggs and sugar on medium speed until thick and pale in color, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix until incorporated. With the mixer on low speed, add about one-third of the dry ingredients, then one-third of the butter, and continue alternating with the remaining flour and butter. Add the chocolate and continue to mix to combine. (The batter can be made up to this point and refrigerated, covered, for up to one day.)
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 12 timbale molds. Set aside. Put the timbale molds on a baking sheet. Place the batter in a pastry bag without a tip, or with a large plain tip, and fill each mold about two-thirds full. Bake the bouchons until the tops are shiny and set (like a brownie), and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out moist but clean (there may be some melted chocolate from the chopped chocolate), 20 to 25 minutes.Transfer the bouchons to a cooling rack. After a couple of minutes, invert the molds and let the bouchons cool in the molds. Remove the molds and serve, or store until needed (the bouchons are best eaten the day they are baked). To serve, dust them with powdered sugar. Serve with ice cream, if desired.