Try these irresistible bite-sized wonders from chef Lena Kwak. They’re fun to eat, but don’t forget to share! The frosting is best used immediately, so for optimal results, make the frosting while the bouchons are baking. — Will Budiaman
*Note: Cup4Cup flour is a gluten-free flour developed by chef Lena Kwak with the support of Thomas Keller. It can be found at Williams-Sonoma. If it is not available to you, replace with equal amounts of regular all-purpose flour.
Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook the sugar until it resembles caramel, turning thick in consistency and dark amber in color.
Remove from heat and whisk in the cream and vanilla extract. (Be sure to protect your arms as hot sugar tends to “jump” from the pan.) Set aside to cool completely.
In a mixer ﬁtted with the paddle attachment, whip the butter until light and ﬂuffy. Add in the powdered sugar and salt, mixing until fully incorporated. Over medium speed, add the cooled caramel and beat until airy. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Grease 12 timbale molds with butter and dust them with flour. Set aside.
Sift the ﬂour, cocoa powder, and salt into a bowl and set aside. In the bowl of a mixer ﬁtted with the paddle attachment, mix together the eggs and sugar on medium speed until thick and very pale in color, about 3-5 minutes. Add the vanilla extract.
Reduce speed to low and add about 1/3 of the dry ingredients, then 1/3 of the butter, and continue alternating with the remaining ﬂour and butter. Add the chocolate and mix to combine. (The batter can be refrigerated for up to 1 day.)
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 2/3 full.
Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. When the tops look shiny and set (like a brownie), test 1 cake with a wooden skewer or toothpick: It should come out clean but not dry (there may be some melted chocolate from the chopped chocolate). Transfer the bouchons to a cooling rack.
After 4-5 minutes, invert the timbale molds and let the bouchons cool upside down in the molds; then lift off the molds. (The bouchons are best eaten the day they are baked.) Frost and serve with ice cream, if desired.