Richer than a cupcake but lighter than a brownie, these two-bite chocolate cakes are perfect just as they are, but you can also doll them up with frosting. Don’t substitute standard-size muffin pans, because they don’t bake properly as full-size cupcakes.
Adapted from “Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-your-Mouth Cookies” by Alice Medrich.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven.
Combine the flour, cocoa, and salt in a small bowl and mix thoroughly with a whisk or fork.
Place the butter and chocolate in a medium to large heatproof bowl set directly in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir frequently until the chocolate and butter are melted and quite warm to the touch. Remove the bowl from the water bath. Whisk in the sugar and vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well to blend each before adding the next. Add the flour mixture and whisk just until smooth and blended, not longer.
Spoon about 1 ½ tablespoons of the batter into each muffin cup — the batter will come almost to the top of each liner. Bake for 14-18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Rotate the pans from front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking. Cool the cakes on a rack.