Basque chocolate cakes are a cross between a cookie and a brownie. Dark chocolate cakes filled with white chocolate for a delightful contrast.
A few weeks ago I was running errands with a librarian friend of mine and she mentioned that a local book store was having a sale. We didn’t have time to stop by but I made sure to go back with another friend. They had great deals on cookbooks so I bought a bunch and a few other books just for fun. I thought I might be able to find some inspiration for new recipes among them.
One of the first recipes that caught my eye was in Chocolate Galore by Caroline Barty. Her Basque Chocolate Cakes looked like a fun snack. Although she claimed these are popular in the Basque region of France, I couldn’t find anything like them when I did a Google search so maybe they’re popular in a particular town.
The recipe here is pretty close to what was in her book except I tried to make the directions more clear and I added a little flavoring to improve the taste. Basically you start with a dark chocolate cookie dough. The dough uses a 70% cocao bar so you get a nice rich flavor. I used Green & Blacks but you can use Lindt, Ghirardelli, or whatever your favorite is.
Instead of dropping teaspoons of dough into the muffin pan and pressing flat, I rolled my dough into balls and pressed them flat before putting them into the bottom of my muffin tins. This kept the dough from cracking quite as much. You want to seal in the white chocolate so you don’t want cracks. I also did the same with the dough I used to cover the white chocolate. Again, it made it easier to seal in the chocolate without cracking the dough.
I used a Cadbury Dream bar for my white chocolate because Cadbury bars have smaller, thicker squares than most white chocolate bars. The Dream bar squares fit perfectly in the middle of my cakes and left enough room to seal the top cookie layer with the bottom one. If you don’t have Cadbury Dream bars on hand, you can substitute Lindt or Ghirardelli but you’ll need to cut the squares to fit. I’d also put 2 layers of Lindt or Ghirardelli chocolate in the middle of my cakes because they are thinner than the Cadbury.
Caroline Barty recommends serving these warm with whipped cream and they really are best that way. However, I took mine to the office and they disappeared quite quickly at our coffee hour even though they weren’t warm any more. They travel well so they’d be a great addition to school lunches.
- Melt butter and chocolate together. Let cool about 5 minutes
- Beat sugar and egg until light and fluffy. Add the chocolate mixture and vanilla to the egg mixture.
- Mix flour and baking powder into the wet ingredients. Divide dough in half, wrap each half with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
- Brush muffin tin or silicone cupcake holders lightly with oil.
- Divide first half of dough into 12 parts (they will be about 1 heaping tablespoon of dough each). Press 1 piece of dough in the bottom of each muffin cup.
- Put 1 square of white chocolate in the center of the dough.
- Divide the other half of the dough into 12 parts and flatten each out into a circle. Place one circle of dough on top of each cake and press along the edges to seal. Bake at 325° F (170°C) for 15 minutes. Let cool until lukewarm. Remove from pans. Serve warm.
I used a Cadbury dream bar for the white chocolate. Cadbury squares are small and thick (about 0.5" square and 0.25" thick) which gives a nice amount of chocolate in the center. Lindt and Ghirardelli squares are too wide and not thick enough. If you use Lindt or Ghirardelli, chop the squares in fourths and stack 2 fourths together for 1 "square" of chocolate.