A fabulous dessert is the perfect way to wind up a satisfying meal, so we’ve created little cakes that give a hit of chocolate but are still light. You can make the cakes a day ahead, if you like, then bake just before serving.
After baked cakes stand 5 minutes, turn out and cool. Place on a plate, wrap in plastic and refrigerate up to 2 days. To reheat, remove wrap. Microwave cakes individually, bottom-side up on a plate, on medium, 30 to 45 seconds. Or heat several, uncovered on a baking sheet in a preheated 450F (230C) oven, about 4 minutes.
Orange liqueur crème anglaise
Split 1 fresh vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Scrape seeds from pod into a small saucepan. Add pod. Stir in 1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream and 1/2 cup (125 mL) 2 per cent milk. Bring to a boil, uncovered and stirring occasionally, over medium heat. Meanwhile, whisk 4 egg yolks with 1/4 cup (50 mL) granulated sugar in top of a double boiler or heatproof bowl until sugar is dissolved. Gradually whisk cream mixture into yolk mixture. Set over bottom of a double boiler or pan of simmering water. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until thick enough to coat back of spoon, 10 to 12 minutes. Do not let it boil. Remove from heat. Discard pod, then strain sauce through a fine sieve, if you wish. Stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons (15 to 30 mL) orange liqueur. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 1-1/2 cups (375 mL). If making ahead, press plastic wrap into surface and refrigerate up to 1 day. Reheat over simmering water or in microwave on low, stirring often.