Warm Chocolate Puddle Cakes With Cherry Cream

Pairs perfectly with A True Gentleman's Port (available to club members only)

Recipe by Chef Josh Silvers

1⁄2 cup (1 stick) plus 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1⁄2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1⁄3 cup mascarpone cheese at room temperature
1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt

Cherry Cream
1 cup fresh cherries, pitted (or frozen cherries, thawed and drained, if fresh are unavailable)
1 tablespoon Kirschwasser (cherry brandy), optional
1 1⁄2 cups heavy cream
Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 325°F and butter six 6-ounce coffee cups or ramekins. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate over medium-low heat until smooth. Remove from the heat, pour into a bowl, and whisk in the cocoa, then the sugar, until smooth. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat in the eggs and vanilla until smooth. Beat in the mascarpone until smooth. Stir in the flour and salt until blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Divide the batter among the prepared cups or ramekins and bake until the cakes are set around the edges but still liquid in the center, 10 to 15 minutes; do not overbake. Let cool 2 to 3 minutes.

To make the cherry cream: In a blender, combine the cherries and brandy, if using. Blend until smooth. Add the cream and salt and pulse until well combined and slightly thickened. Use at once, or cover and chill for up to 12 hours. Makes about 3 cups

To serve, place the puddle cakes onto individual dessert plates. Pour 4 tablespoons of cherry cream over each cake or serve in small pitchers on the side. Makes 6 servings