Warm Valrhona Chocolate Cake with Cocoa Fudge Sauce and Mint Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

“This popular cake is a cross between a molten chocolate cake and a brownie,” says Adam R. Weiss, executive chef of Esty Street in Park Ridge. “At Esty Street, I set the plate with a shot glass of cocoa fudge sauce topped with whipped cream alongside a scoop of house-made mint chocolate chunk ice cream.”

Photo by Laura Moss.

“Cocoa nibs are the outer shell of a cocoa bean. In this dish I use the nibs as an anchor to hold the ice cream in place so it doesn’t melt over the top like a traditional brownie sundae. A dusting of cocoa powder and a sprig of mint finish the dish. This is my modern twist to a warm chocolate brownie.”

Serves: 4-5 people


4 eggs
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
4 ounces unsalted butter
8 ounces Valrhona Manjari chocolate (bittersweet chocolate)
1 ¼ ounces all-purpose flour
¾ ounce Valrhona cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon table salt
¾ teaspoon bourbon vanilla extract


1.    In an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, whip together the eggs and sugar on high speed.
2.    While whipping, melt the unsalted butter and Valrhona chocolate separately over a double boiler or in the microwave.  Mix together and set aside.
3.    Sift together the all-purpose flour, cocoa powder and table salt.
4.    Add the melted butter-chocolate mixture to the whipped eggs.
5.    Add the sifted dry ingredients to the batter along with the vanilla extract.
6.    Ladle about three ounces of cake batter into greased (6 inch flan molds) on parchment paper lined sheet, or you can use custard cups.
7.    Bake at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes or until the cake looks slightly set on top. If the batter jiggles, bake it more. The cakes should not be cracked or they will be dry.
8.    Cool slightly and remove from molds. Either serve immediately or refrigerate and reheat in a low temperature oven.


Makes ½ quart
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup light brown sugar
4 ounces unsalted butter
¾ cup Valrhona cocoa powder
½ teaspoon bourbon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon kosher salt


1.    In a medium pot, bring the heavy cream, light brown sugar and butter to a boil, whisking occasionally.
2.    Turn off the heat, whisk in the cocoa powder, vanilla extract and kosher salt.
3.    Strain through a sieve and chill.
4.    The sauce can be served at about room temperature. Do not heat or the sauce will separate.


1 quart
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
4 ounces sugar
4 egg yolks
½ bunch mint, rinsed
1/8 teaspoon table salt
2 ounces Valrhona Manjari chocolate (bittersweet chocolate), chopped


1.    Bring the heavy cream, milk and sugar to a boil.
2.    Whisk in the egg yolks and salt slowly to temper.
3.    Place back over low heat, and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens.  DO NOT BOIL.
4.    Strain through a sieve.
5.    Add the mint and let steep for one hour or refrigerate overnight.
6.    Strain out the mint and run in an ice cream machine following the manufacturer’s instructions.
7.    Fold in the chopped chocolate and freeze overnight to set.

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