There are recipes you make once and then there are those that you couldn’t leave well enough alone. When I first made Thomas Keller’s chocolate bouchons, all I had were big 3-ounce timbale molds from Sur la Table. This chocolate number, despite its size, was pretty heavy and a couple of bites were more than enough to satisfy even the most ingrained chocolate lover. My desire to look for smaller molds intensified when I actually had a divine taste of these little gems at the eponymous Bouchon Bakery at Napa Valley. They actually used silicone molds, available at J.B. Prince, but they come only in full sheet sizes. I asked customer service if I could cut it in half but the lady I spoke to replied “ You could, but I do not recommend it.” Helpful, huh?
They also had the individual 1.5 ounce molds. I heed and hawed about buying them – for a couple of reasons – they come out to be more expensive, are more trouble to wash and store. And I do not need more baking dishes!
Oh well, I eventually gave in. Resistance was futile once the image of cute little bouchons started dancing in my head. So here it is – a replay of the bouchon recipe. I am happy to say that they look and taste pretty darn close to the original!
I actually remembered to cool the bouchons upside down in their molds this time around. This step helped keep its cork-shape perfectly. With the smaller mold size, cooking time is around 18 minutes in a 350F oven. I used 1/2 tsp of salt compared to the 1 tsp the recipe originally called for. Also, I was more mindful of how I chopped the chocolate and did not have problems with the pastry bag this time. They also make great dinner desserts because you can make the batter a day ahead. The bouchons are also darker for this batch because I used Valrhona unsweetened cocoa instead of Scharffenberger. As usual, the best part is the melted chocolate speckled throughout its interior.