I’m the kind of girl who likes to have my proverbial cake and eat it too. Dance all night but get up for early morning yoga. Settle in but not settle down. Free fall with a safety harness on. I’m also the kind of girl who does not buy into the whole single-girl-woe-is-me-I’ll-get-a-cat-instead mentality. I actually like a certain amount of time on my own. But cooking on my own is hard. I’ll happily whip up a four-course meal for a friend or bake two dozen cupcakes for coworkers, but home alone, I’m more apt to nibble on whatever happens to be in my fridge, which usually just contains condiments.
When I saw the title of this recipe in the February issue of Sunset, my first instinct was to mock it, but then I decided to try it. For a quick and super delightful chocolate fix for one, this is Shangri-la. It comes from Joy the Baker Cookbook (Hyperion, 2012; $20) by Joy Wilson and suggests adding peanut butter OR bourbon. I suggest BOTH by topping it with bourbon ice cream. This easy version of bourbon ice cream is less luxurious than ones made with egg yolks, but it does not need to be made ahead of time to cool properly.
Single-Girl Melty Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake with Easy Bourbon Ice Cream
For the ice cream (makes just under 2 cups):
- 2/3 cup heavy cream, cold
- 1/3 cup whole milk, cold
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 teas vanilla extract
- 1 Tbs Bourbon
Place all ingredients into a medium mixing bowl and whisk until well combined.
Pour into a conventional ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instruction (about 20-25 minutes in my Cusinart). Serve right away or place in an air tight container and freeze for 2 hours to increase firmness.
For the cake (makes 1):
- 1/2 teaspoon plus 1 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
- About 1 tsp. unsweetened cocoa (or use flour or sugar)
- 1/4 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1 large egg
- 4 teaspoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter or 1 tbsp. bourbon
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon flour
Preheat oven to 375° and set a baking sheet on rack in center of oven. Grease a 3/4-cup ramekin with 1/2 tsp. butter, then dust with unsweetened cocoa. Set aside.
Put 1 tbsp. butter and the chocolate chips in a small heatproof bowl set over a small pan of simmering water. Heat, stirring, until chocolate melts; let cool a few minutes.
Whisk egg, sugar, and peanut butter in a small bowl to blend. Whisk in chocolate mixture until well incorporated, then stir in salt and flour just until combined. Pour batter into ramekin. Set on baking sheet and bake until as done as you like, 7 to 10 minutes for a molten center (a 3/4-in. ring around the edge will look dull) or 10 to 12 minutes for a soft center (cake edge will puff slightly).
Let cake cool 2 minutes. Protecting hands, invert onto a plate. Eat right away.
Joy Wilson, Joy the Baker Cookbook, Sunset FEBRUARY 2012