A Valentine’s menu of dessert would not be complete without a chocolate dessert. After all, Valentine’s Day and chocolate are synonymous with each other. We see heart shaped boxes upon heart shaped boxes at the shops, all glistening in their crinkly, shiny wrapping papers and velvety bows. People scurry about carrying their loved ones favourite kind (mine is European chocolate). My husband gets me chocolate every Valentine’s Day, it’s the one thing I let him buy me. He also knows that he will be spending the night on the couch if he ever gets me those horrid ones from those big retailers.
Many will go out for a romantic dinner and there is a very fair chance that the dessert menu will have these luxuriously decadent cakes. Molten chocolate lava cakes, warm, gooey, oozy chocolate flowing lusciously from a chocolate cake shell. This is the first dessert I look for on a restaurant dessert menu and usually find it because they are so popular these days. Just the name of these delightful gems evokes warm and fuzzy images, comforting and homey. However, these babies are more than just comfort food, they are sophisticated, sensual and downright sexy.
They are great to share because they are so rich and decadent and beg to be spoon fed to that special someone with the hopes that the chocolate may drip a little. The warmth of the cake, the feel of the molten chocolate and the coolness of the ice cream complete the sensual experience. Perfect romance food.
These cakes are a cinch to make and you can make 6 of them for the price of one at a restaurant. There are only five ingredients in these cakes but together they work some chocolate magic. I used good quality chocolate but one that can be easily found at any supermarket. Don’t use the least expensive because this dessert is all about the chocolate. I am quite positive that a high quality chocolate like Valhrona will produce an incredibly superior result but these were pretty incredible too.
I used a recipe from Shirley Corriher’s book, Bakewise, which is an indispensable resource for bakers. I adapted it slightly by using chocolate chips rather than bar chocolate because store cupboards always have chocolate chips.
- 8oz/227g semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli)
- 2 sticks/227g unsalted butter
- 3 large eggs
- 3 large egg yolks
- 6 tablespoons/74g granulated sugar
- 5 tablespoons/40g plain/all purpose flour
- Arrange shelf on the lower third of the oven and place a baking stone or baking tray and preheat to 325℉/163℃.
- Spray six 4oz custard cups or ramekins with non stick cooking spray and line the bottom with a parchment circle.
- Put aside 6 tablespoons/65g of the chocolate chips.
- Put the remaining 5.7oz/162g of the chocolate chips in a microwaveable bowl along with the butter.
- Heat at 30 second intervals till the chocolate and butter are melted stirring after each 30 seconds. It took me 11/2 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- In a mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the whole eggs, yolks and sugar on medium speed until pale and thick; a full 15 minutes.
- Turn the speed to low and blend in the flour.
- Mix in the melted chocolate and continue to beat until glossy, about ⅔ minutes.
- Evenly divide the batter between the cups (will be quite full, my ramekins were 6oz ones)
- To each add 1 tablespoon of the reserved chocolate.
- Place on the hot baking stone or pan and bake until the outer edges are done but the centre is jiggly.
- Check at 10 minutes but it took me about 18 to get the edges done.
- Cool slightly.
- Run a knife around the outer edges and invert onto a serving plate.
- Dust with powdered sugar, if desired and serve immediately with vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream.
This is one recipe which is great to know, especially if you love chocolate. It’s really easy to make and doesn’t take too long but the results are spectacular.
Hoping you are all having a great week so far.