Valentine’s Day Treats: Molten Lava Cakes

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Do not let the exterior fool you – these are oozing with chocolate lava inside

I don’t often have the propensity to bake desserts in the kitchen, as I much prefer learning about the techniques and ingredients that go into the main meal. It’s also sometimes hard for me to stomach every component that is mixed into the various sweet treats that even I enjoy. There are — however — always exceptions to my own rules or sentiments, particularly when special occasions are concerned.

For Valentine’s Day, I decided to craft something simple, but ripe with flavor and appropriate for the occasion. I came across a recipe in my kitchen that fit the bill, as it consisted of few ingredients and an unbelievably short prep/hands on cook time. Cooking rhetoric is rife with molten lava cake recipes along the same lines as this one, but I felt this one was the most practical of them all. I also already had most of the ingredients in my possession, as well as some red ramekins in my kitchen cupboard. The seamlessness of the recipe, coupled with my own yearning to try these lava cakes myself, made the decision to make these an easy one.

I’m not even a chocolate lover, per-say, but when I do indulge I prefer an aggressive onslaught of rich, chocolate flavor on my palette. Perhaps the most important part of this recipe is selecting a relatively high-quality chocolate. I chose bittersweet Ghirardelli chocolate, also consisting of 60% cacao. The world is your oyster as far as garnishing is concerned. I opted for the classic raspberry-mint topping, but coconut flakes and sea salt are also more than viable options. You’ll be sure to impress any special significant other, family member, or friend by presenting them with this decadent dessert.

A very belated Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your loved ones (and enjoy the chocolate onslaught).

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Molten Lava Cakes
Recipe taken from food.com
Serves 2

4 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 oz. high-quality bittersweet chocolate or semisweet chocolate, broken into pieces
1 large egg
egg yolk
3 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 pinch salt
2 tbsp. flour

If making and serving the cakes at once, preheat oven to 425°F Butter two 3/4-cup ceramic ramekins or ovenproof glass custard cups.

In double boiler or in the microwave, melt butter with the chocolate, stirring to combine. Remove from heat immediately. In medium bowl, whisk egg and yolk lightly, then add sugar and salt and whisk until blended and slightly paler and thickened, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the melted chocolate, in a stream, then whisk in flour. Divide batter between buttered ramekins.

Bake cakes on a baking sheet in preheated oven about 10 minutes if preparing immediately, up to 14 minutes if baking after refrigerating. Go by appearance, rather than time: The cakes should be firm on the outside and dry across the top, but the center 1 inch or so should still be quite wobbly.

Remove from oven and let stand 1 minute. Run knife around sides to loosen, then turn them out onto individual serving plates. Sift powdered sugar over them, if desired, and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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