Valentine Gooey Chocolate Lava Cakes

lava-cake
Photograph by Jamie Maldonado

The most romantic day of the year is nearly upon us. A time to show your love to the ones near and dear to you. It is a very special day in our household because thirty years ago, my husband and I had our first date on Valentine’s Day. Now, almost twenty eight years, three daughters, numerous cats, hamsters, and a few dogs later…well, you get the point. We’ve enjoyed many years of wedded bliss, but it all began on that first Valentine’s Day date. Many a newlywed can trace their first meeting back to that same day. Some couples even set their wedding date on this traditional day of love. Even if Valentine’s Day didn’t factor into your courtship, you can make this day very special and create memories of a lifetime. Whether you spend it lavishing someone with gifts, preparing for that one of a kind proposal, or just reminding those around you how much they are loved, Valentine’s Day is indeed a sweet time of the year.

Not sure where to begin? The answer is chocolate. Warm, ooey gooey chocolate. That’s romantic, right? What better way to end a romantic evening! If you plan on going out to celebrate, skip the dessert and come home, get comfy, put the kids to bed (if applicable) and enjoy a great end to a great day…just the two of you. This dessert literally takes less time to prepare than it does for the oven to preheat and it bakes almost as fast, so quick and easy! All you’ll need (that’s probably not already in your pantry) is some bittersweet chocolate. Grab a bar or two ahead of time, even bittersweet chocolate chips will work, and you’ll be all set to go. These can be prepped a day or so ahead of time and kept in the fridge until ready to bake! Win!

What You Need:

  • 4 tablespoons butter (½ stick), plus more for coating ramekins
  • 2 ounces good quality bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate (about ¼ cup) broken into pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 six ounce ramekins or glass custard cups, buttered

What to Do:

  1. If you are planning on making and serving the cakes immediately, preheat the oven to 425°.
  2. In a medium size bowl, combine butter and chocolate and microwave about one minute. Stir well, making sure chocolate is melted and combined well with the butter.
  3. In a separate medium size bowl, whisk the egg, yolk and sugar together until lighter in color and slightly thicker – about one minute. Slowly whisk in the chocolate mixture until incorporated. Next, stir in the flour and salt until smooth.
  4. Divide batter evenly in the buttered ramekins or custard cups
  5. Place ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for about 9 minutes. If your ramekins are shallow, 8 minutes will probably do. Deeper custard cups, bake closer to 10 minutes. The cakes should be dry looking around the edges, but the centers should still be a little jiggly – not runny, but definitely a bit wobbly
  6. Remove from the oven and let sit for one minute. Run a knife around the edges to loosen. Invert cakes onto a serving plate (or serve right in the dish) and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with fresh berries, fudge sauce, ice cream and/or whipped cream. Mmm. Heaven.

Make Now & Bake Later

  1. To bake the next day, prepare batter using the previous steps. When you reach step four, carefully cover batter with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to one day.
  2. When it’s time to bake the made ahead cakes, preheat oven to 425° and bake the cold versions for about 12-13 minutes. Watch for the centers to still be wobbly but not dry.
    Note: If over-baked a bit, they will still be yummy, just not as molten.

These little molten cakes would certainly put the icing on a romantic Valentine’s Day. Served with a little champagne and eaten by candlelight – now that would make any heart swoon. ENJOY!