Personally, I love Valentine’s Day. Some people might say it’s too commercial — only existing to make Hallmark some money or torture dateless singles — but I think a day devoted to celebrating love and taking some time to really appreciate your relationship and each other has some definite merits. Sometimes you need a silly holiday as a reminder to say “I Love You” a few more times a day and appreciate the one you love (and be appreciated yourself, too!). I understand if you’re not a cornball like me, but at least you have to admit that Valentine’s Day is good for something — the CHOCOLATE!
Ryan and I had the most amazing chocolate lava cake at a nearby restaurant a few weeks ago, so good he actually claimed “I think this is the best thing I’ve ever eaten!”, and after learning how incredibly easy they can be to make, I knew I’d want to make some Valentine’s Day themed ones for him. Since I have an exam on Valentine’s Day (on heart pathophysiology no less), I knew I wouldn’t have much time to bake closer to the holiday, and did what all food bloggers do — made holiday-themed treats way ahead of time in order to inspire readers enough in advance for their baking plans. So, 3 weeks before Valentine’s Day, I bring you heart-shaped molten chocolate lava cakes that will be sure to impress your significant lover. Just look at that deliciousness…
Seriously, this recipe really couldn’t be any easier. I would highly suggest this to any guy or non-domestic gal looking to impress their date with a decadent chocolate treat — it’s very fancy and yummy, without much work. No special techniques or equipment required, although if you want to make them heart-shaped like I did, you’ll need a pan like this. But of course you could just use custard cups or very well-greased muffin tins. Not only is the recipe easy, but it comes together and bakes very quickly, so it’s great if you have a special dinner menu planned too :) If you’re feeling extra spiffy, make some homemade cinnamon whipped cream to top it off. When Ryan and I had this at the restaurant it was served with cinnamon gelato and was out of this world, but for the sake of time I opted for a fluffy whipped cream instead. But check out my cinnamon ice cream recipe if you have time, because it’s an awesome combination!
Chocolate Lava Cakes
Adapted from Tasty Kitchen
For the cake:
4 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate
1/2 cup butter
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 egg yolks
6 tablespoons flour
For the cinnamon whipped cream:
2 cups whipping cream
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
– Preheat oven to 425 degrees
– Spray 8 muffin tins (or 4 custard cups) with Pam and set aside
– Microwave chocolate and butter in a large bowl on high for 1 minute, until butter is melted. Whisk until chocolate is melted.
– Add sugar and stir until well-blended. Whisk in eggs and egg yolks. Sprinkle flour on top and fold in gently with a spatula.
– Divide batter between cups (I used an ice cream scoop for ease)
– Bake 13-14 minutes until sides are firm but the center is soft. Let them stand in the pan for 1 minute.
– Put a plate on top of the cakes and invert carefully. I used a spatula to carefully transfer each cake to individual plates.
– For the whipped cream, beat cream on high speed until stiff peaks form. Add the sugar and cinnamon and beat until well incorporated.
– Top cakes with whipped cream and enjoy immediately while still warm and gooey!
Note: You can make the batter ahead of time, refrigerate it, and then take it out to come to room temperature right before baking. I made the batter in the morning and baked them off at night and they came out great, but I’m not sure how much longer the batter would hold up.