Oooh, chocolate! It is one of the best ways to say “I love you” on Valentine’s Day. Some people say it’s better than … wait, we won’t go there!
Chemically complex but simply pleasing, chocolate is a very popular flavor, second only to vanilla (there’s a dichotomy for you!). It comes in many forms, from a candy bar to ice cream to a frothy cup of hot chocolate.
The following recipe is one of my favorites. I first encountered it in a fancy restaurant, but it is easy enough to make at home. What makes it so appealing is the flavor profile of chocolate. Think of how the flavor blooms as you take a bite of chocolate and it begins to melt in your mouth! The warmer temperatures release the magic of the flavor ensconced in the butterfat. This chocolate ‘cake’ is meant to be served fresh and warm, capturing that flavor profile. With the compliments of fresh raspberry purée and a dollop of whipped cream you can just go round and round.
The key to this recipe is really good chocolate; scrimp at your peril. Go into your favorite Co-op store and check out our great selection of fair trade and organic chocolate! If you don’t have time to cook, head right to the Prepared Food Department and pick up one of the great desserts they have prepared for the holiday, including but not limited to Chocolate Dipped Strawberries! Head on over to Floral and pick up a fragrant bloom that is bound to please. Whatever you do, remember your significant other! (We don’t sell doghouses!)
Hacks—some serve this with ice cream, but I would recommend salted caramel.
Chocolate Lava Cake
This recipe is for a romantic dinner for two! It is very easy to just multiply if you are expecting company or a small dinner party.
2 oz. dark chocolate (60-80%)
2 oz. unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
1 large egg
1/3 cup sugar
3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
Extra butter and flour, for preparing ramekins
For the Raspberry Purée
1 cup raspberries
1 Tbs. sugar
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar (if you are daring!)
Preheat oven to 400ºF.
Prepare ramekins with butter and flour. In a medium bowl melt chocolate and butter together. Purists use a double boiler. I’m fine with the microwave. Low to medium, take your time.
Add the sugar and eggs and whisk until smooth. Add the flour; do not over mix.
Divide evenly across ramekins. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until edges are set but the center still wiggles. Do not overbake!
Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes; gently loosen the edges with a knife and invert onto serving dish.
For the Raspberry Purée
Bring ingredients briefly to a boil. Strain if you don’t like the seeds (or strain half!). Serve with fresh whipped cream or your favorite ice cream.
Having a party? Use a cupcake tin if you don’t own a bunch of ramekins. This cake will directly reflect your choice of chocolate.
Fancy: Dust with confectioner’s sugar, paint the plate with the raspberry purée, and garnish with a mint leaf.
To make gluten free, substitute coconut flour.