Valentine’s Day Dessert – LivePretty Lava Cakes

Chocolate molten/lava cakes – perfect for Valentine’s Day

LivePretty Lava CakesWe’ve made these a hundred times. These cakes are perfect for an ending to a nice dinner – and guests are always impressed. Although I’d say the most impressed are the children. The base recipe is easy and easy to customize.  For example:

For the holidays: This is a Valentine’s Day staple – we enjoy ‘family’ Valentine’s Day dinner (Mommy, Daddy and the two little ones enjoying a fancy dinner at home sharing stories about how the ‘prince and princess’ met). This year, I added pink salt in honor of Valentine’s Day.  Christmas, I added peppermint extract and crushed (powdered) candy canes. I’ve also added crushed lavender (about 1/4 teaspoon). Add spice for a kicking’ chocolate cake – maybe some cayenne (just a small amount).  But back to this recipe – as I typically do, I research various recipes and adjust. Years ago I found this recipe on Food Network, added my spin, and has been a make again for years.

Ingredients

6 oz bittersweet chocolate

3 oz semisweet chocolate.  Note: this ratio varies often according to what I have in the house. Basically, 8-9 oz of chocolate – weighing heavier on the bittersweet side simply because of the addition of sugar later. I’ll even use unique candy bars I have from Trader Joes.

1  1/4 sticks of unsalted butter

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 1/2 cup of confectioners sugar

3 eggs

3 egg yolks (save those whites for an omelette)

1  1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon liqueur (optional – orange, cherry will work, I’ve even used bourbon)

Pinch of coarse salt

6 6-0z glass ramekins – sprayed well oil, or buttered

Preheat oven to 425

Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler. Add flour – mix well. Add sugar and stir until blended well. The mixture gets thick. Remove from heat and add eggs, stirring again until smooth. Add vanilla, liqueur and salt. In order to get a smooth consistency, you may have to return the double boiler to low heat to ‘loosen’ it up. Shouldn’t take too long.

Divide evenly into ramekins.

Bake for about 6-7 minutes. Note: one recipe I originally referenced stated 14 minutes – way too long. After you try this a couple of times, you’ll determine your time. Ours works at 6-7 minutes for the perfect oozing consistency. The edges should crisp a bit and separate from bowl. It’s done.

Let cool for just a few minutes. Gently use a knife to loosen the edges of the cake (if necessary). Invert on a glass plate. Should come out easily. Be patient if not, let it fall away from bowl.  This is why you’ll need to generously spray ramekins.

While you could eat these with nothing else with, we’ve added vanilla sauce, or vanilla ice cream on the side. Raspberry sauce also works.

Enjoy – be creative and make them yours.

Enjoy this special dessert for your Valentine’s Day.

Rod

Combining his love of food and communications, Rod is a marketing guru with extensive experience in the healthcare, restaurant and luxury services industry. Rod’s special talent is cooking. He makes magic in the kitchen by relying on fresh foods and unique flavors. He is married to Beth, and together they have two little girls. Rod and Beth have the perfect Live Pretty partnership: he cooks fabulous dishes and she creates the beautiful ambiance that combines to make their events special and unforgettable.

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