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Dorothy Dean presents: Decadent chocolate lava cakes, just in time for Valentine’s Day

Nothing screams Valentine’s Day more to me than chocolate. Not surprising, seeing that it’s the most traditional gift given Feb. 14, over cards, flowers, dinner and jewelry.

What’s better than a heart-shaped box of chocolates? A homemade confection, and the most decadent one at that! Lava cake is as irresistible, rich and chocolatey as they come.

Made popular in the 1980s by chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, this molten chocolate cake has become a classic and remains prominent on dessert menus world wide.

With its liquid center, lava cake might seem intimidating to make, but with only five main ingredients, it’s actually quite simple. Melted butter and chocolate is mixed with beaten eggs, sugar and flour, then poured into ramekins and baked at a high heat. This ensures the outside is cakey while the inside is lava-y.

The cakes are usually flipped out of their molds and served with a dusting of powdered sugar or ice cream, fresh berries and sauce. You can also just leave them in the ramekins and spoon into heaven right there.

Whether you’re swooning with your sweetie or spoiling yourself, you can’t go wrong with lava cake. After all, chocolate is a Valentine’s Day tradition, and this cake literally oozes it.

Lava Cake

Adapted from foodandwine.com

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

2 eggs

2 egg yolks

1/4 cup sugar

Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Butter and lightly flour four 6-ounce molds or ramekins. Tap out excess flour. Set ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet.

Place the butter in a medium bowl and melt in the microwave. Carefully remove from microwave and add in the chocolate and stir until melted and smooth.

In a medium bowl, add the eggs, egg yolks, sugar and salt and beat on high speed until thick and pale. Add the flour and melted chocolate into the egg mixture and mix until combined.

Evenly divide batter into prepared ramekins and bake for 8 minutes, or until cakes look puffed, edges are firm and center is soft and jiggly. Remove from oven and let sit in ramekins for 1 minute.

Place inverted plate over ramekin and carefully turn over (using a potholder to protect your hands), let stand for 10 seconds and then remove ramekin. Serve immediately.

Note: After dividing batter into ramekins, you can cover and refrigerate them for several hours. Just bring to room temperature before baking.