Saturday, February 14, 2015

How do I Love Thee?  Let me Count the Ways....Chocolate.

Just a temporary format change and special feature for Lexi's on this sweet day.

Flowers, cards and chocolates make great Valentine's gifts but homemade gifts show a little more creativity while taking the time to let that special someone know how much you care.  This dessert is found on many great menus from casual to fine dining.  It's rarely cheap to order but surprisingly easy to make at home.  With a little planning and a short grocery list, this will surely impress the Love in your life!
One of the best gifts a person can give another, these days, is their time and attention.  People are working harder and having the ability to always be 'plugged in' blurs the lines between on and off duty.  If a person isn't actually earning money or talking business, the cellular phone has become a primary source of entertainment.  Though I'd never want my ability to Google anything at any time taken away, I sometimes have to remind myself to be in the moment with my family.  Many of these moments take place right in the kitchen. 

Valentine's Day may be a celebration of love and caring for some or annoying and dreaded by others who may be feeling lonely.  Let it be a reminder for everyone, to find love, in moments, every day, throughout the year.  As far as the cake goes, maybe limit that to very special occasions.   

Chocolate Lava Cake
Serves 4
Prep and cook time:  30 min.


4 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate (find good chocolate in the baking aisle, sold in blocks or bars)
1 stick of butter which is  1/2 cup
1 cup powdered sugar
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
6 Tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Optional: 1 Tablespoon orange liqueur


Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Butter or spray 4 custard cups.  Place the chocolate and butter in a small, microwave safe bowl.  Melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave, on high, for about a minute.  Stir with a whisk after 30 seconds.  Melt completely.  Stir in the sugar.  Stir in the whole eggs and yolks.  Stir in the flour.  Stir in vanilla and liqueur, if using.
Divide batter between the 4 custard cups and place cups onto a cookie sheet.  Bake for 13 minutes.  The side of the cakes should be set and slightly pulled away from the cup.   The middle with either be very soft or even sunken.  Remove from oven and allow to rest for 1 minute.  Run a knife along the sides of the cups and carefully invert onto a serving plate.  The custard cup will still be hot!

Top with whipped cream and fresh berries or vanilla bean ice cream.  Take a selfie with your sweetie and enjoy!