It was exactly one year ago that I confessed how I really felt about Valentine’s Day and chocolate on this post. At that time I proclaimed my love of chocolate was limited to only a few select chocolate treats and Valentine’s Day wast not my favorite holiday (not even in my top five). Things have not changed that much. As of today I have yet to purchase a single Valentine’s Day card and were it not for this blog, February 14th and it’s significance may have slipped by me, completely unnoticed. As for that short list of favorite chocolate treats, well it seems to be growing.
Chocolate doesn’t move me. By that I mean I don’t love it like some people LOVE it. I’ve always admired people who love chocolate in that passionate way and at the same time wondered if there were something wrong with me because I did not. I get it though, because I LOVE pork.
The post I had scheduled for Monday was not related to chocolate in any way, until I remembered that (oops) Tuesday is Valentine’s Day and Valentines’s Day means chocolate.
On Saturday morning I searched the food shows for the obligatory chocolate themed ones that are scheduled the weekend before Valentine’s day, hoping for some inspiration. I was looking for something different and something that could be made with the ingredients already in my pantry. I’ve been trying to use up an abundant supply of semi-sweet chocolate chunks and canned tomatoes. After a couple of hours in front of the television and no inspiration I finally gave up for the day.
By Sunday morning I’d already forgotten that I was supposed to be doing a chocolate post and had started working on the original post. I can’t recall what made me remember but when I did I decided I’d better start looking in my cookbooks for something interesting and delicious that everyone would want to make. As you can see my heart (pun intended) just wasn’t in it.
That is until, while rummaging through my cookbooks, I came across a cookbook I had purchased last year that was all about chocolate. I remembered that I had bought this cookbook not for the recipes, but because it approached chocolate from the actual farming of the cacao through to production methods, and the pictures were gorgeous. Now flipping through the pages every recipe intrigued me. There are even recipes for savory foods that include chocolate. I figured if I couldn’t find a recipe in here then I’d best skip a Valentine’s Day post altogether. After just a few pages into the cookbook I came across this recipe for baked hot chocolate.
I knew immediately that this was what I would make. I could practically taste how good it would be from the ingredient list, it was definitely interesting and I had everything to make it in my pantry.
This tastes exactly like a baked hot chocolate. Just beneath the crackly crust is a smidgen of a cake layer and past that it’s all gooey chocolate and pudding-like.
I got dinner on late and stayed up even later to make sure this recipe and post would be published first thing Monday morning so that you all could go and pick up the ingredients and make this for Valentines day. It doesn’t matter who you make it for, kids, husbands,wives, lovers or friends-everyone will fall in love with it. I know I did. Happy Valentine’s Day, Kat.
recipe: baked hot chocolate, adapted from The Essence of Chocolate
NOTE:this recipe has only four ingredients that yield a spectacular dessert, please take time to read the recipe through and set up everything and you will be happy with your results
9 ounces, good quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
4 large eggs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
whipped cream (recipe follows)
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Arrange four 1-cup ovenproof coffee cups or mugs or four 8-ounce ramekins in a baking or roasting pan.
Place the chocolate and butter in a heat proof bowl over a pot of simmering water so it is not touching the water, and whisk occasionally until the chocolate and butter have melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside. Stir the eggs and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer then set over the simmering water and stir until warm to the touch.
Place the bowl on the stand mixer aNd using the whisk attachment, beat 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Remove from the mixer and fold the eggs into the chocolate mixture until it is light and smooth.
Spoon the mixture into the cups. Add enough very hot water to the baking pan to come halfway up the sides of the cups. Bake for 15-20 minutes. The baked hot chocolate will be done when the tops lose their glossy finish. A wooden skewer inserted in the top will emerge clean,but batter toward the bottom of the cup will still be very moist.
Carefully remove the cups from the pan and hot water. The cakes can be served warm, at room temperature or covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day. To reheat, bring to room temperature and place in a preheated 350 degree oven for 5 minutes until warm.
Serve topped with a dollop of whipped cream.
Whipped cream: whip 1 cup cold cream with 1 tablespoon sugar until thick but not curdled.