Valentine's Day crept up on me and with a busy week to come, I decided to pull out a family favorite that looks and tastes like a labor of love, but actually takes little time to prepare and can be made in advance (my kind of recipe!) Here is a simple, elegant, make-ahead dessert for your sweethearts! They are not a cupcake or a brownie, but individual chocolate cakes with a nice firm outside and moist inside. I prefer it by itself with a little Confectioner's sugar as decoration and a side of berries, but they would be delicious with ice cream or whipped cream as well.
Mini Chocolate Cakes
- 3 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate chopped (not unsweetened)
- 1/ 2 stick unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Confectioners' sugar for decorating
Preheat the oven to 350F and butter six (1/2 cup size) muffin cups
Place chopped chocolate and sliced butter in a metal bowl over simmering water. Stir until melted and smooth. Take off the heat, whisk in sugar, vanilla and then one egg at a time. Add flour and salt, whisk until blended.
Using an ice cream scoop, scoop batter into each muffin cup. Place tin in the middle of the oven rack and bake for 20 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Do not over cook or it will dry out the cake.
Remove from the oven, carefully remove cakes from the cups and cool on a wire rack. They can be stored in a air-tight container for four days or served immediately.
When you are ready to serve the cakes, cut a 1" heart shaped template out of paper ( I used parchment paper.) Place the heart on the center of the cake and sprinkle with Confectioners' sugar. Continue decorating remaining cakes. I also used the paper with the heart removed as a template, reversing the image on the cakes. Serve plain with a garnish of strawberries or with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.