Still looking for an awesome dessert for Valentine's Day? Stop looking. This is it! A delicious molten chocolate cake for two, with a gooey center and topped with ice cream, whipped cream, salted caramel sauce, hot fudge sauce and fresh strawberries. Is there a better way to say I love you?
That list of toppings may make this dessert sound like a lot of work, but I promise that it's easy, foolproof and very impressive—making the cake batter itself only takes about eight minutes. To keep things easy, I don't even bother unmolding it: I just serve it straight in the ramekin instead.
It all starts with six basic ingredients: unsalted butter, semisweet chocolate, powdered sugar, an egg, all-purpose flour and a pinch of salt.
Combine the butter and the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a pan of simmering water to melt the two together. Make sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl.
You could also melt the butter and chocolate in the microwave, but since I don't have one I always take the double-boiler route.
Once the butter and chocolate are nicely melted, simply whisk in the powdered sugar. It's okay if the mixture still looks a bit lumpy.
Now for the difficult part: adding the egg. Mind you, you don't want to add the whole egg.
First, separate the egg, allowing the egg white to drip into a small bowl and placing the yolk in another bowl. Next, beat the egg white with a fork until it thins a little, then add half the egg white to the yolk, so you have one bowl with half an egg white and one bowl with half an egg white and a yolk. Discard the lonely half egg white and add the yolk-and-egg-white combo to the chocolate mixture. Whisk until the mixture looks smooth.
Seriously guys, this is the hardest part of this recipe...
To finish the cake batter, whisk in the flour and the salt. Then pour it into a clean (un-greased!) ramekin and bake for 12 minutes. Use a ramekin that's big enough to hold at least 1/2 cup (4 ounces) of liquid. Mine was 3.75 inches across at the top rim, but ramekins come in a lot of different sizes, so make sure to check the volume of your ramekin before pouring in the batter.
While the cake is in the oven, gather your preferred toppings. You can use store-bought ice cream and toppings, or go the extra mile and make them at home. I decided to buy the ice cream and make the sauces myself, because making a delicious salted caramel sauce only takes about ten minutes and it keeps forever in the fridge! The same goes for homemade hot fudge sauce and of course whipped cream.
Whatever you do, remove the chocolate cake from the oven after exactly 12 minutes of baking (use an oven thermometer to make sure your oven is calibrated correctly—if it's not, your cooking times will be thrown off). Just a few minutes longer and chances are the cake will fudgy and cakey, not molten in the middle.
The molten chocolate cake itself is rich, deeply chocolatey and subtly sweet.
And if you decide to forgo the spoons and take this sexy thing into the bedroom, I won't judge.