Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Valentine's Day Spiced Chocolate Lava Cake with Brandied Cherry Sauce

A Valentine for my husband

I began this blog because I really do believe in the power of food to connect us to each other. Whether we are cooking a meal together, sharing one, or giving cookies to a friend, food brings us together. The first few months of this blog have brought that point home, as many of you have commented on or cooked something I have posted. Last week my best friend called me to discuss one of the recipes she was making with her boyfriend and today my sister sent me a text with a photo of a Valentine's version M&M cookie. All of this makes me endlessly happy and reminds me again that my love of food is so much more then the enjoyment of a tasty bite, although it certainly is that too. My love of food is sharing that enjoyment with all of you. So thank you all for making this adventure more fun than I imagined. 

Now you are all wishing I would just get on with it. Enough with the sentimental ramblings. We are here to talk about the food. Can you guess how we celebrate love and Valentine's Day in this house? Food, yes food, always food. So my husband, who is equally enamored with all things delicious, helped me develop this decadent Valentine's dessert for two. Please forgive me for missing the money shot with the chocolate deliciousness flowing from the cake but the cake split in half when I took it out of the ramekin. This did not make for the most beautiful photo but it didn't change how darn amazing you will find this cake. We are all human and the lesson to take from it all is that it doesn't matter how it looks as longs as it tastes dreamy. 

Cutest ramekin in the world 

When drumming up Valentine's dessert ideas, we came to the word luscious. This cinnamon and cayenne spiced chocolate cake, which oozes chocolaty goodness is decadent. What elevates it to luscious is the boozy red wine, brandy, and sweet cherry sauce that goes on top. If you are feeling particularly risque, a scoop of vanilla ice cream wouldn't hurt either. 

Spiced Chocolate Lava Cake with Brandied Cherry Sauce 
Lava cake adapted from Joy the Baker, serves 2

Brandied Cherry Sauce Ingredients: 
1 cup frozen cherries or fresh if in season 
2 1/2 tbs sugar 
1/2 cup red wine 
2 brandy shooters (15 ml) 

Mix all ingredients in a sauce pan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil. Turn to medium low and let reduce down for 10-15 minutes. Serve over this cake or vanilla ice cream (or both) and enjoy! 

Spiced Lava Cake Ingredients: 
2 tbs unsalted butter
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 large egg
8 tsps granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt 
Pinch of cayenne
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsps all purpose flour

With rack in center of the oven, preheat to 375 degrees. Place a cookie sheet in the oven.

Generously butter and flour a ramekin and I mean generous so yours doesn't stick and break like mine. 

In a sauce pan bring a couple inches of water to a simmer. In a heatproof bowl over the simmering water, mix chocolate and butter until melted. 

Whisk together eggs and sugar in a medium bowl. Pour in about a tablespoon of the chocolate mixture and whisk to temper the eggs. Whisk in the rest of the chocolate mixture. Add salt, cayenne, cinnamon, and flour to the mixture and whisk until combined. 

Pour batter into your ramekin and place on cookie sheet in oven. Bake 15-20 minutes. 

Remove ramekin from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. After it has cooled slightly, use potholders to invert it on a plate. Enjoy with the one you love or alone with love. 

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