Valentine’s Day has always been a favorite of mine.
Indulging in treats and love and flowers and goodies and cards, etc…how could this not be a fabulous day?
My semester has been pretty hectic, and the workload is pretty overwhelming. Valentine’s day came at the perfect time last weekend. It was a sweet respite from my exhausting grad school schedule and my husband’s even more exhausting work schedule. We enjoyed champagne and a gorgeous walk around our neighborhood, even a delicious romantic meal at a fabulous restaurant. The best part to me was our time in the kitchen together. It always is.
We are a great team when it comes to cooking or baking. Gray is an amazing sous-chef and has come quite a long way from his amateur kitchen skills when we first met nearly four years ago. He also deserves an award for dish duty. The man is all about some clean dishes, and I’m thankful for that, especially when I’m experimenting with a new recipe that dirties more dishes than could ever fit in our kitchen sink. He’s a keeper.
I try to bake something different each year for Cupid’s big day, so when Gray was down to take on this molten lava cake endeavor with me I was elated. A few years ago I made delicious cranberry heart-shaped shortbread cookies dipped in dark chocolate. Last year I think I made raspberry crepes…must not have been that great, because I really can’t remember! This year, however, I was bound and determined to make a chocolate lava cake. The kind that erupts fudgey chocolate as soon as you dig your spoon in the center. The kind that makes you think to yourself, “there’s nothing better than this, right here, right now.”
When I found a simple recipe for lava cakes using coconut flour, I was super excited. A little skeptical, however, since it didn’t call for much sugar and only required two eggs. How could this be?
Let me just be wholeheartedly honest with you.
This is the best dessert I have ever made in my life.
Here what you’ll need:
(Adapted from Coconut Recipes)
2/3 cup of semisweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons of coconut oil
2 whole vanilla bean pods, scraped
1/8 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of sugar
2 teaspoons of dark cocoa powder
1 teaspoon of coconut flour
Half pint of heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon of powdered sugar
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and place a medium sized glass bowl in your freezer.
In a medium sized bowl, melt the chocolate chips and coconut together. You can either do this over a double boiler, or you can microwave in 20 second increments, stirring in between, until smooth. Set aside to cool.
In a small mixing bowl, beat the eggs, scraped seeds from one vanilla bean, salt, and sugar with a hand mixer for five minutes until frothy. Set a timer! Five minutes may seem like a long time, but it’s worth it!
Pour the egg mixture over the cooled chocolate and sift cocoa and coconut flour on top. Use a spatula to gently fold all of the ingredients together until evenly combined.
Equally distribute batter into prepared ramekins. You can grease them with coconut oil or non-stick cooking spray of your choice. Just makes sure you grease them well! Each ramekin should be about half-way filled.
Bake for 11-12 minutes.
While the cakes are baking, prepare the whipped cream.
Real vanilla beans take this whipped cream over the top. I order mine in bulk online and store them for up to a year in a sealed glass jar.
Remove the glass mixing bowl from the freezer. Pour cold whipping cream in the chilled bowl. Use a whisk (or hand mixer if you prefer) to beat air into the cream. Once the cream starts to thicken, add the scraped seeds from one vanilla bean and powdered sugar.
Continue whipping until the cream forms stiff peaks. A chilled bowl and cold cream make this process a lot easier and faster!
Serve the molten lava cakes immediately. Top with whipped cream and strawberries. If you’re not into dairy, a delicate dusting of powdered sugar would be perfect!
The perimeter of the cakes have a dense sponge cake texture, while the center oozes out fudge that covers every bite in rich melted chocolate.
This is not something you will enjoy sharing. The question “can I have a bite?” will quickly be answered with a stern “NO!”
I love my forever valentine, but he had to have his own cake for this special dessert. Every bite was coveted. I may or may not have licked the ramekin clean. Romantic and classy, right?