Valentine’s Day Dessert

By Beacon Staff

Nothing sets the mood for romance like chocolate. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, this couldn’t be a better time to share with you two of my favorite chocolate desserts. If you want to do something extra special to make your Valentine’s heart melt, I invite you to prepare one of these for your sweetheart. Make sure you use only the highest quality ingredients for the finest results. Your sweetie deserves the best.

Melt Away Cake (the easier of the two)
You will need:
1 pound semi-dark chocolate (Valrhona chocolate with no less than 64 percent butterfat)
1 pound unsalted butter
8 whole eggs
8 separated yolks
6.5 ounces sugar
4.5 ounces cake flour, sifted
clarified butter
cocoa powder

Brush inside of six-ounce ramekin dishes with butter thoroughly, and dust with cocoa powder. Melt chocolate and butter over double boiler allowing steam to melt ingredients. Be careful not to allow chocolate to directly touch the water.

Once chocolate and butter have melted, whisk them into sifted cake flour until chocolate mixture is smooth.

In a separate bowl, combine eggs and sugar and add to chocolate mixture. Mix thoroughly. Scoop into prepared ramekins while mixture is warm.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake approximately 10 minutes. The baked cakes’ centers should have wiggles in them approximately the size of a quarter. Place plate on top of each ramekin, and invert each cake out onto plate.

Ganache Cake
You will need:
18.5 ounces semi-dark chocolate (Valrhona chocolate with no less than 64 percent butterfat)
5.25 ounces soft butter
3.3 ounces almond flour, sifted
3.3 ounces cake flour, sifted
8 egg yolks
8 egg whites
3.5 ounces powdered sugar
6 ounces heavy cream
clarified butter
cocoa powder

Brush inside of six-ounce ramekin dishes with clarified butter thoroughly, and dust with cocoa powder. Place 10.5 ounces of chocolate in stainless steel bowl over double boiler. Once chocolate is melted, remove from double boiler and whisk in butter. Stir in egg yolks and sifted flours.

In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites to slight peaks. Add powdered sugar slowly until egg whites have formed into stiff peaks. Gently fold egg whites into chocolate mixture to create finished cake mixture.

To create the delicious centers of the cakes called “ganache plugs,” melt remaining chocolate in separate bowl and whisk heavy cream into chocolate. Place in refrigerator to chill. Once chilled, scoop into small one-ounce balls and then freeze.

To assemble cakes, fill prepared ramekins half-full with cake mixture. Place panache plug in center and top with cake mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. The baked cakes’ centers should have wiggles in them approximately the size of a quarter. Place plate on top of each ramekin, and invert each cake out onto plate.

Strawberry coulis is a nice seedless sauce to accompany both desserts. To make, wash and stem strawberries and cut into quarters. Place berries (and a little sugar if berries are too tart) into a blender puree. Pass through fine sieve. Drizzle aside or beneath cakes as a beautiful and tasty garnish.

Special Tip: Make ganache discs measuring three inches in diameter on parchment paper and then freeze. After inverting the cakes, place ganache discs on top of cakes. The ganache will melt and drape over cakes. Follow by dusting cakes with powdered sugar.

I would love to hear from you how you and your Valentine enjoyed these delectable desserts. Feel free to email me at chefhmk@gmail.com with your comments or questions. Bon Appétit!

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