Any store, commercial, or restaurant will tell you that Valentine's Day and its whole season is about pink and red, hearts and kisses, flowers and sappy cards, chocolate and chocolate. I support one and only one of those sets of things. A box of chocolates is never a bad thing, but home-baked chocolate decadence, that's in a category of love all of its own.
Last year to share the love of chocolate, I spent hours laboring over a layer cake; it was tasty but definitely not worth the effort. This year I spent about 30 minutes, start to finish, and yes that means they're easy to make, on melt-in-your mouth chocolate cakes seeping with hot chocolate lava. Rich and chocolatey they were, but not so uber-chocolate-dense that you get sick of it like many a restaurant dessert.
Be not mistaken; these are not muffins. They are molten cakes in a portion you can enjoy without over-stuffing after a big meal, and with easy cleanup and no need for fancy ramekins like the first Chocolate Java Cakes I tried. If you do really want the bigger portion, just eat two.
I included recipe portions for two but also adjustments for more, be they for more dinner guests or a quick nuking for treats later in the week.
Molten Chocolate Cakes
Measurements in parentheses are for larger yield.
¼ cup (½ cup) butter
1/3 cup (2/3 cup) semisweet chocolate chips
1 egg (2 eggs)
2 Tbsp. (¼ cup) sugar
¼ tsp. (½ tsp.) vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. (¼ cup) flour
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Place butter and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring between each pulse, until melted.
Place eggs, sugar, and vanilla in a mixing bowl and beat with a mixer about 3 minutes. Fold in flour and the chocolate mixture.
Line a muffin tin with 5 (10) wrappers and coat with cooking spray. Fill about ¾ full. Bake 7-12 minutes or until cakes have puffed but not set. Be careful not to overcook them, or else there will be no "lava." Let stand 1 minute. Remove from tin and place each muffin on a dessert plate upside down. Remove paper. Serve immediately with ice cream or whipped cream.
Yield: About 5 cakes (10 cakes)