Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and I am being inspired by those romantic French. My most memorable food memory is of this euphoric Poached Pear with Chocolate Sauce dessert that I devoured in Antibes, France that literally changed my life. There’s something about chocolate that is so decadent and no one does it better than the French. From Chocolate Soufflés to Molten Lava Cakes, French cuisine & pastry is synonymous with romantic desserts that will ignite your desire. Being gluten-free, I have always wanted to experiment with creating a dessert that has the creaminess of a Chocolate Lava Cake but without the use of flour. Thus the Flourless Chocolate Lava Cake was born.
We at Sirens and Scoundrels are always initiating fun gathering ideas and food shares. What could be more fun while celebrating this Month of LOVE than gathering your loved ones or Valentine’s date & having a decadent Chocolate Party? It’s a taste experience that will have your loved ones over the moon.
Because you’ll be baking individual Chocolate Lava Cakes, you and your guests have the freedom to flavor them to your preference and decorate them as a fun sexy activity. Set the mood with some French tunes and serve them some Champagne or Rosé as you create your works of art. The best part of this lavish Chocolate Party is that you get to devour your creations. I did the dirty work and taste tested all of these flavors for your safety and can honestly say that each one is more sumptuous than the next. I’ve chosen my favorite chocolate accompaniments, but the great thing about this recipe is that you can have fun experimenting with any flavors that are YOUR heart’s desire.
Flourless Chocolate Lava Cake: INGREDIENTS
There are 2 parts to this recipe:
Chocolate Ganache Filling & Flourless Chocolate Cake Batter
Total Time: Prep & Bake: 65 min.
Chocolate Ganache Filling
Prep: 10- 15 min.
Cook: 5 min.
1/2 c. Heavy Whipping Cream
1 c. Bittersweet Chocolate Chips (60% Cocoa ***not unsweetened)
1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
pinch of Salt
*Almond Butter/Slivered Almonds
*Peppermint Oil or Extract/Mint Leaves
*Orange Zest/ Orange Wheel
*Unsweetened Coconut Shreds
*Mexican Chocolate: Ground Cinnamon/Cayenne Pepper/Cocoa Powder
*Caramel (Soft Caramel Chews)/ Sea Salt
*S’mores: Marshmallow/Graham Cracker Crumbs
Flourless Chocolate Cake Batter
Prep: 15 to 20 min.
Bake: 25 min.
1 c. Bittersweet Chocolate Chips (60% Cocoa ***not unsweetened)
8 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter + extra for greasing ramekins
1/2 c. Sugar
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 c. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
Preheat oven 375 degrees. Start by making the ganache filling. In the top half of a double boiler combine the heavy whipping cream and 1 cup of chocolate chips. Melt, stirring continuously. Add 1/2 tsp. of vanilla extract and a pinch of salt.
TIP: If you do not have a double boiler you can set two pots on top of each other to heat the chocolate over the stovetop. Put a cup of warm water into the bottom pot. Place your smaller pot on top. Over medium heat boil the water, which will make the chocolate melt without burning. You can use a microwave to melt the chocolate in a microwave safe dish as another option.
Now comes the fun part. I use a mini muffin tray, but if you do not have one, you can use an ice-cube tray. Before you start, it is important to keep track of which flavors are where. Place the flavors you want in each individual portion of the tin. For example: for the mint ganache, I used 4 drops of peppermint oil and a few pieces of minced mint leaf. For the orange flavor, I used a little orange rind zest and a few drops of orange juice. For the raspberry ganache, I mashed a few fresh raspberries. For the almond butter filling, I filled the cup 1/3 deep. You need to leave room for the ganache.
Use a spoon to portion the ganache into each cup. Use a chopstick or spoon to mix the flavors you have portioned into the single serving of ganache.
TIP: This is VERY IMPORTANT. As I spoon the ganache into a hole, I immediately top it with something to associate it with the flavor so that I can keep track. Also, make sure to wipe off the stirring stick after each use to not cross-contaminate the flavors.
Place the tin in the freezer to let it cool and harden. While the ganache chills, it’s time to make the cake batter.
In a double-boiler, melt the butter and chocolate over medium heat on the stovetop. Stir continuously. When all of the chocolate and butter are melted together, pour into a bowl. Let it sit for a few minutes. Use this time to lightly grease 6 ramekins with butter. Set aside.
In the mixing bowl, add the salt, vanilla and sugar. Stir until dissolved. Add 3 eggs and whisk in. Finally, add the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Portion out the batter among the 6 ramekins. Each ramekin should be about 2/3 full of batter.
Place the ramekins on a glass baking pan or cooking sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, take the ramekins out of the oven and take the ganache filling out of the freezer. Using a spoon, spoon out each individual portion of the ganache filling. It should be semi-hardened into a solid piece. Push the single serving of filling into the middle of a single cake. Use a spoon to make sure it is completely immersed and covered with batter.
TIP: Again, it’s important to set a signpost for yourself of which flavors are which. For example, I place a single almond sliver on top of the cake to know that it is the one that contains the almond butter filling.
Bake an additional 15 minutes. Take cakes out of the oven and set aside to cool.
Now is when the fun begins. Set your table with all of the ingredients everyone will need to make mini edible masterpieces. Entice your guests with some champagne to accompany your Chocolate Art Gathering and have fun!
If you choose to try the orange flavored ganache, I cut an orange wheel, sprinkled it with sugar and broiled it for a few minutes as a beautiful topper.
Have fun with it. For the Mexican Chocolate flavor, I cut out a heart stencil from a piece of paper. I iced the top of the cake with leftover plain ganache and dusted the stencil with a cocoa powder/cinnamon mixture.
Not only can your loved ones be proud of their mini work of art but they will be elated to taste test all of the versions of this dark chocolate decadence.
French culture is synonymous with romance because they use their food to seduce the senses. They take their time over food to be present, engage and share. There are so many opportunities to create intimate quality time with yourself and your loved ones. Nothing makes you more present than savoring food and flavors with great conversation. That is our hope for you this month.
As a recap, here are some possible flavor options!
Almond, Coconut, Mexican Chocolate, S’mores, Raspberry, Mint, Orange, Espresso/Coffee, Sea Salt Caramel, Vanilla, Lavender, Plain Dark Chocolate, Nutella/Hazelnut, Cognac, Cherry, Strawberry, Peanut Butter, White Chocolate, Cookie Dough, Banana, Rocky Road…and the list goes on!
Which will be your favorite? Will it be the creamy gooey caramel with sea salt or the tart punch of raspberry ganache? The Creamy Mint Cake that tastes like a Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookie? Let us know! MMMMMMmmmmmm……
BON APPÉTIT & Happy Valentine’s Day to you and all your loved ones from ~Sirens and Scoundrels!
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Words & Recipe by Sarah Prikryl // Photography by Sarah Prikryl
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