While Valentine's Day isn't a huge deal at our house, it does give me a reason to bake up something extra special...usually involving chocolate. Warm Chocolate Pudding Cakes are definitely something special. They are a simple yet decadent dessert that is pure comfort food. They are also surprisingly quick and easy to make and can even be made a day in advance (great for entertaining!). The recipe can easily be halved to serve only two, OR make the full recipe and enjoy one set of cakes one day and enjoy them again the next day. Warm Chocolate Pudding Cakes are delicious as-is, or topped with your favorite ice cream. I had vanilla bean on hand, which was classic and tasty, but I am drooling over the idea of a salted caramel ice cream topping these cakes.
Since I made the full recipe for the two of us, we got to enjoy Warm Chocolate Pudding Cakes two nights in a row. I'm pretty sure Valentine's Day is going to become one of our favorite holidays now, if it means special desserts like this!
Warm Chocolate Pudding Cakes
Yields 4 servings
4 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
4 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
2 eggs, whites and yolks separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees (if not making ahead). Spray four 6 to 8 ounce ramekins with cooking spray, place on a baking sheet and set aside.
- In a double boiler (or a mixing bowl placed over simmering water), melt chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally. Once melted, remove from heat and mix in 2 tablespoons sugar and then egg yolks and vanilla, stirring until until combined. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, beat egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. Add 2 tablespoon sugar and beat until stiff and glossy.
- Fold 1/3 egg white mixture into chocolate mixture, gently stirring to combine. Add the rest of the egg whites, gently folding until combined. Divide evenly among prepared ramekins. (If making ahead, stop here. Cover cakes with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to bake).
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cakes puff up and the tops begin to crack. Be careful not to over bake. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out gooey. Serve warm or at room temperature, topped with ice cream, if desired.