Sure, Valentine’s Day is all about love, Cupid and romantic gestures, but if we’re being honest with ourselves, this holiday’s real lure is the sweets. While I’ll gladly pass on stale conversation hearts, a-bit-too-rich truffles or drugstore chocolates, my world stops for salted caramels. I’ll forever be a sucker for the flavor contrast of salty and sweet.
Many of you might find yourselves needing a quick and easy dessert recipe post work-day. This recipe will make two delicious, gooey salted caramel lava cakes with minimal ingredients, and a speedy assembly and bake time. And if you’re a single lady (or dude) on this Valentine’s Day, please make this —the recipe is easily halved!
Salted Caramel Lava Cakes
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature and divided
6 ounces dark chocolate
2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon large sea salt flakes (such as Maldon), plus more for sprinkling
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 1-inch square good quality sea salt caramels
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line the bottoms of two 6-ounce ramekins with parchment paper. Next, butter the ramekins’ sides with 1 tablespoon of butter and set aside.
In a double boiler (or a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water), melt the chocolate and the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter; stir until smooth. Allow the chocolate mixture to cool until it’s warm to the touch, and then mix in the sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt. Fold in the flour and combine until the batter is smooth.
Equally divide the batter between the two ramekins. Next, gently nuzzle two caramels into the center of each ramekin, until the batter covers the caramels. Transfer the ramekins to a baking sheet and place in the oven to bake for 12-13 minutes. Invert the cakes onto plates and top with a sprinkling of sea salt and a dollop of whipped cream. Or serve with ice cream; that’d be good, too!
All photos by Adrianna Adarme.