Even before we became parents, my husband and I often chose to cook a fancy meal at home, rather than go out on Valentine’s Day. Don’t get me wrong, we love an excuse to get dressed up and enjoy a special pre-fixe menu or an intimate candlelit dinner as much as the next couple. What we don’t love is eating our meal squished up against another couple or enduring rushed, poor service because the restaurant is packed with too many amorous couples just like us.
We mix it up and cook a different main dish every year, but I always make the same simple chocolate dessert. I discovered a recipe for flourless chocolate cakes a few years ago, and over time have adapted it and made it my own. This recipe has become a Valentine’s Day staple because it can be made in one bowl with just seven ingredients, and is baked in ramekins to make two perfect individual servings. I don’t know about you, but if I make a whole flourless chocolate cake, my husband and I will be tempted to eat the entire thing and then will spend the rest of the evening in a chocolate coma on the couch. Not sexy! These individual cakes allow us to indulge in just the right amount of chocolatey goodness and still enjoy our night together.
After our Valentine’s dinner (this year’s menu to be determined), I plan to put my little guy to bed, slip into my favorite pajamas, pop these cakes in the oven and open a bottle of champagne. That’s my idea of a perfect night in! If you are also spending Valentine’s Day at home this year, how will you celebrate with your sweetheart? Do you have any food traditions or do you like to shake things up? If you are looking for a fun new recipe, try these cakes and let me know what you think. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Chocolate Almond Cakes (grain + refined sugar-free)
- ½ cup almond meal
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 65 grams chopped dark chocolate (I used 72%) OR ⅓ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (These cakes are supposed to be easy to make, so use what you have in your pantry! They are a little sweeter with chocolate chips but still yummy.)
- 1 egg
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 generous pinch of kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler on the stove or in the microwave. Stir in maple syrup then cool to room temperature.
- Add egg to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Then add the remaining ingredients to the bowl (almond meal, salt, cinnamon) and stir to combine.
- Lightly grease two small ramekins (preferably 5 oz like these) and then pour in the batter.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out nearly clean. It’s ok if they’re still a little gooey inside, that just makes them extra delicious!
- Grab a spoon and enjoy while they’re hot!
*They are delicious on their own, but it never hurts to top with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream!
*Inspired by this recipe from A Couple of Cooks.