Dark chocolate cakes worthy of a special day

You’ll love melted surprise inside

The Associated PressFebruary 13, 2013 

Love is always sweeter when expressed with chocolate, especially on Valentine’s Day.

Yes, chocolate... And the more ooey-gooey deeply chocolaty, the better. Still, there’s no sense overdoing it. I’ve always believed when it comes to dessert, a little bit can go a long way. That’s why this chocolate dream of a recipe takes the form of small-ish individual cakes rather than a single gut-buster.

It also is why I’ve replaced the butter usually found in chocolate cakes with non-fat Greek yogurt. You won’t miss the butter or taste the yogurt. It’s in the mix strictly as a lower-fat way of adding body to the finished product.

What you will taste is dark chocolate. It’s built into the cake batter, of course, but it also reappears as a melted surprise in the center of each cake. I suggest using bittersweet chocolate that’s between 60 percent and 70 percent cacao.

The eggs in this recipe (one of only five ingredients, by the way) ensure the cakes will be light and spongy. But one of the tricky things about cooking with eggs is that while it’s easiest to separate yolks from whites while they’re cold, it’s best to add them to recipes at room temperature (they generate more volume that way). So, how do you warm them up without wasting a lot of time? First, separate the eggs when they’re fresh out of the fridge. Then put the whites in one bowl and the yolks in another and float each bowl in a larger bowl of hot water. Ten minutes later, the eggs will be at room temp.

After the batter is made, it needs to set up in the fridge for a little while before you put it in the oven.

Given my enduring love for the combination of chocolate and raspberry, I’ve topped these little cakes with a simple, flavorful raspberry sauce. There are exactly two ingredients: raspberries and sugar. You just buzz them in a blender and strain out the seeds.

Once you’re gazing with admiration at the finished product, don’t be surprised if you end up giving this Valentine’s Day gift to yourself.

WARM DOUBLE CHOCOLATE CAKES WITH RASPBERRY SAUCE

For the chocolate cakes:

1/4 cup sugar, plus 8 teaspoons for coating the ramekins

4 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, divided

2 large eggs, whites and yolks separated and brought to room temperature

cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt

For the sauce:

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries (if frozen, thaw, drain and retain the liquid)

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

Coat eight - or 1/4-cup ramekins with cooking spray. Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of sugar into each, swirling it around to coat the bottom and sides, then dumping out any excess.

Finely chop 21/2 ounces of the chocolate. Cut the remaining 2 ounces into 16 pieces, roughly the same size, then set those aside.

Bring a small saucepan of water to a bare simmer. Set a medium stainless steel bowl over it and add the 21/2 ounces of finely chopped chocolate to that. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is melted.

While the chocolate is melting, in another medium bowl use an electric mixer to beat the egg yolks with 1 tablespoon of the sugar until they are thick and lemon colored, about 4 minutes. Set the bowl aside and clean the beaters well.

In a third medium bowl, use the electric mixer to beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar, a little at a time, and continue beating until the whites hold stiff peaks. Set aside.

Remove the melted chocolate from the heat. Add the yogurt and stir well. Add the egg yolk mixture and stir well. Add one third of the egg whites to the chocolate mixture, stirring well, then gently fold in the remaining egg whites until they are just combined with the chocolate mixture. Divide the batter among the prepared ramekins. Cover and chill for 1 hour.

While the cakes are chilling, heat the oven to 325 F and prepare the sauce.

In a blender, puree the raspberries with the sugar. Pour the mixture through a mesh strainer, using a silicone spatula to press the pulp. Discard the pulp and seeds. Thin the sauce with water or with the reserved raspberry liquid (if using frozen berries) until the sauce has a nice pouring consistency.

Remove the ramekins from the fridge, tuck 2 pieces of the cut chocolate into the center of each and bake in the middle of the oven for 15-18 minutes, or until just springy when touched. Let cool for 5 minutes, then unmold or serve in the ramekins. Serve drizzled with the raspberry sauce.

Per serving: 140 calories; 70 calories from fat (50 percent of total calories); 8 g fat (3.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 45 mg cholesterol; 20 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 16 g sugar; 4 g protein; 20 mg sodium.

Start to finish: 3 hours, 20 minutes / Active: 30 minutes Servings: 8

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