Chocolate Cakes for Valentine’s Day

Baking,Dessert,Holidays,Recipes,Valentines Day
December 25, 2011

We're crazy for chocolate cake this Valentine's Day. Here are 4 of our favorite decadent recipes.

Mark Boughton Photography / styling by Teresa Blackburn

Chocolate and the kind of novel with Fabio on the cover share a vocabulary: bittersweet, hot, dark, melting, surrender, lust, passion, yearning, hunger. Long before science told us that chocolate releases chemicals in the brain similar to those released when we’re in love, we knew it intuitively.

The connection between love, chocolate and Valentine’s Day is a time-honored one, but it’s not nearly as ancient as cacao itself. Chocolate is a true American original, a plant native to this continent. Long ago, pre-Columbian peoples were cultivating and consuming chocolate, Aztec for “hot liquid.” That was the way Aztec Emperor Montezuma, born around 1480, liked it: as a scalding hot unsweetened beverage, hot not only in temperature but chile-hot. Like other native American plants including chiles, tomatoes, corn, potatoes and most types of beans, chocolate is now loved worldwide.

Molten chocolate cake, a hot dessert kiss with a warm, hidden gush of thick chocolate liquid in its core, was first popularized by well-known chefs in high-end restaurants (Daniel Bolud at Daniel in New York; Thomas Keller at French Laundry in Napa). From there, its fame spread. With its slightly crisp edges and oozing center, it has elements of mousse, custard and soufflé: in short, it’s one of a kind. This take on a molten cake brings the old flavor combination of chocolate with just a little chile heat into the present. Serve it to your Valentine, and you’ll discover a whole new way to swoon. Get the recipe below along with more of our favorite chocolate recipes.

—By Crescent Dragonwagon


chocolate molten cake

Chocolate-Chile Molten Cakes

It's molten and it's hot, with a hint of a chipotle bite. Watch our how-to video and make it for Valentine's.

Three Layer Malted Milk Chocolate Cake

Three Layer Malted Milk Chocolate Cake

This recipe is based on Jim Fobel’s Aunt Charlotte’s Milk Chocolate Cake (Old-Fashioned Baking Book).

Vinegar Cake

Chocolate Vinegar Cake

Relish reader Julie Legg shares a go-to cake recipe from way-back-when.

fudge cake

Tunnel of Fudge Cake

Double the decadence and serve this rich fudgy cake warm from the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


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