Valentine’s Day has traditionally been associated with decadent treats like chocolate mousse, butter-laden cookies, and boxes of chocolate, or with cakes and tarts that require hours of time in the kitchen. This year, skip the lengthy prep work and extra calories with what might just be the perfect Valentine’s dessert: a lighter, simple-to-make Molten Chocolate Valentine’s Cake with Mixed Berry Filling.
You can put together this dessert using a short list of common ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. The best part? They take less than 30 minutes to make—including just 10 minutes’ active prep time—and look as impressive as a dessert at your favorite restaurant. When you cut into the cake, the berries provide a sweet, juicy burst against the velvety chocolate the ideal complement to a variety of romantic dishes.
For a lusciously creamy touch, spoon a bit of homemade dairy or coconut whipped cream over the Molten Chocolate Valentine’s Cake with Mixed Berry Filling. Serve with a fruity red wine or dessert port.
Molten Chocolate Valentine’s Cakes with Mixed Berry Filling
Makes 2 cakes
A handful of fresh or thawed frozen mixed berries
2 teaspoons raspberry, blackberry, or strawberry preserves
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup applesauce
1 tablespoon melted butter or vegan butter
2 1/2 tablespoons organic cane sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Heaping 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons organic unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch Himalayan or sea salt
2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips, melted
2 chunks good-quality dark chocolate
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease two slots in a muffin tin with butter or vegan butter, and coat with a small amount of cocoa powder. Shake the tin to cover the slots completely, then shake out the excess. Alternatively, line the slots with reusable silicone muffin liners.
2. In a small bowl, coarsely mash the berries with the berry preserves.
3. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the vinegar and almond milk. Allow the milk to curdle for 5 minutes.
4. Add the applesauce, butter or vegan butter, sugar, and vanilla, and beat with a mixer or a whisk until foamy. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt, and mix until free from large lumps. Do not overmix. Fold in the melted semisweet chocolate.
5. Fill each of the two muffin slots two-thirds full with batter. Spoon a heaping teaspoon of the mixed berries in the center of the batter, and top with a chocolate chunk; gently press the chocolate into the berry mixture. Fill the remainder of the muffin slot with cake batter.
6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the edges of the cake have begun to pull away from the muffin tin and the top of the cake is mostly dry. Remove from the oven and let the cakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes.
7. Using a butter knife, gently loosen the edges of the cake from the tin. Top the tin with an upside-down plate and carefully invert, allowing the cakes to dislodge from the tin. Carefully transfer to individual plates. If desired, top with whipped cream, powdered sugar, or fudge sauce.