BY REGINA FALANGE
I have a dear friend who is an endless font of stories about dating mishaps. One of my favorites is the time she set out to impress her current boyfriend; a Brazilian model and professional volleyball player, with a romantic three course meal designed to stoke the fires of attraction one Valentine’s Eve. Included were: Chocolate, Strawberries and Oysters. Sadly, ambition lost the race with reality and being a busy gal, she waited too long to secure tiny premium oysters and ended up getting her briny goods at a “safe” grocery store… She ignored her reservations about their enormous size, picturing instead laughing coyly and tossing back her head like a daytime soap star as she slurped them. At her lover’s place Champagne flowed and she asked him to feed her an oyster in her most sultry manner. As the gigantic bivalve became lodged in her throat, she frantically mimed the international signal for “I hope he’s more than a gorgeous package and will save me from this flemmy death!” Apparently International Sign Language was not in his toolbox. She managed to dislodge the now warm oyster on her own and it shot from her mouth and landed with an audible plop on the sofa. The mood was lost. At least until more wine was had.
This is not that recipe. No Oysters. Instead, individual fudgy cakes you can safely deliver to a potential or current loved one a la carte or hoard for yourself as you celebrate this ridiculous holiday.
Prep Time 20 Min Total Time 40 min
Make 6 little cakes; you will need a muffin tin
5 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
14 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chopped up
(don’t use chips if you can avoid it)
2 Tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
Optional: Choose one or more for a spicy or more sophisticated flavor; 1 tsp espresso powder, 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp grated fresh ginger. All will get the blood flowing to the correct body parts.
Preheat Oven to 375 degrees F.
Grease and flour your muffin tin very well. (I like to use cocoa powder instead of flour so you don’t get unsightly white stuff on your cakes.)
Melt the chocolate, the butter and 1 Tablespoon of the sugar in a medium-size heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until all melted and remove from heat to cool about 5 minutes. Meanwhile whisk eggs vigorously with the other Tablespoon of sugar in a food processor or mixer or if you are hearty – by hand – until the mixture is pale and double the volume. Add the flour and salt to the egg mixture and mix/process until just combined. Add the chocolate mixture in ¼ cup increments, mixing between each addition until combined. It seems fussy but it will develop the structure you want. Spoon this thick batter into the prepared muffin tin, ¾ full, smooth with the back of a spoon. Bake until they spring back to the touch about 18-20 minutes. Turn onto wire racks to cool, set upright and cool. Best to bake a day ahead and seal in cling wrap once completely cooled.