A Sweet Treat for Valentine’s Day: Moelleux au Chocolat



By Suzanne Lenzer

It’s been years since I’ve gone out on Valentine’s Day. The main reason being that the food always seems a bit less than fabulous on that particular night (add to that the fact being out with a bunch of other New Yorkers seems to defeat the purpose of spending an evening alone with my partner). So we stopped doing it and have very happily joined the ranks of those who batten down the hatches and stay home.

Part of the fun of staying in on Valentine’s Day is that is takes the pressure off. Even if it’s your first Valentine’s together, being at home means you can relax, pad around in socks (or sexy slippers) and sip a glass of wine without having to fight for a bartender’s attention. Not to mention that with the economy the way it is right now, staying home and cooking in is a nice way to avoid dropping a lot of money on a so-so meal. Besides, what’s more romantic than taking turns stirring a pot of risotto, champagne glass in hand?

But a Valentine’s dinner doesn’t have to be fussy, and committing to cook doesn’t mean you have to impersonate a four-star chef. In fact, there’s something nice about a foolproof dinner that you can make together (or ahead of time) so that no one’s slaving away over the stove.

So here’s an idea: keep it simple. Try a bowl of pasta with sweet sausage and broccoli raab, a prosciutto and arugula pizza, or don’t cook at all. Think tapas and pick up an array of good cheeses, put out a dish of olives and, and grab a loaf of good crusty bread. This way you can focus on what really matters: dessert.

Now I wish I could say that the molten chocolate cake recipe I’m about to share with you was mine. It’s not. But it is possibly the single most decadent, delicious, and dazzling chocolate dessert around. Oh, and it’s dead easy—you can even make it ahead of time.

It comes from chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten (who does happen to be a four-star chef) and it is, I kid you not, pure perfection: a brownie like crust with a smooth, oozing chocolate center that never ceases to impress.

The only real trick here is knowing your oven; the original recipe says 6 to 7 minutes, however I find it takes nine in my oven to be set around the edges and still a bit soft in the center. But don’t let this stress you out and don’t over think it—if you go a minute too long you’ll have a wonderfully rich, tender brownie; a minute or two short and you’ll lose the structure and have more molten than cake. Get it right and you’ll have a perfect crumb on the outside with a warm, soft interior. You can’t lose. And just to be sure, pick up a pint of vanilla ice cream to cure any esthetic issues you run into.

Trust me, a simple dinner and Jean-Georges killer chocolate cake and you’ll be converted to staying home on Valentine’s Day from this year forward.

NOTE: This recipe serves four, and it’s so good, I’d suggest making the full batch, covering the extras with plastic wrap, and extending your Valentine’s celebration to Monday night too. However, it easily can be split in half to serve just two.

Warm, Soft Chocolate Cake

Adapted from Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Mark Bittman

Jean-Georges, Cooking at Home with a Four-Star Chef

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for the ramekins

4 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate

2 eggs

2 egg yolks

¼ cup sugar

2 teaspoons flour, plus more for dusting

1. Butter and lightly flour four 4-ounce molds, custard cups, or ramekins; tap out the flour (you can substitute coco powder for the flour when dusting the molds if you like).

2. In the top of a double boiler set over simmering water (or a metal bowl set over a pan of boiling water), heat the butter and chocolate together until the chocolate is almost completely melted. While that’s heating, beat together the eggs, yolks, and sugar with a whisk or electric beater until light and thick.

2. Beat together the melted chocolate and butter; it should be quite warm. Pour in the egg mixture, then quickly beat in the flour, just until combined.

3. Divide the batter among the molds. (At this point you can refrigerate the desserts until you are ready to eat, for up to several hours or overnight, just bring them back to room temperature before baking.)

4. Preheat the oven to 450°F and bake the molds on a tray for 7 to 9 minutes; the center will still be quite soft, but the sides will be set. To remove the cakes, put a dessert plate on top of each ramekin and then flip the plate over, inverting the ramekin onto the plate; let sit for about 10 seconds to loosen. Unmold the cakes by lifting up one corner of the mold; the cake will fall out onto the plate. Serve immediately with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and fresh berries if you like.

Recipe © 1998 Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Mark Bittman. All rights reserved.

17 Responses to “A Sweet Treat for Valentine’s Day: Moelleux au Chocolat”

  1. 1 Vernon Rudolph

    We tried this recipe for Valentine’s Day (my dear wife baked) and all I can say is “wow”. We’ve never had a better cake in any restaurant. Thank you, Artsetoile.

  2. 2 Midnight

    I have a rather silly Question, by 2 eggs and 2 egg yolks what do you mean exactly? do i get to whole eggs and also 2 egg yolks together? which would make them actually four eggs but 2 are without the egg whites? (in another recipe to make chocolate mousse it only required 2 egg whites so i am confused)! I had my first attempt of making this just now and the taste was fantastic but it crumbled and kind of came out flat and in pieces.

  3. I kept meaning to get to Brooklyn on my trip, but didn’t make it. I have Toby’s Estate on my list for next time. I’d love a flat white from an auettnhic Australian shop. I hope you do try Spot. It’s very charming. I wish I had a chance to try more of their desserts. I’d love to hear what you think of the place.daisy

  4. The pretty flowers imprinted on the chocolate bar enhance the overall ‘gift-giving’ quality of
    this sweet treat ‘ plus it has a great aroma. It can
    be exhausting, but one simply must think of something.
    I have discovered the keurig Mini Brewer to be somewhat
    of an energy guzzler.

  5. Greetings from Idaho! I’m bored to tears at work so
    I decided to browse your site on my iphone during lunch break.
    I really like the info you provide here and can’t wait to take a look whrn I get home.

    I’m shocked at how quick your blog loaded on my mobile ..
    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, very good blog!

  6. You might get straight forward, upfront and
    detail scope of function. Negative air filtration units and containment barriers must be utilized to prevent the spread of these spores.
    Chlorine is a powerful whitener and disinfectant, but can cause negative health
    effects in people, plants, and animals.

  7. I rarely drop responses, however i did a few searching and wound up here A Sweet Treat for Valentines Day: Moelleux au Chocolat | ArtsÉtoile.
    And I actually do have some questions for you if it’s allright.
    Could it be just me or does it seem like some of these remarks
    look like written by brain dead people? 😛 And, if you are writing on other sites,
    I’d like to follow anything fresh you have to post.
    Would you make a list of the complete urls of your community pages like your linkedin profile,
    Facebook page or twitter feed?

  8. You are so cool! I don’t believe I’ve truly
    read through a single thing like that before. So good to discover another person with some unique thoughts on this issue.
    Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up.
    This web site is something that is needed on the web, someone with some originality!

  9. I just couldn’t go away your website prior to suggesting that I extremely enjoyed the usual info an individual supply to your guests?
    Is going to be again continuously in order to check out new posts

  10. Ashe also has a talent known as Hawkshot which lets you see whats infront of you by firing an arrow inside
    the direction you would like to determine. With the increased Health and
    Cooldown Reduction you will be able to spam all of these abilities with
    the use of Mantra as well. With the teleport spell at your disposal, Nunu can quickly
    become a frightful player for the opposing team.

  11. As a jungle he is one of my favorite pick due to his bandage toss ability
    where you close the distance between you and enemy champions.

    With the growing number of sports clubs and their swelling membership, the complication arising
    to have a seamless way of organizing tournaments and fixtures have also magnified.
    Victoria, who left some of her costume’s crafting to her boyfriend,
    wasn’t pleased with the overall design start.

  12. May I just say what a relief to discover someone who genuinely understands what they’re talking about over the internet.
    You actually understand how to bring a problem to light and make
    it important. A lot more people should check this out and
    understand this side of your story. I was surprised that you aren’t more popular since you certainly possess the gift.

  13. In addition, the lab adopted Mars Incorporated’s methods for looking
    at the flavonol levels in food products. Frequent
    urination, fatigue, weight loss, blurred vision and bag.
    Dark chocolate is the key and contains upwards of 300 naturally occurring chemicals within it, and most importantly it has flavonoids.

  14. Hi there, all is going sound here and ofcourse every one is sharing data, that’s truly excellent,
    keep up writing.

  15. amazing insight. Really enjoyed skimming through this blog.
    Keep up the good work and to everyone keep on learning!

  1. 1 Puddings PS « familycircleaus
  2. 2 apple iphone 4s price

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: