Today, we have a special feature for Valentine’s Day — a delightful recipe that’s sure to win the hearts (and stomachs!) of anyone. Written by Carola Smits.
La Sobremesa is the brainchild of the talented writer and food connoisseur, Carola Smits. With a deep passion for exploring the world of cuisine, Carola’s journey has led her to create La Sobremesa, dedicated to celebrating the joys of food and dining.
Valentine’s Day, a day full of sweet chocolate, red roses and lots of hearts. For some a series of cheap clichés, for others the height of romance. Why do chocolate and Valentine’s Day go so well together? The sweet substance is attributed with aphrodisiac qualities. It is a handy gift that is popular with men and women. The fact that you enjoy it together is a bonus.
Chocolate contains substances such as theobromine, pherylethylamine and serotonin. It doesn’t matter if you can’t pronounce them, the most important thing to remember is that they make you feel blissful. Eating chocolate also releases endorphins in your brain. Now you know why chocolate is also referred to as “the Love Medicine”
The taste palette of chocolate
Chocolate has countless uses and is one of the most beloved ingredients for professional chefs. Chocolate is available in many different shapes, scents and colors, which makes it possible to combine it with many other ingredients. The pleasant experience of eating chocolate is because the melting point of the cocoa butter is lower than body temperature, so it literally melts in the mouth. The taste palette is very broad, salt is actually the only basic flavor that is missing from chocolate. If you add salt it will only enhance the flavor of the chocolate even further.
When we talk about chocolate, broadly speaking, we talk about pure, milk and white. The different types of chocolate each have their own characteristic taste and therefore different flavor combinations per type. Below we list them clearly, both sweet and savory combinations.
Pure: orange, raspberry, rum, vanilla, sea buckthorn, tomato, truffle, chestnut mushrooms, mushrooms, duck liver, goose liver, bacon, duck, game.
Milk: almond, coffee, black pudding, salt, peanut, ginger, bacon, risotto, blue cheese, duck liver, goose liver.
White: strawberry, dates, yogurt, pistachio, cherry, orange, caramel, yuzu, caviar, basil, celery, blue cheese, black olive.
More something for winter?
If chocolate is used in savory cuisine, it is usually in game preparations. From a classic kitchen perspective, this is a logical combination. The flavors of autumn and winter products such as mushrooms, tubers, game and poultry have a strong taste and that requires sturdy counterparts. For that reason, when we think of preparations with chocolate, we mainly think of the cold seasons. But in the last 10 years, many exciting combinations have been added, especially thanks to chefs such as Heston Blumenthal. It was this English three-star chef who showed the world that (scientifically substantiated) combinations such as white chocolate, cauliflower and caviar really work in practice. Too daring for you? I have addes a nice and tasteful recipe for a lava cake, easy to make, lovely to share with your Valentine, or just to eat all by yourself and enjoy!!!
Chocolate Lava Cakes for Valentine’s
100 g butter
30 g cocoa powder
100 g dark chocolate
120 g granulated sugar
50 g flour
Caramel sauce (optional)
150 g granulated sugar
150 ml whipped cream
1 knob of butter
1 tsp sea salt flakes
4 scoops of vanilla ice cream
Preheat the oven to 190°C.
Grease some small 1 person cake or souffle molds with some butter and dust the inside with a layer of cocoa powder.
Break the chocolate into pieces and melt together with the butter in a saucepan.
Mix the eggs with the sugar and a pinch of salt into a thick, creamy mixture. Add the chocolate-butter mixture while stirring with a spatula.
Sift the flour and cocoa into the bowl and fold into the chocolate mixture. Divide the batter among the baking dishes.
Bake the lava cakes in the oven for 10-13 minutes. The outside should be firm and the inside still liquid. Serve hot.
Melt the sugar in a pan until caramel forms.
Heat the cream in another pan and deglaze the caramel. Stir until smooth and then stir the butter and a pinch of sea salt flakes into the sauce.
Turn the lava cake out onto a plate. Divide the caramel sauce and serve with a scoop of ice cream.
Rada de Moraira, Alicante – Spain