It's February! Which means we can talk frankly about Valentines Day.
V-day has a few remarkable effects on society.
The first is causing the male half of hetero relationships to wander wide-eyed around lingerie stores*, awkwardly picking up bits of lace and string and thinking bloody hard about what size to buy because if they choose a large and his wife's a medium there will be hell to pay.
*Note that this phenomenon takes place only once they've realized halfway through the 14th why they've been getting the stink eye - cold shoulder combo all day.
The second effect is making the single people exactly ten thousand times more likely to consume inordinate amounts of haagen dazs whilst binging on rom-coms and subsequently sobbing into their bubble bath.
The third effect is the widespread uncontrollable urge to make a thrillingly over-the-top chocolate dessert. I quite like this effect.
My contribution to societal chocolate titillation is this: fudgy cake topped with vibrant raspberries. Dessert at its sexiest.
First, you pack fresh (or thawed from frozen) raspberries into individual ramekins, and top them with a rich chocolate batter.
Then you bake them. This is where the magic happens. The raspberries and brown sugar melt into a luscious raspberry sauce that tops the cakes when turned over.
Serve warm. With a pile of softly whopped cream.
Is just me or is it gettin' kinda hot in here *tugs collar*...
Chocolate Raspberry Upside-Down Cakes
Serve warm, with whipped cream or softened vanilla ice cream. Yields four individual cakes.
2 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped (or 1/3 cup chocolate chips)
1/4 cup butter, softened, plus more for buttering dishes
2/3 cup brown sugar, plus 6 teaspoons
3 cups frozen raspberries
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup buttermilk
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place chocolate in a glass measuring cup and microwave on 50% power for 1 minute. Stir, and continue in 30 second intervals until chocolate is half melted. Stir to melt fully. Set aside to cool.
2. Generously butter four 1-cup ramekins and set on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of brown sugar in the bottom of each. Divide raspberries among dishes (about 3/4 cup raspberries per ramekin). Set aside.
3. Using an electric mixer, beat together butter and remaining brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks, then vanilla extract and cooled chocolate. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. With the mixer speed on low, add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, beating to combine. Beat in 1/2 of the buttermilk, then repeat, ending with the last 1/3 of the dry ingredients. Increase mixer speed and beat 2 minutes more.
4. Divide batter equally among ramekins, smoothing the tops with a spatula. Bake about 25 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs. Transfer ramekins to a wire rack to cool at least 20 minutes before serving. To serve, position a plate on top of the ramekin and use both hands to flip it over. Place it upside-down on a sturdy surface and knock the bottom a few times until you feel the cake release onto the plate. Replace any raspberries that were dislodged.