"All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt."
Charles M. Schulz
HEART CAKES WITH CHOCOLATE GANACHE
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, divided use
1 tablespoon cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into small cubes
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon flour
cocoa powder for dusting
Heat oven to 400F.
Grease a heart shaped muffin pan.
In a medium heatproof bowl, combine 2 ounces of the chocolate and the cream. Set bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water, but not touching the water.
Melt chocolate, stirring occasionally, until mixture is smooth and blended, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes.
In a separate medium, heatproof bowl, combine remaining 4 ounces of chocolate and the butter, set bowl over saucepan of simmering water and melt chocolate, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and well blended, 2 to 3 minutes, remove from the heat and cool for 10 minutes.
In a mixing bowl, combine eggs, yolk, sugar, vanilla and salt. Using an electric mixer, beat until thick ribbons fall from the beaters and the mixture is nearly triple in volume, 5 to 6 minutes.
Sift flour over bowl and gently fold in until just blended. Add chocolate mixture and gently fold together until smooth and blended.
Divide batter among wells of prepared muffin pan. Remove chocolate ganache from the refrigerator and scoop teaspoon-sized balls onto the top of each cake, pressing gently.
Bake until the cakes pull away from the sides of muffin well and tops are just firm, 9 to 11 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and cool about 5 minutes. Invert cakes onto rack, and dust with cocoa powder.
Recipe adapted from The Arkansas Democrat Gazette, February 2005
GANACHE STUFFED CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
5 tablespoons cream
2 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 tablespoons creme fraiche
MAKE THE COOKIES
In a bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and salt. In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the butter with the sugars and vanilla at medium speed, about 1 minute. Beat in the egg. With the mixer on low speed, beat in the dry ingredients. Beat in the chocolate chips. Chill the dough for 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 375F. Scoop spoons of the dough onto cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden. Let cool on the sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Sandwich the chocolate chip cookies with the ganache and serve.
Put the chocolate in a bowl. In a saucepan, bring the cream and corn syrup to a boil, pour over the chocolate and let stand for 1 minute. Whisk until smooth. Whisk in the creme fraiche. Refrigerate the ganache until thick and spreadable, about 1 hour.
Recipe adapted from Food and Wine, September 2009