Why not spend the evening at home on February 14? These decadent chocolate desserts are wildly indulgent and surprisingly easy to make
Chocolate Lava Cake
Heat the oven to 200ºC. Butter 6 dariole moulds and place on a baking tray. Put the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of hot water, stirring until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly. Using an electric hand whisk, mix in the sugar, then the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract and plain flour. Divide the mixture among the darioles, and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the tops are firm to the touch but the middles still feel squidgy. Carefully run a knife around the edge of each pudding, then turn out onto individual plates and serve with single cream.
Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Set aside. Bring 160ml cream (118ml cream if using milk chocolate) to a simmer. Add the butter to the chocolate and pour the cream evenly on top. Leave to rest for 5 minutes. Add the vanilla extract then stir until the chocolate has completely melted. (If the chocolate won’t melt, place the heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water and stir.) Pour into a flat shallow dish, place a piece of clingfilm directly on the surface and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours. Scoop the truffle mixture into 1 tablespoon-sized mounds on a lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling into balls. Roll each ball into toppings, such as unsweetened cocoa powder, sprinkles, crushed nuts, or melted chocolate. Store in the fridge and serve at room temperature.
Place the chocolate and 120ml of water in a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of just simmering water. Heat gently, stirring, until the chocolate is melted. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly, then stir in the egg yolks with a wooden spoon until well combined. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites with the sugar until stiff peaks form, then gently fold into the chocolate mixture. Spoon the mousse into individual dishes and chill for at least 2 hours. Scatter with chocolate shavings to serve.