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  • Chocolate Soufflés for Two

    How to make Chocolate Soufflés for Two

    Yield: 2 soufflés

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook: 20 minutes


    Chocolate Soufflés:

    3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
    2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    3 ounces (85 grams) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 large egg yolks
    2 large egg whites
    2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    Pinch salt
    Pinch cream of tartar

    Raspberry Sauce:

    5 ounces (142 grams) fresh or thawed frozen raspberries
    2 tablespoons granulated sugar

    Powdered sugar, for garnish


    Chocolate Souffles:

    Preheat the oven to 375°F. Use 1 tablespoon of the butter to grease two 8-ounce ramekins. Coat the ramekins with cocoa powder, tapping out the excess.

    In a large microwave-safe bowl, microwave the chocolate and remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in 30-second bursts, stirring between each burst, until melted and smooth. Stir in vanilla and egg yolks, one at a time.

    In a clean bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites, sugar, salt, and cream of tartar just until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg white mixture into the chocolate. Spoon into the prepared ramekins. Soufflés can be covered in plastic wrap and refrigerated at this point for up to 1 day.

    Bake until puffed and set, about 20 minutes (about 25 minutes if baking directly from the refrigerator).

    Raspberry Sauce:

    While the souffles are baking, purée the raspberries and sugar in the bowl of a food processor, blender, or with an immersion blender, until smooth. Press the mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds.

    Garnish the chocolate souffles with powdered sugar and serve immediately with raspberry sauce.

  • Heart Shaped Raspberry Rolls
  • Valentine’s Day Cake

    How to make Valentine’s Day Cake

    The chocolate cake is so incredibly moist that it may sink a little in the center while baking. That’s perfectly fine – you can still make a beautiful cake by turning the layers flat-side up when assembling!


    For the cake:

    Butter, for greasing
    1 3/4 cups (7.9 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
    2 cups sugar
    3/4 cups good cocoa powder
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    1 cup buttermilk, shaken
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

    For the strawberry buttercream:

    6 cups powdered sugar, sifted
    16 ounces (4 sticks or 2 cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    2/3 cup seedless strawberry preserves
    1/2 teaspoon fine salt
    2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    Red gel food coloring, if desired

    Chocolate Covered Strawberries, for garnish


    For the cake:

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour 2 (8-inch) round cake pans.

    Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add in the salt and mix on low speed until combined. In a large measuring up or small bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the hot coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Don’t overmix, the mixture should be very thin.

    Divide the batter among the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then carefully turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely. Freeze until hardened.

    For the buttercream:

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase the speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes. Add in the strawberry preseves, salt, and vanilla and beat on medium for 1 minute. Add about 1/4 teaspoon gel food coloring, if using, and beat until the buttercream is evenly colored. Add more coloring if desired.

    Place 1 cake layer, flat side up, on a flat surface or cake pedestal. Remove some of the buttercream to a pastry bag fitted with a plain open tip and pipe a large ring around the edge of the cake layer. With an offset spatula, evenly spread the frosting over the rest of the layer to make the filling. Place the second cake layer on top, flat side up, and spread a very thin coating of frosting all over to make a crumb coating. When scraping away excess frosting, be careful not to add the crumb frosting back in with the clean frosting. Freeze the cake until firm.

    Remove from freezer and spread the remaining frosting evenly over the cake, scraping away excess frosting and smoothing imperfections with the offset spatula. If desired, place more frosting in a piping bag fitted with an open star tip and pipe a decorating border along the cake. Top with chocolate covered strawberries before serving.

  • Lava Brownies

    How to make Lava Brownies

    Yield: 6 lava brownies

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour 45 minutes

    This recipe can be halved, use 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk in the brownie batter. See this handy guide for halving recipes. You can also make these in ramekins, though you made need to adjust the baking time depending on the size of the ramekins.


    For the chocolate lava:

    1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
    1/3 cup heavy cream
    1 tablespoon unsalted butter

    For the brownies:

    1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
    1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
    4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
    1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    3/4 cup (94 grams) all-purpose flour
    1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
    Fresh raspberries, for serving


    For the chocolate lava:

    In a small saucepan combine the lava ingredients. Stir over low heat until melted. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool for 15 minutes. Cover and freeze for 1 hour, or until fudge-like consistency. Divide into 6 equal portions and roll into balls. Place in the freezer until ready to use.

    For the brownies:

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously grease a 6-cup jumbo muffin tin.

    In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips, butter, and unsweetened chocolate. Heat in the microwave for 1 minute then stir. Continue heating in 30-second bursts, stirring between each burst, until the mixture is melted and smooth but not scorched. Remove from the microwave and let cool slightly.

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed until light and thick, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract. Stir in the cooled chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula. Add the flour and salt, folding gently until combined.

    Divide the batter among the prepared cups. Place a ball of chocolate into the center of each cup, pressing down slightly to cover with batter.

    MAKE AHEAD: At this point the unbaked brownies can be covered and refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Bring to room temperature before baking.

    Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the brownie is cooked through but the lava is still molten. Let cool 3 to 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire wrack and serving on individual plates. Serve immediately, with raspberries. Brownies can be reheated in the microwave to serve later, but at best served just after baking.

  • Chocolate Covered Strawberries

    How to make Chocolate Covered Strawberries

    Yield: 1 pound chocolate covered strawberries

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 25 minutes


    1 pound strawberries, washed and dried thoroughly
    6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
    1 teaspoon coconut oil or vegetable shortening, divided
    3 ounces white (and/or milk chocolate), chopped
    Chocolate chips, nuts or sprinkles for coating, optional


    Place the semisweet chocolate and 3/4 teaspoon coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring between each burst, until just melted. Be careful not to overheat.

    Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.

    Insert a toothpick into the strawberry’s stem, pushing the leaves upward, and dip into the semisweet chocolate, coating completely. Tapping the toohpick, let the excess chocolate fall back into the bowl. If desired, dip into a shallow bowl of chocolate chips, nuts, or sprinkles. Set the strawberry on the parchment, sliding forward slightly and continue with the remaining strawberries. If the chocolate becomes too cool and firm at any point simply reheat in the microwave.

    Place the white chocolate and 1/4 teaspoon coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring between each burst, until just melted. Be careful not to overheat. Remove the white chocolate to a ziptop bag and snip a very small hole in one corner. Drizzle the white chocolate over the strawberries.

    Let the strawberries set before serving, about 30 minutes at room temperature or 15 minutes in the fridge.

  • How to Make Crepes

    How to make Crepes

    Yield: 8-12 crepes, depending on size of pan and thickness of crepes

    Prep Time: 5 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour 25 minutes

    *For sweet crepes add 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract to batter
    *You can add ground pepper, spices, herbs, and other flavorings to batter for fun savory crepes


    1 cup all-purpose flour
    2 large eggs
    3/4 cup milk
    1/2 cup water
    1/4 teaspoon fine salt
    2 tablespoons butter, melted, plus more for coating the pan


    In a blender combine all the ingredients and blend for 10 seconds. Refrigerate the batter for 1 hour or up to 48 hours.

    Set a 9-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add enough butter to grease the entire pan. Add a 1/4-cup of batter to the center of the pan and immediately but gently tilt and swirl the pan to spread the batter out evenly. Cook until the crepe begins to bubble and is lightly browned and the batter is set, about 45 seconds to 1 minute.

    Use a small spatula to lift the crepe up and off the pan then quickly flip the crepe over. Don’t worry if you don’t flip perfectly, you’re just going to roll the crepes up anyways. You just want to be sure you don’t create any large holes in the crepes. Use your fingers quickly if necessary to get a sturdy grip on the crepe before flipping. Cook until the other side is lightly browned and set, about another 10 seconds.

    Lay the cooked crepes flat on a plate. Continue the process, greasing the pan with more butter as you cook each crepe, until the batter is gone. Serve or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw frozen crepes before gently peeling apart.

  • Chocolate Lava Cakes

    How to make Chocolate Lava Cakes

    Yield: 6 cakes

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 10 minutes

    You can bake the batter in 10 paper-lined muffin tins for 10 minutes for smaller, more portable servings. You can also easily cut this recipe in half.


    1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus more for coating ramekins
    8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
    10 tablespoons (5 ounces) unsalted butter
    1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    4 large eggs
    4 large egg yolks
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Fresh berries
    Powdered sugar


    Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spray 6 (6-ounce) ramekins with nonstick baking spray. Coat the insides of the buttered ramekins with granulated sugar, tapping out the excess.

    Combine the chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir, then continue heating in 30 second bursts, stirring between bursts, until the mixture is melted and smooth. Alternatively, melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler. Gently stir in the flour and salt.

    In a medium bowl vigorously whisk the eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, and the 1/2 cup of granulated sugar until thick and pale in color. Gently fold in the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Divide the batter among the ramekins.


    At this point the batter-filled ramekins can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day.

    Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the edges are firm but the center is runny. Add an additional minute of baking time if baking straight from the fridge.

    Run a knife around the edges to loosen and invert onto dessert plates, if desired. Serve with fresh berries and powdered sugar, if desired.

  • Valentine’s Day Recipe Roundup
  • Chocolate-Stuffed Red Velvet Cupcakes

    How to make Chocolate-Stuffed Red Velvet Cupcakes

    Yield: 12 cupcakes

    Prep Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour 40 minutes


    For the chocolate stuffing:

    1 cup milk chocolate chips
    1/3 cup heavy cream
    1 tablespoon unsalted butter

    For the cupcakes:

    1 cup all-purpose flour
    2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    3/4 cup granulated sugar
    1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1 large egg
    2 teaspoons red food coloring
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 cup buttermilk
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon vinegar


    For the chocolate stuffing:

    In a small saucepan combine chocolate, cream, and butter. Stir over low heat until chocolate is melted. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool for 15 minutes. Cover and freeze about 1 hour, or until fudge-like consistency. Divide chocolate filling into 12 equal portions and roll into balls. Place in freezer.

    For the cupcakes:

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners.

    In a small bowl sift flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer beat butter and sugar on medium for 2-3 minutes, until light in color and well combined. Beat in egg, food coloring, and vanilla. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. In a small bowl combine baking soda and vinegar. Stir into batter.

    Divide half the batter among prepared cups. Place a ball of chocolate into center of each cup. Top evenly with remaining batter.

    Bake 15-17 minutes, or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Serve warm or let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.

    From Better Homes & Gardens February 2012

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