Chocolate. The natural aphrodisiac provided by God. I have heard it said so many times; "this chocolate is better than sex!" Well, I don't know about that, but I do know chocolate and sex go together. It has been proven that Women who consume chocolate daily have a higher degree of sexual satisfaction. The study, which was funded by a university for academic purposes, and not by a chocolate company, indicated that even women who normally had a lower libido reported an increase in their sex drive after consuming chocolate. Why? Chocolate contains both Serotonin and Phenylethylamine, which are mood-lifting hormones found naturally in the human brain. When we consume chocolate, we increase our normal levels of both, which leads to that feeling of excitement, as well as an increased level of energy.
Romantic Tip: Serve some chocolate after dinner and make tonight's dessert incredibly romantic.
We were recently invited to a "mini-food" party. How fun! I wasn't sure at first what I would create. Then I decided Chocolate was a safe bet at a party. These individual serving cakes are a perfect party pleaser. Just the right portion for one person.
Mini Chocolate Cakes
adapted from http://www.lauraadamache.ro
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 Vanilla bean
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup dark chocolate
1.5 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons of white rum
3/4 cups water
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons of Brandy
1/2 cup unsalted butter
10 tablespoons sugar
10 tablespoons cocoa powder
12 tablespoons milk
1/2 tablespoon gelatin powder
Shaved chocolate bar
Add Eggs, Sugar and inside of the vanilla bean to a large mixing bowl.
Whip the eggs with the sugar and the vanilla until they change color and their volume triples. Sift together the flour and the cocoa powder. Gradually add the flour and cocoa mix to the egg batter and gently fold them in, from bottom to top.
Butter and flour a rectangular pan 11x9 and pour the batter in.
Bake the sponge cake in the preheated oven at a temperature of 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes.
Remove the sponge cake from the oven, let it cool for a bit in the pan, then flip it over on a rack and let it cool completely while you make the ganache. It will be firm, don't worry, it is a sponge cake and will be absorbing syrup.
Pour the heavy whipping cream in a saucepan and add the butter. Simmer on very low heat and make sure it doesn’t get to a boil!
When the mixture gets very hot, remove from heat and add the chocolate cut into very small pieces and the rum. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted then let the mixture cool down for about 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, start to whip it until it turns into a lightly colored frosting. You will need approximately 10 to 15 minutes until it thickens. After it is cool enough, leave it on the counter until you start putting the cakes together.
How to make the syrup
In a small saucepan, mix the water and the fructose and simmer on low heat. When the fructose is completely dissolved, put out the heat, add the brandy and the vanilla extract and cover the saucepan with a lid. Let the syrup cool down.
Cut the sponge cake into circles using cake ring.
Place the first sponge cake layer in your baking pan.
Top it with 1 or 2 tablespoons of syrup, add some ganache.
Place the second sponge cake layer, moisten it with the syrup and then top with the ganache. It will pour over the sides and create a "frosting".
You can stop here, or add a shaved chocolate bar on the top as garnish.