Fabulous Chocolate Pudding Cakes

I have always shown my love to family and friends through my creations from the kitchen. From the time my kids were little, time spent around the dining room table was precious - time to share our day, our humor, our stories and our love. And fabulous food. Here is a recipe for one of my family's favorite desserts, perfect for a Valentine's Day dinner. They are easy to make and can be made ahead of time. Just pop them in the oven 10 minutes before you want to serve them.

This dessert is all about the chocolate and butter so, first, you must let go of the worries about cholesterol and calories! Here is what you will need:

5-1/2 oz of bittersweet chocolate (don't skimp here - it is all about the chocolate)
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp unsalted butter
3 whole eggs and 3 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
5 tbsp flour

Lightly butter 6 ramekins with the 1 tbsp of butter. Set aside. Melt the chocolate with the remaining butter in a double boiler over gently boiling water. If you don't have one, set a heatproof bowl over gently boiling water. Stir them together as they melt until they look like this.
Set aside to cool. If you put the chocolate mixture in a clean bowl, it will cool faster.

In another bowl, mix together the eggs and yolks, using a hand mixer on medium speed, for about 5 minutes - until they are a nice lemon color like this.

Add flour and mix again, just until blended. Add cooled chocolate mixture and mix one last time, just until blended. Pour this equally into the ramekins. At this stage, you can cover with wrap and set aside at room temp until you are ready to put in the oven.

Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for only 10-11 minutes. The outside should look like a brownie but the inside should still be moist and shake a bit. Don't over cook them! They should look like this (or even moister in the middle, if you prefer).

Sprinkle a little confectioner's sugar, add a dallop of whipped cream or even top with a little vanilla ice cream.

That's it. All done and to die for. Off to show my family some love ... and share my pudding cakes with them. Happy Valentine's Day!