Valentine's Day My Way!

Valentines Day holds a special place in my heart. Its a day that all I want to do is sit at home and not venture out into the crazy world. The world that is last minute shoppers and the absolute chaos that restaurants are on this day. No Thank you I don't want any part of that. The last time P and I went out for Valentine's Day kind of sealed the deal for me. He was so sweet and got us a reservation at an Italian restaurant in downtown Chicago. We got all dressed up and drove downtown pulled right up to the restaurant, the valet was ready and waiting, which is nice when its about 20 degrees outside. We walk inside the restaurant and are immediately hit with a crowd of people waiting. So I think to myself wow would you really not make a reservation on Valentine's Day and just show up, how silly of them. So we walk up to let them know that we are here and the hostess in her nicest voice says Great we should be able to seat you in a hour. And I naively say but we had a reservation and she said yes I know so did everyone else here. I look around in horror realizing these down trodden people just huddled together are in the same situation that I just found myself in. So we stand there and wait because there is no room at the bar either so your only choice is to wait out in the vestibule with everyone else. So we stand there and shiver like everyone else every time the door opens and exposes us to the 20 degree weather. Finally our table is ready and what a table it is. It is about half the size of a card table and crammed into the corner, I already see this going badly as P is tall, as in 6'7 tall and this is not going to be comfortable for him at all. So we order our food which takes quite a while even though it is a limited menu and we both ordered pasta. It arrives and we eat like we haven't seen food in years. As we get ready to leave and walk out I see more people walking in with the dumb founded look that I had on my face when I walked in. I hope they brought a scarf because it will be a while.

On to present day. P loves sweets but has this amazing self control to not eat them unless I tempt him with something he really loves. And this is something that he really loves. So I make it for him and to keep things interesting this year I changed up the flavor a little and made it fit my name sake because lets face it I love salt and chocolate together. So I used some Hazelnut Salt from Lords of Salt and it is probably my favorite salt out of all of them.

Molten Hazelnut Chocolate Cake

1/4 cup of unsalted butter, softened and more for buttering the ramekins
1/3 cup of sugar, plus more for the ramekins
3 eggs
1/3 cup of flour
1/2 teaspoon of Hazelnut Salt, plus more for sprinkling
5 oz of milk chocolate
3 oz of Nutella

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter and sugar the inside of 4 to 6 standard size ramekins, make sure to shake out the excess and set on a baking sheet. In a mixing bowl cream together the 1/4 cup of butter and 1/3 cup of sugar. In a double boiler melt together the chocolate and nutella and set aside. Add in the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture one at a time. Once they are incorporated add in the flour and salt, mix until just combined. Add in the chocolate mixture and stir to combine. Divide the batter among the ramekins evenly and bake on the baking sheet for 8 to 10 minutes or until the cake is just set and no longer jiggles when shaken lightly. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Turn out the cakes and sprinkle with Hazelnut salt. I normally also serve this with a raspberry sauce.

If you would like to purchase some fantastic Hazelnut Salt. Please visit this site.


  1. Mmm, this looks delicious! I love chocolate and hazelnut together! (I wish your post had gone up before Valentine's so you could have warned me about this horrible restaurant deal! When Todd and I arrived at the restaurant, I, too, noticed fifty ba-gillion people standing around. I announced my presence, "Ahem, I have a reservation for NOW." But no luck. We still waited about 45 minutes with all of the other reservation-makers. Won't make that mistake again! I'll have hazelnut chocolate cake instead!!)

  2. I totally agree with you - we always try and do Valentine's at home. It is so much nicer to be home with your sweetie in a nice quiet and calm atmosphere, than with a bunch of chaotic strangers.

    Your cake looks incredible :) Such a great blog :)

  3. Katie, this looks so delicious! I've been thinking about making this kind of cake recently (the molten!). Yumm!

  4. i'm sorry your reservation wasn't honored--i know how frustrating that is! and wow--6'7? that's awesome. :)
    meanwhile, the treat you've made is lovely. as usual. :)

  5. I was wondering how Molten Chocolate Cake could get any better, but my goodness- Nutella will do it! I've gotta try that!

  6. As a food writer, I learned long ago from chefs that they consider Valentine's Day to be "amateur night.'' What they mean is pretty much exactly what you said: It's crazy, it's overbooked, the guests dining are going to that restaurant only this one time, and it's a set menu that's easy on the kitchen, but doesn't necessarily showcase what the restaurant does best. You have the right idea that Valentine's Day is best spent relaxing in your own home.

  7. Katie, this molten cake sounds decadent! I will have to try it. My son and Daughter in law sent me flavored salts for Christmas - seven of them. One of them was Espresso Flavored Salt which I used on truffles. Boy was it good. So I love the way you topped off your cakes with the Hazelnut Salt, I'll have to look for it. Great recipe.

  8. Finsmom - It is much nicer, we had some friends want to go out on the 13th which I have now come to find out is the day that cheaters take out their on the side people. So I guess that day is a no go as well. :)
    Carolyn - It is crazy because they will make the overpriced cover no matter what they serve so they don't really care. Forget it I would rather go another day.
    Teresa - Espresso salt sounds like it would go perfectly with this cake. The Hazelnut salt is good but I think the Espresso sounds perfect and I don't even really like coffee.

  9. OH MY...does that look good. I love molten cakes but never thought of adding hazelnut!


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