Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Miniature Chocolate Peanut Butter Heart Cakes

Servings: 8
These little heart cakes will be thoroughly enjoyed by your Valentine's Day guests, and especially loved by your "chocoholic" friends and also those who love the scrumptious combination of chocolate and peanut butter.

For a chocolaty crust on the cakes, grease the mold and dust with cocoa before pouring in the batter.

5 oz. (141g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp. creamy style peanut butter
1 tbsp. heavy cream
1 tbsp. (1 oz./14g) unsalted butter
2 whole eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour

Serve with:
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C.

To Make the Ganache:
1.) In a small, heatproof bowl, combine 1 oz. of the chocolate and the 1/3 cup peanut butter. Set the bowl over but not touching simmering water in a saucepan and melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally. Remove the bowl from the heat (reserve the pan of simmering water), add the cream and stir until smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the ganache until firm, about 20 minutes.

To Make the Batter:
2.) In another small, heatproof bowl, combine the remaining 4 oz. chocolate, the 2 tbsp. peanut butter and the butter. Set the bowl over but not touching the simmering water and melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally. Remove the bowl from the heat and let cool for at least 10 minutes.

3.) In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the whole eggs, egg yolk, sugar, vanilla and salt. Beat on high speed until the mixture has nearly tripled in volume and ribbons fall from the whisk, about 5 minutes. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Sift the flour over the egg mixture and gently fold together until just blended. Add the chocolate mixture and gently fold together until smooth and blended.

4.) Divide the batter among the wells of an 8-well silicone heart-shaped mold. Remove the ganache from the refrigerator and form into 8 teaspoon-size balls. Place 1 ball on top of the batter in each well and press gently down into the batter. Bake until the cakes pull away from the sides of the mold and the tops are set, 9 to 11 minutes. Transfer the mold to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes.

5.) Gently pop the cakes out of the mold; if necessary, run a table knife around the inside of the wells to loosen the cakes. Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Makes 8 servings.

Date: February 7, 2009