These single-serve chocolate wine cakes topped with balsamic glazed figs are the answer to your special dessert for two. Perfect for a birthday, Valentine’s Day, or any time you don’t want to make an entire cake!
I am really on top of Valentine’s recipes this year; any one reading this blog would think that I have a thing for this holiday! In truth, I’m not actually that into Valentine’s Day.
Before I started dating my boyfriend, Valentine’s wasn’t anything special. I would either hit up a movie with a few of my single friends, stuff my face with chocolate, or pretend like it didn’t exist. (Which was difficult, considering my many retail jobs.) The first couple years of dating my boyfriend weren’t much different — we were doing the long distance thing, so the most we could do was shoot off an email or call each other to wish the other a happy holiday.
The year I was in Australia was the first Valentine’s Day we spent together in the same timezone. We decided to go all out. We booked a reservation at a restaurant we both loved, he bought me a beautiful bouquet of flowers, and we had a lovely evening out. By the time we both got home though, we realized that getting gussied up and eating tiny, intricate food wasn’t our thing. But it was nice to experience it at least once. The following year we vowed to share a quiet meal at home and watch a movie. Much more our speed.
Circumstances tore us apart again this year, so no movie night for us. However, if we were together this year, these individual chocolate wine cakes would be our dessert.
I adore single-serve desserts. I don’t make them very often, because I can usually find people to take a massive trifle or pan of brownies off my hands. But for special holidays like Valentine’s, New Year’s, or birthdays spent with just your SO, individual treats are the way to go. They’re much more personalized, and you also don’t have an entire cake hanging around tempting you day in and out. <– my issue.
If you’re a red wine lover, like myself, you’re going to go crazy for these cakes. I’m slapping a warning label on these guys, because not only are they dangerously chocolatey, but you can 100 percent taste the wine. I’ve had quite a few chocolate cakes that claimed to be wine cakes and most definitely were not. I didn’t want another one of those. These babies are unquestionably an adult-only dessert!
To add a little pizzazz (does anyone say that anymore, or is it just me?), I gently poached some figs in a balsamic and red wine reduction and arranged them on top of the cakes. I then proceeded to pour a bucket load of that warm glaze over top as well, because it is one of the best things I have ever had the pleasure of licking off a spoon. I think I would have been happy just sipping a soup bowl full of this balsamic glaze for dessert. Trust me on this one, you’ll be dreaming about this glaze for months to come.
If you’re planning on staying home this Valentine’s Day and need a little something for dessert, give these mini chocolate wine cakes a try! They’re easy, quick, and sound exceptionally fancy.
Not to mention they taste fantastic.
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 tbsp raw cane sugar
- 1 egg, room temperature
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp red wine (I used a quality Cabernet Sauvignon)
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1½ tbsp natural, unsweetened cocoa powder
- pinch salt
- ¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup red wine
- ⅓ + 1 tbsp raw cane sugar
- 2 fresh figs
- Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C) and spritz two 1 cup ramekins with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
- Whisk in the egg, vanilla, and red wine until emulsified.
- Sift in the baking powder, cocoa, salt, and flour, and whisk to combine.
- Equally divide the batter between the two prepared ramekins, and bake the cakes for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted at the centre comes out clean.
- Allow the cakes to cool in the ramekins until ready to serve.
- Make the glaze right before serving.
- Prepare the figs by slicing them in half lengthwise. Set aside.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the balsamic vinegar, red wine, and sugar. Bring the contents to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Allow the glaze to reduce by half, stirring occasionally, until it is thick enough to thickly coat the back of a metal spoon, 12-15 minutes.
- Turn the heat to low and add the figs to the pan, inside down. Let the figs poach in the liquid for 5-7 minutes, basting them every minute or so. The figs should remain pretty solid, just warmed through.
- When the figs are finished poaching, carefully remove the cakes from the ramekins and turn them onto serving plates. (If they've domed, you can slice off the top to even it out.)
- Top the cakes with the poached figs and some of the warm glaze. Serve immediately.
You can speed up the process by making the cakes up to 12 hours in advance. Just be sure to cover them with plastic wrap until you're ready to serve.