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Originally published Wednesday, February 11, 2009 at 12:00 AM

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Hot Fudge Pudding Cakes for Valentines Day

Individual Hot Fudge Pudding Cakes for Valentine's Day.

Pamper your Valentine with hot fudge pudding cakes, which form a rich, thick sauce on the bottom during cooking.

This recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of weak coffee. Use either 1 cup of regular coffee diluted with 1/2 cup water or 1 1/2 cups of water mixed with 2 teaspoons instant espresso or instant coffee. Serve with vanilla or coffee ice cream.

INDIVIDUAL HOT FUDGE PUDDING CAKES

Makes 4 servings

6 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder, divided

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces

1 ounce bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided

3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar

3 tablespoons whole milk

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1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 large egg yolk, room temperature

Pinch salt

3/4 cup weak coffee

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat four 6-ounce ramekins with cooking spray, then arrange them on a rimmed baking sheet.

2. In a medium bowl, combine 3 tablespoons of the cocoa, the butter and chocolate. Microwave, stopping often to stir, until smooth, about 1 to 3 minutes. Set the mixture aside to cool slightly.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder.

4. In another small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons of the granulated sugar, the remaining 3 tablespoons of cocoa and the brown sugar, breaking up any large clumps with your fingers.

5. In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining granulated sugar, the milk, vanilla, egg yolk and salt. Whisk in the cooled melted chocolate mixture, followed by the flour mixture, until just combined.

6. Divide the batter evenly among the ramekins (about 1/4 cup per ramekin) and smooth the tops. Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of the cocoa mixture over the batter in each ramekin. Pour 3 tablespoons of the coffee over the cocoa in each ramekin.

7. Bake the cakes until puffed and bubbling, about 20 minutes. Let the cakes cool for 15 minutes before serving in the ramekins (the cakes will fall slightly).

(Recipe adapted from Cook's Country magazine)

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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