Sunday, 14 February 2010

Chocolate Valentines





It all began with an email from a sweet blogger friend.

Kate @ Serendipity wrote:
I want to get together a few food bloggers, send them all some dark chocolate, and we'll all make something for Valentine's day. And post it that day. It doesn’t have to be a new recipe, or an original one. It just has to be something that you love and that you’d love to serve to someone special on Valentine’s Day.
Would you be interested? Please say yes!

Did I need asking twice?? What do you think? I replied immediately and said "Yes, please!"

It wasn't long before I took delivery of this wonderful gift of dark Belgian chocolate gorgeousness.

Kates' very pretty card had this note attached:
" Maggie,
Here it is! The large dark bar is just wonderful chocolate. Me, I'd eat that one. The ones in foil are what use when I cook with chocolate. But they are good to eat too. The small one is handmade by Christophe and makes wicked hot chocolate. Whatever you do with the, I hope you enjoy them!
Kate".
How could I resist, especially as Kate almost insisted? I broke off a small piece from the largest bar, mmmmmm, heaven.

So, what did tempting treat did I make for my Sweet Valentine.


Chocolate expresso cake with caffe latte cream, so wicked, so decadent, so wonderful! From Nigella's "FEAST Food That Celebrates Life", see her recipe below.



When I removed the cake from the oven the top was firm to the touch but inside was all dark chocolate squidginess and mousselike. Once it was cool I dusted with cocoa powder and then just before serving piled the cream in the sunken centre of the cake.



The combined taste was very reminiscent of a Tiramisu dessert, thanks to the Tia Maria liqueur!
Cupid is never far away on Valentine's Day.



Pretty heart shaped plates, "Love Letters" from William Sonoma.

CHOCOLATE ESPRESSO CAKE WITH CAFFE LATTE CREAM

Makes 10 to 12 slices.

FOR THE CAKE

150g dark chocolate, chopped

150g butter

6 eggs

250g caster sugar

1tsp vanilla real extract

75g plain flour

5 tsp instant espresso powder

4tblsp Tia Maria or other coffee liqueur

FOR THE CAFFE LATTE CREAM

75g white chocolate broken into small pieces (I used Nestle Chocolat Blanc a p√Ętisser)

375ml double cream (I used creme cru)

scant 2 tsps instant espresso powder (I used Carte Noir individual sticks of instant espresso)

Pre heat oven to gas mark 4/180 degrees C. Butter and line a 23 inch Springform tin

Melt the chocolate & butter in the microwave or or double boiler, allow to cool slightly.

Beat the eggs, sugar & vanilla together, until thick, pale & moussey. The mixture should double in size, I used my Kitchenaid freestanding mixer which made the task easier.

Fold in the flour & espresso powder, keeping as much as in the batter as possible, then add the melted chocolate & butter, folding it in gently.

Pour into prepared tin and cook for 35 - 40 minutes.

The top of the cake should be firm to the touch but underneath still a little bit gooey.

Poor over the Tia Maria before allowing the cake to cool completely.

For the cream, melt the white chocolate, as before and let it cool, fold in the cream & the espresso powder whipping together until it thickens.

Release the cake from the springform tin, dust with cocoa and serve the creme in a bowl or pile the creme into the slightly sunken centre of the cake.


Vintage Valentines courtesy of TipNut

26 comments:

  1. Morning Maggie

    Why don't you live just up the road to me, that cake.............

    Hope you have a lovely day together, making sweet music and eating that delicious looking cake!!

    Jackie.

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  2. Oh - my, my, my! How absolutely decadent!

    Have a wonderful day and enjoy that cake.

    Carol

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  3. What a delicious cake, and that cream! Well done!
    Love Nigella, I will have to try this recipe.
    Pam

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  4. Fabulous cake! And I love your bright red cupid...who's he aiming at?
    Happy Valentine's Day to you!

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  5. as a coffee lover, i'm drawn to this cake. that cream, however, is irresistibly decadent!

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  6. Maggie,
    Happy Valentine's Day! That cake looked delicious. I'm sure your sweet valentine loved it!
    Jane

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  7. I would be so all over this cake...I am jealous. One of my sons stopped in last night and he brought a white chocolate mousse cheesecake with him.
    I took one bite and that was it. It was such a disappointment.
    Now I feel I missed out and will have to make this one. Once I convert the measurements to cups and tablespoons. Lol.
    Happy Valentine's Day! Hope it is a good one.

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  8. For Lori and anyone else who might need to convert the cake weights & measures this is a useful website
    http://home.clara.net/brianp/cooking.html

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  9. I love that cake! That is right up my alley - and my valentine's as well. Interesting topping, but do you whip the cream first, or whip it together with the chocolate and rest of the ingredients?

    I'm jealous at your place of residence; I adore that area, and would love a return visit.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. :)
    ~Katherine

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  10. Uhm, yeah. Yeah, I would love to eat that. Looks amazing!

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  11. Oh my, wonderful combination of flavors. I need a spoon and a fork! Aren't you amazed at how smooth the chocolate is? And....so delicious!

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  12. WOw, this cake sounds beyond delicious! Happy valentines day!

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  13. Really, Maggie, you could just pack up that cake and hop a plane and be here in time for - well, perhaps tomorrow's lunch...but I'd be very grateful and pull out all the stops for you and your cake!
    Lovely photos on your last few blogs. I've had a nice catch-up and wish I could go to that market with you.

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  14. Maggie, you've outdone yourself and certainly put all that delicious chocolate to good use. The cake sounds wonderful but your coffee latte cream has stolen my heart. Kudos. Have a wonderful Valentines Day. Blessings...Mary

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  15. OMG...I am drooling here. Thank you so much for the cake recipe. It will been on my table very soon. Happy Valentine's Day. Cheers.

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  16. That cherub is THE QUINTESSENTIAL cherub..of my youth and now..The cake looks divine and thanks for sharing Kate's note and all the chocolates..What a nice gesture that was.~

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  17. How decadent, perfect for Valentine's! Enjoying your blog and all of the GREAT recipes! Come over to GrannyMountain for a visit when you have time...

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  18. Maggie, I'd like to be sitting in the bear's place....yum!

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  19. omg, i sooooooooo want this! what a perfect flavor combo! i see the later in the day i look, the more crazed i get for wanting MORE! it looks terrific, and such a cute setting too~

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  20. Oooh, that looks delectable. I hope you and the ones you love enjoyed every bite!

    Lorrie

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  21. Oh, Maggie, can I put in a request now? Just tell me what chocolate to bring. This looks fabulous!
    Happy Valentine's Day (late) to you and Mr. B.
    Valentine hugs to each of you. ~ Sarah

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  22. You got me with the first pic and then, tastes like Tiriami Su? I'm in gotta make it!

    Happy Valentines Day, fellow Choclateer!

    Diane

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  23. Maggie, oh, my. This looks perfect for V-day. The fudgy cake had me, but the topping makes me want to shout HALLELUIA!

    Ahem. Sorry. I get carried away where chocolate's involved.

    What a great cake. Thanks for posting it!

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  24. Lovely snow photos of your charming village..love that striking rooster against the snow..and that chocolate cake concoction sounds and looks absolutely divine! My mouth is watering! Happy Valentine's Day past..Hugs

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  25. Maggie, that first bite was heavenly - thanks for inviting me to share!!

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