The days of making quick reservations online for special occasions are in the past. Dining during the pandemic is either inaccessible or just simply different for most of us. It’s made some of us hone in on our baking skills, make every holiday special, and bring the restaurant home. So, this Valentine’s Day, we’re going to get creative with celebrating Chocolate Cake Day to romance ourselves and our partners. Read on to find out how!
Start Your Bake
We’re going to start with the most important part of the holiday - the cake! We love this Chocolate Ganache Cake recipe from Food Network. Because, let’s be real, Ina Garten knows how to serve cake. Our favorite outfit to wear while happy-dancing in the kitchen is this cami and legging set. It moves with you, supports you, and is super breathable. Just pop on a cute sweater and you’re ready for dinner!
Now, let’s get your cake baking while you transform your space into a Michelin-worthy dining room.
- 1/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 extra-large eggs at room temperature
- 1 1/3 cups Hershey's chocolate syrup
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 8 ounces good semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
- Candied violets or edible gold leaf, for decoration (optional)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour an 8-inch round cake pan, then line the bottom with parchment paper.
Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the chocolate syrup and vanilla. Add the flour and mix until just combined. Don't overbeat, or the cake will be tough.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until just set in the middle. Don't overbake! Let cool thoroughly in the pan.
For the ganache, cook the heavy cream, chocolate chips, and instant coffee in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally.
Place the cake upside down on a wire rack and pour the glaze evenly over the top, making sure to cover the entire cake and sides. You can tilt the rack to smooth the glaze. Decorate with candied violets, if desired, or gently crumble the gold leaf and place it on the center of the cake. Do not refrigerate.
Set the Mood
Going to your favorite restaurant has a lot to do with its ambience. The smells, sounds, lighting, and decor set the mood for a romantic dining experience. You can achieve this at home by putting a little extra effort into your table setting. Take out the nice china, arrange some fresh flowers, light a candle or two, and dim the lights for a more intimate vibe.
What better to pair with a chocolate cake than a Valentine’s Day mocktail? We’re loving anything with strawberries or citrus to cut the heavy chocolate flavor and brighten up the palate. If you’re adverse to the tried-and-true pairing of champagne and berries, we recommend a citrus pellegrino, a splash of your favorite fruit juice, stirred with fresh berries. Yum!
Are you going to try this cake recipe? Let us know how you’re going to spend your Chocolate Cake Day in the comments below or on our social media @Shapermint.