Tuesday, February 18, 2014

food & drink magazine - valentines chocolate cake

I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentines Day and those in Ontario who celebrated Family Day, I hope you had a great one of those as well. Valentines is not only about the love you feel for your sweetie/significant other, but I also believe it's a time to show love for your whole family. I know Owen sure feels it. He is terribly sweet with his baby sister, even after two months her novelty hasn't worn off. Every morning there is a snugglefest in our bed.

One thing that made this weekend great was our first dinner night out in a sit down restaurant with the kids in tow. A total success which was a great relief. We also exchanged gifts and cards and Owen helped to bake Valentines brownies.

There was another serious baking session going down here. This week I'll be blogging about recipes from the most recent Food & Drink magazine, available for free at the LCBO. Their Valentines Chocolate Cake from this current issue looked divine and after reading about it I was inspired to give it a try. I committed myself to baking it for a family dinner and only after realized that this recipe calls for two 6-inch square and two 6-inch round pans (as well as an additional 8-inch). We have accumulated various cake pans after years of our sculpted cakes, but we definitely didn't have that particular combination of pans laying around. It just didn't seem worth it to run out and purchase 4 small cake pans just to try this cake. So I modified slightly and used four 8 inch pans and eliminated the spare 8 inch to make up the difference in volume. 

Once that was sorted, I got to work and ran into another snag. I didn't have any semi-sweet chocolate in the house, so I substituted for my best quality bittersweet chocolate. The rest of the recipe was a fun challenge to bake. It took an hour from start till it hit the oven. Once complete I was pretty happy with the results. The cakes didn't rise very high, and I can't figure if it's because of the lack of leavening ingredients or the cake pan swap-out I made. But once assembled two layers seemed to do fine for height. The cake was huge, but that was alright because the whole family was getting together for this dinner.

I wasn't entirely sure where I stood with this cake when we ate it for dinner, but after having several slices since I'm quite pleased. The best thing about this cake is the texture. Smooth and velvety but also very light. The baker who shared this recipe indicated she bakes it in three 9-inch rounds and if I ever try it again I'll be interested in using that combination down the road.

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