This blog features news on local food finds, tales from home cooks and inspiration to help you have fun in your own kitchen.
Valentine’s dinner at home, no stress required
If you’re still trying to figure out your Valentine’s Day dinner plans, don’t feel like you blew it if you don’t have a restaurant reservation. Adding just a few special details to a number from your typical weeknight repertoire–candlelight (if you’re into that and won’t be dining with a toddler), flowers on the table, a nice bottle of wine, or, my favorite, a decadent dessert, can all help make a normal weeknight just a little more special.
Besides, when you do Valentine’s Day at home you spend less money, you never have to wait for a table and you don’t have to scramble to find a babysitter. Oh, and you choose the music.
I would love to hear what your favorite ways to spice up weeknight meals for occasions like this are. I’ll be making one of my go-to special but easy desserts. Flourless chocolate cake has the dark chocolate kick that, to me, is what Valentine’s Day is all about. It’s quick, easy and I bet many of you already have the ingredients in your cupboards. If you’re in a pinch and are still looking for something special to make your sweetie, give this one a try.
Flourless Chocolate Cake
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1 stick unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
(optional add-ins – a small amount of vanilla extract, cinnamon, instant coffee powder, cayenne pepper or Kahlua)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9-inch cake pan, and line the bottom with wax paper, then butter the paper.
Chop chocolate into small pieces. In a double-boiler, melt the chocolate with the butter, stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat and whisk in sugar.
Add eggs and whisk well. Sift cocoa powder and salt over mixture and whisk until just combined. Pour batter into pan.
Bake about 18 minutes, or until a cake-tester comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then remove cake to a plate.
Serve with vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream. Raspberries or strawberries also make a nice garnish. If you want to go really fancy, sift a little cocoa powder or powdered sugar on top of the final plate.