Here’s a simple and easy dessert to prepare ahead of time for your special sweetheart this Valentine’s Day. Make it elegant by plating it in special shapes. It can be served any time during your romantic evening and if you don’t make it to the dessert course have it with your coffee in the morning. The Godiva liqueur gives it a rich and decadent flavor but you can add Frangelico or any liqueur. Pick your chocolate to use based on your favorite chocolate; semi-sweet or bitter sweet. Use the chocolate ganache or a raspberry sauce to compliment the dessert.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray an 8-inch round cake pan with nonstick butter spray and line bottom with parchment.
Put the bittersweet chocolate, butter, vanilla and Godiva liqueur in a large bowl on top of a double boiler. Use a whisk to stir the mixture frequently until combined and smooth. Remove from the heat and put the bowl into an “ice bath” (water and ice in a bowl larger than the one containing the mixture) to cool the chocolate.
Cook’s Note: This step is important so the eggs will not cook when added to the chocolate.
Mix in the sugar and cocoa powder. Whisk in the eggs and pour into the prepared cake pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven and invert onto a rack over a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Cool slightly.
At this point wait until the cake is cool enough and cut into heart shapes. Sprinkle the shapes with powdered sugar. Spread a spoon of the ganache on the serving plate and place the heart shapes on top. Garnish with the berries.
Alternatively, you can pour the ganache over the cake when it is right out of the pan. Allow the cake to cool and set for 10 minutes before serving. Cut in wedges and garnish with fresh berries and powdered sugar.
Put the chocolate into a large bowl. Heat the cream in a small pot, over low heat, until hot to the touch. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Stir in the Godiva liqueur. Whisk until the chocolate melts and mixture is well blended.
Yield: 8 servings