I am an incurable romantic. So contrary to all good sense and proportion, I eagerly await and embrace the emotional feeding frenzy that is Valentine’s Day. I don’t typically buy much. This year I got my daughters each a book. I was planning on making my way to the shops for something special for my husband, but the priceless combination of flu and this morning’s “snow day” put that idea to rest. So instead I get to spend the day with the ladies I love, doing what I love best. The first Valentine’s Day I spent with my husband, we had no money. I invited him over for a special dinner. He surprised me with a book of poetry and took me ice skating at a rink overlooking the Delaware River. It was meant to be!
The recipe below yields one 8-inch cake.
1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 c. sugar
1 t. Featherweight sodium-free baking powder (sold at Whole Foods markets and online at healthyheartmarket.com)
1 t. Ener-G sodium-free baking soda (sold online at healthyheartmarket.com)
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2 T. milk
1 t. pure vanilla extract
4 T. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips, melted
2 c. powdered sugar
1 c. unsweetened cocoa
1/2 c. half and half
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8-inch round cake pan; set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl (preferably using an electric mixer). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Sift the baking powder, soda and flour into a clean mixing bowl. Gradually add to the wet mixture, alternating with the milk. Scrape sides well to incorporate. Lastly, stir in the vanilla. The batter will be thick.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth top. Place on middle rack in oven and bake 45-50 minutes, until tester inserted into center comes clean. Remove from oven and cool in pan 10 minutes, before carefully removing and placing on wire rack to cool fully.
Prepare frosting once cake has cooled. Measure ingredients into a large mxing bowl and beat (using an electric mixer) on high for 5 minutes. Frost cake and decorate as desired.