Chocolate rules on Valentine’s Day

#Middlebury #ValentinesDay #KitchenDiva

Valentine’s Day and chocolate are the perfect pair (although I don’t need a special holiday to celebrate the joys of eating chocolate). Women make 75 percent of all chocolate purchases throughout the year, but in the days before and on Valentine’s Day, 75 percent of chocolate purchases are made by men for the women in their lives. They must love us a lot, because more than a billion dollars is spent each year on chocolate for Valentine’s Day.

Recent health research supports the benefits of eating dark chocolate in moderation, including helping to lower high blood pressure. Plant phenols – and in the case of dark chocolate, cocoa phenols – are compounds known to lower blood pressure. Chocolates made in Europe are generally richer in cocoa phenols than those made in the U.S.

Dark chocolate also contains beneficial antioxidants, which rid the body of free radicals. Free radicals are destructive molecules that are implicated in heart disease and other ailments. The antioxidants in about 1-1/2 ounces of dark chocolate exceed those found in walnuts, grapes and cranberries.

Bake a chocolate-lover’s chocolate cake for Valentine’s Day. ( photo)

This recipe for Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate Cake should be made with high-quality, premium dark cocoa powder for the best results. Think of it as a delicious way to improve your health while celebrating love on Valentine’s Day.

Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate Cake

2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup premium dark chocolate cocoa powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
Chocolate frosting (recipe follows)

  1. Heat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour two (9-inch) round baking pans (or see variations below).
  2. Using a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Beat mixture on medium speed for 2 minutes; do not overbeat. Stir in boiling water. The batter will be thin. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
  3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with the Chocolate Lovers Chocolate Frosting recipe below. Makes 10 to 12 servings.

One-Pan Cake – Grease and flour 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking pan. Heat oven to 350 F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely. Frost with the chocolate frosting recipe below.

Three-Layer Cake – Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. Heat oven to 350 F. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with the chocolate frosting recipe below.

Bundt Cake – Grease and flour 12-cup Bundt pan. Heat oven to 350 F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. Frost with the chocolate frosting recipe below.

Cupcakes – Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350 F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost with chocolate frosting recipe below. Makes about 30 cupcakes.

Chocolate Lover’s Frosting

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
2/3 cup premium dark chocolate baking cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Using a small, microwave-safe bowl, melt butter in the microwave, about 30 to 40 seconds or until melted. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating until the mixture is smooth. Add a small amount of additional milk, if needed, to make the frosting easier to spread. Stir in vanilla extract. Makes about 2 cups frosting.

Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children’s author, culinary historian and the author of seven cookbooks. Her new cookbook is “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.” Her website is To see how-to videos, recipes and much, much more, Like Angela Shelf Medearis, The Kitchen Diva! on Facebook. Recipes may not be reprinted without permission from Angela Shelf Medearis.

(c) 2018 King Features Synd., Inc., and Angela Shelf Medearis


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