Rather than spending Valentine’s Day in a crowded restaurant or dropping hundreds of dollars for a private dinner, why not cook dinner for your sweetheart?
Let’s be honest, cooking your own dinner is going to be more affordable, a lot less hectic than trying to find an affordable restaurant that takes reservations, and it’s going to be a lot more romantic.
This week, leading up to Valentine’s Day, we’re giving you plenty of ideas to make your Valentine’s Day more personalized and special.
We may not eat desserts after every meal, but on Valentine’s Day, it’s required, and we have several ideas that will have your sweetheart feeling loved and appreciated. Today’s featured Valentine’s Day dessert…Dark Chocolate Torte!
- Torte Ingredients
- 1/3 c. water
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1 stick butter, cubed
- 1-12 oz bag bittersweet chocolate chips (Ghirardelli)
- 1 tsp instant coffee/espresso powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 c. cold strong coffee
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 6 large eggs
- Ganache Ingredients
- 1/2 c. heavy cream
- 3/4 c. bittersweet chocolate chips (Ghirardelli)
- Strawberry Coulis
- 1 1/2 c. frozen strawberries
- 1 TBSP lime or lemon juice (I use key lime)
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1 TBSP tapioca or cornstarch (just to thicken it)
- Bring water and sugar to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat. Add butter, chocolate chips, instant coffee, and salt. Let sit for 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Whisk in cold coffee and almond extract.
- In a large bowl, whisk eggs until completely combined. Whisk in chocolate mixture. Pour batter into a 9 x 2″ round cake pan that has its bottom lined with parchment and totally sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
- Place cake pan in a large roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan half way with warm water. Bake torte in the roasting pan at 325 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until solid and slightly puffed. Remove pan from water and allow to cool for an hour.
- Remove torte from pan. Invert onto cake plate and remove parchment paper. Cool completely before serving.
- Before serving, make ganache. Heat cream in microwave until boiling–1-2 minutes. Add chocolate chips and let sit for 2 minutes to melt. Stir until smooth. Spread ganache over top of torte and let it drip down the sides. Top with sliced almond.
- In a small sauce pan, combine strawberries, lime juice, sugar, and tapioca. Cook over medium heat stirring frequently to prevent burning until thick. Pour into a blender or food processor. Pulse until smooth. Pour into a squeeze bottle and chill.
- To serve, squeeze strawberry coulis on plate, place torte slice on top, and a strawberry for garnish.