Valentine Cake

Our friend Nicole sent us the recipe for this cake for Valentine’s Day with the email’s subject line “Milk Chocolate Guittard Decadence CAKE!!!” We were understandably pretty excited to try it out.

The original recipe calls for some fancy pants chocolate. We cheated and just used 365 Everyday Whole Foods chocolate. Please don’t tell Nicole. The only direction we left off was to save her a piece. You should, though, because the cake is that good and that rich.


3 cups (18 oz) Collection Etienne 38% Cacao Milk Chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup water
3 large eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour


Preheat oven to 325°F. Line an 8-inch cake pan with parchment.

Melt chocolate and water in top of double boiler over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth. Set aside and keep warm.

Makeshift/awesome double  boiler

Makeshift/awesome double boiler 

Beat eggs and sugar on high speed until pale and thick, about 5 minutes. Add melted chocolate and mix on low speed until smooth. Mix in flour just until incorporated. Pour into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 45-50 minutes. Top should be puffy and cracked and edges set but center will test wet.

Delicious batter in my grandmother's old Kitchenaid stand mixer

Delicious batter in my grandmother’s old Kitchenaid stand mixer

Cool on rack. Loosen cake from pan by running a thin blade around the edges.



Invert onto plate. Cake can be served warm for a runny texture, room temperature for a soft texture, or the next day for a firm texture. This cake also freezes well. Cut with a long bladed knife dipped in hot water and wiped clean before cutting each piece.

Inverted onto my cow plate -- so named because of the cow illustration in the center (not visible)

Inverted onto my cow plate — so named because of the cow illustration in the center (not visible)

The rain and cold are not letting up here in Houston. For the last few weeks we’ve seen ice, snow, sleet, freezing rain, wintry mix (?), and just plain old rain. During the initial freakout last week, we actually heard a news story on the radio that detailed the process of salting the roads. Poor Texans.

The weather being the way it is, we did not want to go outside today. We eat yogurt most mornings for breakfast (following a recipe from French Women Don’t Get Fat Cookbook, recipe forthcoming). Even though Flank Steak (Andrew) is slightly lactose intolerant, a little bit of Lactaid does the trick: The yogurt is just that good.

Cold Yogurt Day

The two essentials

Yogurt only takes about 20 minutes to make, but it was a welcome distraction from the various papers, studying for boards, and other tasks that called our names. The only problem we’ve been having during the winter is that we have to really take care to keep the yogurt warm during the inactive period. During the summer it is not as much of a problem. We warm up kitchen towels in the dryer while we’re boiling the milk to make sure the mixture will stay warm enough

Homemade Yogurt

  • 3.5 cups milk (we prefer whole)
  • 1/2 cup yogurt (You can buy a small container at the store or use leftovers from a larger container. After you make your first batch, you will use the small amount that is leftover as the inoculant for the next batch and so on)
  • Kitchen towels
  • Quart sized mason jar
  • Thermometer

1. Bring the milk to a slight boil in a saucepan over medium high heat, stirring occasionally taking care not to scorch the milk.

2. Once the milk has boiled, remove from heat immediately. Cool until the milk reaches 115 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Once milk has cooled, mix it with the yogurt in the mason jar. Stir with a spoon.

4. Wrap the jar in the warm towels and cover the top. Leave undisturbed for several hours (6+) or overnight.

If the yogurt is too watery for your taste (like ours was today), you can always put your yogurt into a rinsed coffee filter over a mesh colander and drain it over a bowl for a few hours in the fridge. While this decreases the volume, you still end up with quite a bit. Repeat once a week and you’ll successfully avoid doing school work for 20 minutes and you will find a use for that milk in your fridge that expires tomorrow.