Did you know that approximately 58 billion pounds or $1.5 billion worth of chocolate gets sold worldwide the week leading up to Valentine’s Day. That’s a lot of chocolate.
With chocolate so wildly popular — and a favorite of mine — I thought my cake would make a great dessert this Valentine’s Day. The cake is much like a brownie, and the icing is light, made with chocolate cocoa powder and mascarpone (an Italian cream cheese), a very rich combination.
The two together will give you a chocolate fix that will last for days.
1 cup of unsalted butter
2 cups of sugar
4 extra large eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2/3 cups of gluten free flour*
1 cup of unsweetened natural cocoa powder
½ teaspoon of baking powder
½ teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of xanthan gum (use if not an ingredient in the flour you’re using)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9-inch cake pans, tapping out the excess flour.
Melt the butter either in a microwave oven or on the stove. Pour the melted butter into a mixing bowl and, with the paddle attachment, add in the sugar, blending well using the medium high speed for 3 minutes. Then add the eggs, one at a time, blending well, and then add the vanilla.
Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and xanthan gum together and then add to the sugar mixture. Use the lowest speed to start with to keep the flour mixture from flying all over the counter. Once blended, raise the mixer to a higher speed and beat until the batter is smooth, maybe 3 or 4 more minutes. This creates air bubbles to help the cake rise.
Spread the batter into the cake pans equally and evenly. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, it’s done. Let the cake cool completely in the pans on a rack.
After the cake cools, make the frosting.
Chocolate mascarpone frosting
2 8-ounce packages of mascarpone
½ cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
5 tablespoons of sugar
1 ½ heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon of vanilla
Place all of the ingredients into mixing bowl and start at a slow speed, so the cocoa powder won’t explode all over. Then, once blended, increase the speed and beat for 2 to 4 minutes.
When the cake is cooled, ice the first layer. There will be enough to create ½ inch layer of frosting. Then top with the second layer and ice the top and sides.
Chocolate drizzle decoration
2 ounces of semi sweet chocolate squares
1 tablespoon Crisco or butter
In a microwave or on the stovetop, melt both ingredients (watch closely), stir and then drizzle over the cake. Place in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve it.
* Gluten-free flour is available at Marshall IGA, The Natural Marketplace and the local grocery stores.