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Cooking with Crevolyn: Chocolate is the food love language
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It’s almost Valentine’s Day. Does the holiday make you think of roses, cards, conversation hearts or, if you’re like me, chocolate?

I love chocolate in all shapes and sizes. That heart-shaped Russell Stover’s sampler always brings a smile to my face.

Chocolate is my food love language. And I love to bake and especially love to bake with chocolate.

When cooking with chocolate, several options exist. As a rule, it is best not to substitute from what a recipe has listed.

Used exclusively for baking is unsweetened chocolate. This is chocolate in its purest form with no additives.

Bittersweet or dark chocolate has only a small amount of sugar and can be used for baking or eating. I have subscribed to the heart-healthy benefits of dark chocolate for years.

Semisweet chocolate is probably the most versatile and has sugar and cocoa butter added.

Milk chocolate is the sweetest of all chocolates with a much milder flavor than dark chocolate.

Unsweetened cocoa powder is popular for use in cakes, frostings, brownies and hot chocolate. 

Several years ago, Darrell and I were in San Francisco and had the good fortune to attend the annual Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival. This is a two-day outdoor event at the Ghirardelli factory site on the bay, complete with baking competitions and chef demonstrations. Chocolate was everywhere in all forms: drinks, ice creams and every dessert imaginable.

It should be noted this is the site of my first experience with chocolate-covered bacon. It will go down as one of the best vacations ever for that reason alone.   

This flourless chocolate cake is perfection. It is rich and full of chocolate goodness. And the ganache, oh my word!

By the way, ganache is just a pretty word for a chocolate and cream glaze. This just might be the ideal Valentine’s Day dessert.

My gluten-free friends love this flourless recipe. Feel free to sprinkle it with some strawberry slices or raspberries to send it over the top.

Flourless chocolate cake

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease an 8-inch round cake pan; cut a piece of parchment or waxed paper to fit the bottom of the pan. Grease it and lay in the bottom.

Put the chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and heat until the butter is melted and the chips are soft. Stir until the chips melt, reheating briefly if needed. 

Stir in the sugar, salt and vanilla. Add eggs, beating briefly until smooth. Add the cocoa powder and mix just to combine.

Spoon the batter into prepared pan. 

Bake for approximately 25 minutes, being sure it is done in the center. The top will form a thin crust.

Remove from the oven and let cool in pan for 5 minutes.

Loosen the edges of the pan with a knife and turn onto a serving plate so the top is now on the bottom. Allow cake to cool completely before glazing.

Ganache

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Combine the chocolate and cream in a microwave-safe bowl and heat until the cream is very hot but not simmering. Remove from the microwave and stir until the chocolate melts and mixture is completely smooth.

Spoon the glaze over the cake; spreading it to drip over the sides.

Allow the glaze to set for several hours before serving.

Crevolyn Wiley is a Gainesville resident with her first published cookbook “Cooking with Crevolyn” available at J&J Foods. She can be contacted at crevolyn.wiley@jandjfoods.com.

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