Happy Valentine’s Day (I know I’m early, so Happy Valentine’s Week!)
I hope you feel loved and special today because that’s what you are. You are a wonderful person, blessed by those you meet. You inspire those around you with your passion for life. You are unique; there is no one else out there like you. No one else laughs the same, smiles the same or is able to brighten up a day like you can.
Never sell yourself short and always know you can reach any goal you set. No matter what mountain you are facing, know you have kind souls wishing you the best, cheering you on.
I hope that you are filled with so much love that it will be contagious, caught by everyone around you, and the world will be more radiant with you being apart of it. And I hope, oh dear, I hope… today, you eat chocolate!
If cake could mirror love, this is what it would look like. Love is not perfect; it has its cracks, its own imperfections. Some cracks seem like canyons and others like ravines, but still, we all have them. But love, like a circle, is eternal. And lastly, a bond greater than you and me covers love. It is ever forgiving, ever present, and ever lovely.
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.”- 1 Corinthians 13:1-8
Recipe: Inspired by Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Cloud Cake
Makes 1 9-inch cake
*Note: When beating egg whites, make sure that the bowl you are whisking them in is completely clean and dry, or else the whites won’t be able to come to a semi-solid state.
9 ounces of dark chocolate chips (or milk chocolate chips if it’s one of those days)
1 stick of butter, softened
6 eggs, 4 separated, 2 whole
2/3 cups of sugar, divided in half
2 tablespoons of strong coffee
1 teaspoon of vanilla
Powdered sugar or whipped cream to garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
In a heatproof container, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave or in a double boiler. Add the softened butter to the warm, melted chocolate chips and stir until smooth. Set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the 4 egg whites until foamy. Once the egg whites become foamy, slowly add 1/3 cup of sugar. Whisk until the whites are glossy and are able to hold their shape. If the whites become dry, alas, you have whisked them too long.
In a medium-sized bowl, beat the 4 yolks and 2 whole eggs together with 1/3 cup of sugar and melted chocolate mixture. Beat until combined and smooth. Add a dollop of the egg whites and beat into the chocolate mixture (really, you can beat them in.) Then, with your gentle lamb hands, fold in the rest of the egg whites. Don’t be intimidated by folding! Just breathe. Slowly, take a rubber spatula and fold the egg whites, spooning from the bottom of the mixture and folding over to the top. Bring your spat down the center of the batter and continue folding until the mixture is just combined. I believe that if you are intimidated or anxious, the egg whites somehow know this and they begin to deflate out of your lack of belief in them.
Pour the batter into a 9-inch spring form pan fitted with parchment paper on the bottom and let bake for 25-30 minutes. The cake should look cracked around the edges, but just make sure that the center is no longer wobbly. Let the cake cool in its pan on a wire rack. The center will fall as it cools. Run a knife around the edge just to make sure that there is no cake sticking to the sides. Remove the side from the pan and serve with powdered sugar, whipped cream and berries for your loved one (or for yourself, I wont tell).