What do you have planned for this weekend? Valentine's Day is Monday, so that leaves two glorious days to celebrate your love and admiration for that special someone. Desserts are tasty delicacies that, when done right, can bring a date to another level.
Before grabbing hold of some random dessert, think about who you’re celebrating with, his/her likes and dislikes, and the message you’re trying to convey. If wanting to leave a lasting impression, a little thought and initiative goes a long way. Consider sending your messages throughout the day. Personal candy grams, sweet treat messages or hints left in relevant places can trigger happy memories from various points in your relationship and lead up to a romantic evening.
If you want to keep to a heart and/or red theme, raspberry or strawberry fruit coulis shows brightness on any plate, as do sliced strawberries or bing cherries. Heart shaped cookies, tarts or cakes can help symbolize feelings. Small bites, like cupcakes, tarts, candies, or candies are perfect nibbles to bring couples close. And, then there’s chocolate, the ultimate aphrodisiac. Whether in the form of a mousse, pot de crème, or cake, chocolate can make many people happy and excited about the evening.
How do you like to celebrate Valentine’s Day? What do you enjoy? Are there favorite desserts that you desire?
Chocolate Buttermilk Cake with Coconut Buttercream
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
8 oz. good quality bittersweet chocolate, melted
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ¼ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ cup cocoa
1 cup buttermilk
¼ cup brewed, strong coffee, cooled
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup butter
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 oz. Artisana Coconut Butter (or 1 tsp. coconut extract)
1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream
2-3 cups of shredded coconut (for garnish)
Cake: Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Butter and flour two 9-inch cake pans, tapping out the excess flour.
Whisk the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt into a large bowl; set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, coffee, and vanilla.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well/scraping down the bowl after each addition. Carefully mix in melted chocolate. Mixing on low speed until just combined, alternately add the wet and dry ingredients, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Do not to overwork.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool on wire racks for 15 about minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
Butter cream: In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix butter and coconut butter until smooth. Add sugar and mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and continue to beat for another 3 minutes. Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 2-3 more minutes to get a white and fluffy butter cream.
To assemble: Set one cake on a cake plate or platter and top with about one-third of the icing and spread in an even layer to the edges. Top with the second cake and use remaining icing to cover the top and sides. Holding the cake over a bowl, garnish with shredded coconut.