Of course Valentines day requires chocolate, and lots of it. Years ago (too many for me to want to remember) after a particularly disappointing Valentines Day meal out where it seemed that no place would take reservations and when we arrived around 6:00 there was a three-hour wait, the service was poor and they had a “special” meaning very expensive menu only. After that, I decided that going out to dinner on Valentines Day (and most other holidays) is more trouble than it is worth. Don’t get me wrong, I like a nice dinner out as much as anyone I just prefer to go a different day, when they take reservations and aren’t overwhelmed trying to serve the huge crowds. Mostly, I really don’t like crowds or waiting I’d much rather make dinner and enjoy it at home.
This recipe is a test of the Cook’s Country Tunnel of Fudge recipe, which I cut in half and used in mini-bundt cake pans. It can be made a day or two ahead. It’s a perfect dessert for a small dinner party and even better for just two as there are leftovers! I’m serving this with a meal to go with it simple and quick enough for a weeknight: chicken breasts baked in pastry crust, asparagus and pearl couscous in cream sauce. If you don’t have the mini-bundt pans or prefer to make the full size, just use the whole recipe but these look so cute!
Ingredients I used:
1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon cocoa (Cook’s Country recommends Dutch processed but I didn’t have any so I just used regular Hershey’s Cocoa)
1/4 cup boiling water
1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped or chips
1 cup flour
1 cup pecans chopped finely (which I forgot to show in the picture)
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/4 cups butter softened
To make cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter a mini Bundt pan and dust with cocoa powder.
Put the chocolate in a small bowl and add the boiling water, mixing until smooth, set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk 3/4 cup cocoa, flour, walnuts (or pecans), confectioners’ sugar and salt.
In another bowl or mixing cup, whisk eggs and vanilla.
In mixing bowl at medium speed beat granulated sugar, brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low, add egg mixture and mix until just combined. Add chocolate mixture and mix until just combined. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined.
Put batter into prepared pans, smooth and bake 20-25 minutes until edges are beginning to pull away from pan; do not overbake (do not use a cake tester, toothpick or skewer to test the cake).
Remove to a wire rack and cool, upright, 1 1/2 hours. Invert cake onto serving plate and cool completely, at least 2 hours.
I followed the recipe instructions given by Cook’s Country, the only difference is because of the smaller pan I baked them for 25 minutes but that may have been just a little too long, start checking them at 20 minutes as mine didn’t have much of a fudgy center. Even so it was very moist and almost brownie like with a good flavor from the nuts. I would definitely make them again, they were very tasty.
Here are the progress photos:
I did some chocolate dipped strawberries from an earlier post and added a little strawberry syrup to a heart shaped plate to finish up.