February 11, 2010
Bake your way to Valentine's Day bliss

chocolate cake.jpgValentine's Day and dessert are pretty much synonymous, but that doesn't mean you have to resort to spending $8 per slice of cake.

Why not get into the kitchen and bake your sweetie some sweets they won't soon forget?

You may just get some confection affection.

Here's some baking hints:

• If you love rich chocolate flavor, look for recipes calling for cocoa powder or bittersweet chocolate with a high percentage of cacao.

• Chocolate dessert recipes that call for instant coffee or espresso powder also usually are winners, since coffee tends to deepen chocolate's flavor.

• Turn to the experts for inspiration. Epicurious, Food Network, Martha Stewart, Nigella Lawson and Nestle's Web sites are great places to start.

Click on the link below for an easy, delicious recipe for Love Struck Chocolate Bundt Cake.

Love Struck Chocolate Bundt Cake

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Serves: 16
This recipe is courtesy of Nestle. More recipes can be found at the company's Web site.
Note: Cook time does not include cooling time. Any kind of unsweetened cocoa powder may be used. Garnish with fresh raspberries or raspberry coulis (puree of fresh raspberries).

Nonstick cooking spray
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup Nestle Toll House baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons Nescafe Taster's Choice 100 percent pure instant coffee granules
4 large egg whites
2 large eggs
1 cup low-fat milk

For chocolate glaze
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup Nestle Toll House baking cocoa
3 tablespoons low-fat milk
1 tablespoon melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 12-cup Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine flour, baking cocoa, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Beat sugar, butter, vanilla extract and coffee granules in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in egg whites and eggs. Beat in flour mixture alternately with the milk, starting and ending with the flour. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 40 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in cake comes out almost clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes; invert onto wire rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, cocoa, milk and melted butter in a medium bowl until smooth. Drizzle over the cooled cake.

Serve cake with raspberries or drizzle the plate with raspberry coulis and place a slice of cake on top.

What is your favorite dessert to make for Valentine's Day? Post links to your favorite recipes here or e-mail me your go-to recipe, which we may republish here.

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