We like our romance the old-fashioned way: bathed in candlelight and served with a slice of chocolate cake!
This Valentine's Day, we're baking up this ooey-gooey cake in honor of ooey-gooey love. This dazzling dessert is, appropriately, from The Newlywed Cookbook: Cooking Happily Ever After ($24, amazon.com). The book covers everything from cozy weeknight meals to dishes for your first dinner party and, best of all, has recipes utilizing all those appliances that you asked for on your wedding registry.
Chefs Roxanne Wyss and Kathy Moore collaborated to create more than 70 contemporary twists on classic recipes that are perfect for newly married pairs. "Our hope is that each newlywed who reads and cooks from this book is able to share in a wonderful, loving relationship for many years to come," the authors write. It's a safe bet that Wyss and Moore's wish will come true—after all, with food this good, what's there to fight about?
Read on for the decadent recipe below!
Glazed Chocolate Cranberry Cake
You may think that you need to be a pastry chef to construct this showstopper. Think again. The parts go together easily enough and you will be the star of the holiday buffet with this dessert.
Makes: 1 (8-inch) double layer cake
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon table salt
2 large eggs
¾ cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
¾ cup hot, strong brewed coffee
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Butter or spray with nonstick spray two 8-inch round cake pans. Cut parchment rounds to fit and place them in the cake pans. Butter and spray the parchment.
3. Mix together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer at low speed, until the mixture is combined. Beat in the eggs, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla, beating on medium speed for 30 seconds and scraping the sides of the bowl. Add the coffee and continue to beat for 1 ½ to 2 minutes, or until smooth. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.
4. Bake for 28 to 32 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
5. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then invert the cakes onto the racks and allow to cool completely.
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons brewed coffee, at room temperature
1. Beat the butter in a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer at medium-high speed, until the butter is fluffy.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until smooth and spreadable.
Glazed Cranberries Ingredients
3 cups fresh cranberries
½ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup shopped pecans, toasted (optional)
Glazed Cranberries Directions
1. Place the cranberries on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with the sugar and stir well to distribute.
2. Bake for 15 minutes at 350°, stirring every 5 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
1. Frost the top of the bottom layer.
2. Place the second cake layer on top of the frosting on the bottom layer and frost around the sides of the cake. Frost the top of the cake with a thin layer of frosting.
3. Top with the glazed cranberries. If desired, press pecans onto the sides of cake.
» If you want to make the cake extra fancy for a festive presentation, double the frosting recipe. Pipe the frosting around the top edge of the cake, using a star tip on a pastry bag. Carefully ﬁll the center with the glazed cranberries. Use a toothpick to arrange the cranberries.
» If this still seems intimidating, why not bake the cake layers a few days ahead, wrap each layer in plastic wrap, and freeze them? The cake is much easier to frost and work with when frozen, and it will thaw beautifully.