Conversation hearts notwithstanding, Valentine’s Day is all about chocolate, and this decadent chocolate ganache cake from Chef Jamie McFadden of Cuisiniers Catering & Events is the perfect ending to a romantic meal a deux. If you’re looking for the perfect wine to pair with this sweet treat, Chef Jamie recommends a sparkling red, Shiraz or Cabernet. Be sure to time your prep so that you can serve it at the optimal temperature (see note below), all the better to melt your true love’s heart.
1/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature, 72 degrees
1 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
5 large eggs
1 each 16 oz jar dark chocolate syrup
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces premium semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
Fresh strawberries or blackberries for garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour an 8-inch round cake pan, then line the bottom with parchment paper.
Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the salt. Mix in the chocolate syrup and vanilla. Slowly add the flour and mix until just combined. Do not over mix, or the cake texture will be tough.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until just set in the middle. Take caution not to over bake. Let cool thoroughly in the pan.
For the ganache, cook the heavy cream, chocolate chips, and instant coffee in the top of a double boiler over simmering water on medium low heat until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally.
Place the cake upside down on a wire rack and pour the glaze evenly over the top, making sure to cover the entire cake and sides. (You can tilt the rack to smooth the glaze.) Decorate with fresh strawberries or blackberries if desired, or gently crumble shaved white chocolate over the cake.
Note: do not refrigerate, and serve within 3 hours. If you must make the cake ahead of time, refrigerate overnight for up to 3 days, and make sure to remove from refrigerator 1 hour before serving.