Friday, 14 February 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

I so love an event that has a theme. Recently I came across the expression 'galentine'. This seems to be a term used to describe the situation of celebrating Valentine's day with the women in your life or your gal pals - perhaps I should have labelled this post Happy Galentine's Day. Over the years I have made or purchased many heart shaped things, some for me and others as gifts or gift swaps.  I  pretty much like anything that is heart shaped - it must be all those nice fat rounded curves that make up a heart. Valentine's day with the emphasis on hearts and chocolate provides the perfect excuse to get out the heart shaped tins and cutters and bake.

crochet and beaded brooch
chain of hearts - garland
felted fabric made using knitting wool, soluble plastic, machine embroidery and a cord
embroidered wall piece from my 'galentine' at knitting group 
felted brooch with knitting - a gift for my 'galentine'
pin cushion
Christmas decoration
Murano glass pendants
neckpiece by the incredibly talented Christine Atkins
morning tea with the girls
raspberry and passionfruit friands
lunch with the loved one
deconstructed chicken Provencal pie 
and chocolate cake for dessert
delicious with espresso cream
decadent supper with friends
chocolate mud cake with chocolate cream filling and chocolate ganache
raspberry coulis for the final touch

Dark Chocolate Cake
with Chocolate Cream and Chocolate Ganache Frosting


¾ cup milk or water
100g dark chocolate – 70 % cocoa
125g unsalted butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup plain flour
1 heaped tablespoon cocoa
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla essence

Preheat oven to 150C
Place water, chocolate and butter in a medium saucepan over low heat and stir until smooth. Remove from heat, add brown sugar and mix well. Allow the mixture to cool slightly (about 10 minutes).
Add remaining ingredients and beat with an electric beater until smooth.
Place the mixture in a greased and lined 20cm tin and bake until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 1 ½ hours.
Allow to cool in tin on a wire rack.

50g butter or 50 ml cream
100g dark chocolate

Melt together in microwave on medium, stir thoroughly. Allow to cool and thicken, spread over the top of the cake.

Chocolate Cream
300ml cream, whipped
100 g chocolate grated
2 teaspoons vanilla

Combine whipped cream, chocolate and vanilla in a bowl. Mix well.

To assemble cake

Split cake in half, spread chocolate cream between the layers, ice the top of the cake with the chocolate ganache. Refrigerate for a few hours.

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