So, what are you giving your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day? (You do know it’s tomorrow, right?)
Sure, you could buy a big box of chocolates or a huge bouquet of flowers. Maybe some aftershave or a big honkin’ piece of jewelry. But what says “I love you” more than making something with your own two hands?
He Who Must Be Fed is getting this black and white cake, a recipe I found in the Food Network Magazine. I happen to know he’ll love it. (I know because I made it a couple of weeks ago. I don’t like to take chances with Valentine’s Day, my friends.)
The cake was moist and just chocolate-y enough without being overbearing. The frosting was light and creamy, but had rich undertones of white chocolate. I think it’s the best white frosting I’ve ever tasted.
For the cake:
- 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, plus more for the pans
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for the pans
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the frosting:
- 8 ounces white chocolate, chopped, plus shaved chocolate for topping
- 3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Pinch of salt
- 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Shaved dark chocolate, for topping
Heat your oven to 325°. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans and dust with cocoa powder, tapping out the excess. Combine the butter, milk and 1/2 cup water in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Transfer to a large bowl, add the cocoa powder and granulated sugar and whisk until smooth. Let cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Whisk the eggs and vanilla into the cocoa mixture, then stir in the flour mixture in two additions until just combined (it’s OK if there are a few small lumps).
Divide the batter between the prepared pans; tap the pans against the counter to remove any air bubbles.Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out with a few moist crumbs, about 35 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes in the pans, then run a knife around the edges and invert onto a rack to cool completely.
For the frosting, put the white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring until smooth, then let cool. Beat the butter and salt in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the melted white chocolate until combined. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth and fluffy; beat in the vanilla. (Your frosting may be too soft to spread – mine was – so chill it about 15 minutes.)
Frost your cake and add shaved white and dark chocolate. Then present it to your sweetie and be prepared for an onslaught of love in appreciation.
Happy Valentine’s Day.