"Still thinking of a Valentines gift to spoil your loved one? When in doubt, you can’t go past Chocolate."
Still thinking of a Valentines gift to spoil your loved one? When in doubt, you can’t go past Chocolate. Here’s a collection of our favourite Chocolatey Bakes that are perfect for Valentine’s day.
Who doesn’t love a good chocolate cake? Perfect for a mid-afternoon treat, or with cream and berries for dessert after dinner. This recipe is simple, but delicious.
1 ¾ cup self-raising flour
2 Tablespoons cocoa
½ teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 ¼ cups sugar (caster or white)
125g Westgold butter
1 cup milk (or you can substitute yogurt)
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
Lightly grease a deep 20 cm cake tin. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt into a large bowl, then stir in the sugar. Melt the butter and mix with milk and vanilla essence. Gradually pour into the sifted flour mixture, beating until the mixture is smooth (about 2 minutes).
Add eggs and continue beating for a further 2 minutes, then pour into the prepared baking tin, smoothing the top.
Bake in a moderate oven (180°c) for 1 hour or until cooked (check after 40 minutes), when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Cool in the tin for five minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool further.
Ice if desired, or spread 185 grams of melted chocolate over the top for extra decadence.
If you are substituting milk for yoghurt, we love to use EasiYo homemade yoghurt.
These chocolate soufflés are easy to make. Cakey on the outside, gooey in the middle and not overly sweet. Delicious when served with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and berries. If you have some heart shaped ramekins, these are perfect for Valentine’s Day.
200g Dark Chocolate
Pre-heat oven to 180°C (160°C for a fan-assisted oven).
Melt the chocolate and butter together in a bowl over a pan of gently simmering water.
Whisk the eggs and sugar in separate bowl until light and fluffy. Sift in the flour and fold gently.
Fold in the chocolate mixture then pour into buttered ramekins.
Cover and store in the fridge until you are ready to bake them.
Cook in the oven for 8-12 minutes. When the tops start to crack leave in for one more minute then carefully remove from the oven. They should appear gooey in the middle but cakey round the edges and on top.
Serve immediately with fresh whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream with fresh berries.
Who can go past a chewy, crunchy chocolate brownie? This is a straightforward recipe with the option to go a little heavy on the chocolate if you choose. Serve as is or with vanilla yoghurt on the side if you need to cut through that chocolatey goodness.
200g Westgold butter
2 cups caster sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup cocoa
Just under 3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
200g chocolate chips (more is ok)
Vanilla Yoghurt or Icecream
Fresh or tinned berries (we've used tinned boysenberries).
Heat your oven up to 150°c and grease and line a 20 cm x 30 cm dish. Either a lasagne dish or a metal tin both work fine (any smaller and you could end up with a taller brownie).
Melt the butter, the stir in the caster sugar, vanilla, eggs, and cocoa. This will result in a smooth paste. Add in the flour, baking powder, and chocolate chips of any variety and stir until combined. Place the mixture in a dish, then cook until it has formed a crust on top, and skewer still comes out with a little mixture on it. Make sure the mixture doesn't 'wobble' when you shake it horizontally (gently). It should be firm in the pan.
Pull it out and let it set for a good few hours before you cut it into segments.
If you really want to take things up a notch, here's an unusual combination but we know you’ll love it. The smooth bitter taste of dark chocolate paired with beetroot to add natural sweetness and eye popping rich red colour. Topped with a crunchy golden nut praline this one’s a showstopper.
180 g Westgold butter
250 g flour
80 g icing sugar
2 Tablespoons cocoa
1 egg and 1 yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
100 g Westgold butter
250 g dark chocolate (70% cocoa is best)
150 ml cream
Pinch of salt
300g cooked beetroot, chopped
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup water
½ cup sugar
2 Tablespoons water
70 g toasted brazil nuts (or any other nut you prefer)
Pinch sea salt
Prep notes before making this tart:
Pastry needs to be refrigerated for ½ an hour.
The beetroot will need 40-50 minutes to cook.
To cook the beetroot:
Choose even sized, small beetroot. Don’t trim off any stalks or cut the flesh (to stop the colour leeching into the cooking water. Wash gently to remove any dirt. Place into a saucepan and cover with water. Put the lid on and cook gently until soft around 40-50 mins depending on the size. Leave to cool in the water. When cool, rub the skin off with your hands and dry beetroot with a paper towel.
Put all the dry ingredients into a mixer/blender, add the cubed butter and pulse until like fine breadcrumbs. Tip the flour mixture into a mixing bowl. Whisk the egg, yolk and vanilla together. Pour into the flour mixture and gently mix to a smooth dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for ½ hour.
Preheat the oven to 160 deg C. Grease a 23 – 24cm fluted tart tin. Roll out the pastry and line the tin cutting the pastry just above the top of the tin to allow for a little shrinkage. There will be pastry leftover that you can store and use for something else. Refrigerate for 10 mins. Line the pastry with baking paper and fill with baking beans and bake blind for 10-15 mins. Remove the paper and beans and cook for another 5-10 mins until crisp. Leave to cool.
Put the water, brown sugar, salt and beetroot into a saucepan and simmer for about 5 minutes until the liquid has reduced to a light syrup. Tip into a blender to blend until you have a smooth puree, like the consistency of thick sauce. Set aside to cool 15 minutes. Put the cream and butter into a saucepan and heat gently until hot. Take off the heat and add in the chopped chocolate. Leave for a few minutes until the chocolate has melted through and whisk until smooth. Add the beetroot puree to the chocolate ganache and stir gently until smooth. Pour into the baked tart pastry shell and refrigerate until set.
In a heavy based saucepan place sugar and water. Put over a high heat without stirring, boil until a golden caramel colour. Quickly remove from the heat and swirl in chunky cut brazil nuts and pour onto a greased oven tray. Leave to set.
When ready to serve: remove the tart from the tin and place on a plate. Sprinkle the edge of the pastry with cocoa powder. Roughly chop the praline into large and small pieces and pile into the middle of the tart. Serve at room temperature.
The perfect sauce to accompany this tart is:
75gm raspberries (fresh or defrosted)
75gm cooked beetroot, 2 teaspoons icing sugar
Puree all ingredients together and passed through a sieve.
This tart is also delicious served with a dollop of fresh Natural or Greek-style Easiyo yoghurt.