To me, February 14 is just like any other day: I wake up. I make coffee and breakfast. I get on with my day, think about food, and maybe daydream a little.
For someone in a relationship, I’m not a particularly big fan of Valentine’s Day. It’s not that I dislike the day—I just don’t have a huge affinity for it. I love my boyfriend 24/7, seven days a week, 365 days a year, and don’t see why February 14th is any different. We do lovey-dovey things for each other regularly, and I’m lucky that I’m dating someone who is super cool, mellow, and is able to deal with pain-in-the-ass me. (I am usually satisfied with a cup of tea and some chocolate. But it’s not always that easy.) I’m even luckier to be dating someone who makes everyday feel like Valentine’s Day, Christmas, or my birthday. Neither of us thinks it is necessary to make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day. As much as I love eating at nice restaurants, there are few things that are greater than a delicious home-cooked meal, snuggling on the couch, and maybe a few episodes of a TV show we both enjoy—in other words, a typical evening for us. Tonight I made us a simple but delicious meal: gnocchi with rosemary and garlic, kale and lentil salad in a maple-mustard dressing, and a side of roast purple broccoli. For dessert? Mini flourless chocolate-hazelnut cakes.
This is our third Valentine’s Day together, which is… crazy, to say the least. I remember when my boyfriend and I first started dating—he came over to make peanut butter cupcakes with Nutella frosting, and we debated the difference between cupcakes and muffins. I’m still not sure whether we’ve reached an actual conclusion to that discussion. Today I decided to recreate similar cakes to celebrate our third Valentine’s together. I made this cake last week for my friend Marge’s 22nd birthday, and I think it was well received. These gorgeous cakes are made with coconut oil and coconut sugar, which give the cakes extra richness and a darker flavour.
Mini Flourless Chocolate-Hazelnut Cakes
*yields 6-8 little cakes in ramekins, or 8 slices
6 eggs, separated
175g 75% dark chocolate, chopped
125g coconut oil
75g coconut sugar
130g ground hazelnuts
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees celsius.
Grease a baking tin or your ramekins.
In a food processor, blend the hazelnuts until they are finely ground.
In a double broiler or a small pan, heat the coconut oil and chocolate. Stir.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks and the sugar.
Once the chocolate and coconut oil have completely melted, let the mixture cool for a few minutes. This is to prevent the mixture from cooking the egg yolks! Once cooled, add the chocolate and coconut oil mixture to the egg yolks and sugar.
Slowly fold in the ground hazelnuts. Add the egg whites bit by bit until all the egg whites have been thoroughly incorporated.
Pour the cake mixture into either your baking tin or your ramekins. For the smaller cakes, bake for 15 minutes, before removing from the oven and allowing them to cool on a rack.
For bigger cakes, bake for 45 minutes, before removing from the oven and allowing it to cool on a rack.
Coat with homemade nutella and top with pomegranates (or your fruit of choice).
Enjoy : )