The News Courier in Athens, Alabama


February 14, 2013

All things chocolate for Valentine's Day

The timing of Valentine's Day just one day after the beginning of Lent may appear a cruel bit of timing for some, but not everyone gives up chocolate or dessert as a Lenten sacrifice.

Chocolate and Valentine's Day seem to go together as well as peanut butter and jelly, milk and cookies.

If your sweetheart is among those who did not give up chocolate for the next 47 days, here are some recipes that you might want to try.

And if you are fasting today, consider reading these a special act of penance as you fight temptation.

Victorian Strawberry Chocolate Cake

• 2 cups boiling water

• 1 cup baking cocoa

• 1 cup butter, softened

• 2-1/2 cups sugar

• 4 eggs

• 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

• 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

• 2 teaspoons baking powder

• 1 quart fresh strawberries

1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips, melted


• 2/3 cup shortening

• 1 package (32 ounces) confectioners' sugar

• 1/2 cup water


• 1-1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

• 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

• Chocolate shavings and additional confectioners' sugar, optional

In a small bowl, stir water into cocoa until blended; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda; add to the creamed mixture alternately with cocoa mixture, beating well after each addition.

Pour into two greased and floured 9-inch heart-shaped pans. Bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

Slice 10 strawberries; set aside. Dip remaining whole strawberries into melted chocolate, about three-fourths to the top. Place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet; refrigerate until set.

For frosting, cream shortening and confectioners' sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy; gradually add water, beating until smooth. Spread between layers and over top and sides of cake. Set aside to dry, about 30 minutes.

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