Magazine article Sunset

Chocolate Party! Spread the Love This Valentine's Day with These Decadent Desserts for a Crowd

Magazine article Sunset

Chocolate Party! Spread the Love This Valentine's Day with These Decadent Desserts for a Crowd

Article excerpt

There's nothing better than watching people smile when they eat your food," says Naomi Robinson, the blogger behind Bakers Royale. She's talking about the parties she and her husband, Matt--who has his own blog, Real Food by Dad-often host for their extended family in Southern California. But she could just as easily be referring to the "likes" on their Instagram feeds.

Either way, when Naomi and Matt--who left office jobs for food blogging--want to make a crowd really swoon, they go for chocolate. Naomi is partial to classic recipes dressed up with easy touches like a piping of whipped cream or a shower of shaved chocolate. Matt loves to make "ooey-gooey desserts," often letting their three boys, ages 2 to 15, "get in and make a mess with me." Here, they've assembled some of their favorite recipes for an all-ages, all-chocolate Valentine's Day party.

DARK CHOCOLATE BUNDT
CAKE with WHISKEY
CARAMELSAUCE

SERVES 8 TO 10/ 1 1/2 HOURS, PLUS 1 1/4 HOURS
TO COOL

Moist, dense, and foolproof, this cake
includes a mix of cocoa and chocolate chips
for fudgy flavor. You can vary the intensity
by adjusting the amount of chocolate chips,
but don't pass up the silky caramel sauce.

1 tbsp. softened salted butter
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. Dutch-process
  unsweetened cocoa powder,
  such as Valrhona *
1/4 to 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
2 1/3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 cup each granulated sugar and
  packed light brown sugar
1 1/4 cups mayonnaise
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Powdered sugar
Whiskey Caramel Sauce (recipe follows)

1. Preheat oven to 350[degrees]. Generously brush
a 10-cup nonstick Bundt pan with butter,
then dust with 2 tbsp. cocoa powder; tip
out excess.

2. In a heatproof bowl, combine chocolate
chips and the remaining 1/2 cup cocoa
powder. Pour 1/4 cup boiling water on
top and stir until smooth. Set aside. In a
second bowl, sift together flour, baking
soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

3. In a large bowl with a mixer on medium
speed, beat granulated and brown sugars
with mayonnaise until well combined,
about 1 minute. Add eggs and egg yolk
one at a time, beating just until
incorporated. Beat in vanilla.

4. With mixer on low speed, add flour
mixture in three additions, alternating
with chocolate mixture and beating just
until blended; scrape bowl as needed.

5. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake cake
until a toothpick inserted into center
comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Let
cool on a rack 15 minutes, then loosen
from pan with a small spatula and turn
out onto rack to cool completely.

6. Set cake on a platter, sift powdered sugar
on top, and serve with caramel sauce.

* Find at surlatable.com.

MAKE AHEAD Through step 4, up to 1 day,
wrapped airtight.

PER SERVING (CAKE ONLY) 439 Cal., 32% (139 Cal.)
from fat; 5.8 g protein; 15 g fat (4.4 g sat.); 71 g carbo
(2.3 g fiber); 490 mg sodium; 74 mg chol. V

WHISKEY CARAMEL SAUCE

MAKES ABOUT 1 CUP / 15 MINUTES,
PLUS 1 HOUR TO COOL

In a small saucepan over medium heat,
cook 1 cup sugar, lifting, swirling, and tipping
pan often, until sugar melts, turns
deep amber, and begins to smoke, 10 to 12
minutes. Remove from heat and carefully
pour in 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
(sugar will seize up), along with 2 tbsp. unsalted
butter and a pinch of fine sea salt.

Return to medium heat and cook, stirring,
until sugar melts again, 5 minutes. Remove
from heat and stir in 2 tbsp. whiskey*. Let
cool to room temperature.

* Much of the alcohol burns off when the whiskey
goes into the hot sauce, but you can substitute
cream if you prefer.

MAKE AHEAD Up to 1 week, chilled; bring to
room temperature to serve.

PER TBSP. 92 Cal., 41% (38 Cal.) from fat; 0.2 g protein;

4.2 g fat (2.6 g sat.); 13 g carbo (0 g fiber); 8.9 mg
sodium; 14 mg chol. GF/V

Moose tracks brownie
ice cream sandwiches

MAKES 16 / 50 MINUTES, PLUS 8 HOURS
TO COOL, CHILL, AND FREEZE

Matt's brownies are perfection when
combined with peanut-butter-cup/
chocolate-swirl ice cream (often called
Moose Tracks), but feel free to swap it out
for your favorite flavor. … 
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