February 14, 2009

The Anti-Valentine's Day Post

Valentine’s Day. Bleh. I vote we move it to the end of February so that it’s only celebrated once every 4 years, or better yet, not at all. Clearly, I’m not the biggest fan of V-Day. I don’t even want to get into last year, (I skipped writing about it altogether) but on Valentine’s Day two years ago, I wrote briefly about being Anti-Valentine’s Day and then more in depth about this Chocolate Armagnac Cake. The cake is what’s important and I feel like it deserves another highlight because I absolutely love the combination of chocolate, Armagnac and prunes. Yes, prunes. If you want to be snobby about it you can call them dried plums but that doesn’t change the fact that they’re prunes and that they make this cake awesome.

To appease those who love Valentine’s Day, (and I know there’s a ridiculous number of you out there based on all the red, pink and hearts I’ve been seeing on the blogs for the past week) I decided to work flowers into the plating of my cake. Mine won’t die on you though, they’re all edible. The rose is made out of Chocolate Playdough which I first saw on Cake on the Brain and have wanted to do something fun with ever since. After working with the stuff though I came to two quick realizations. The first is that I never want to have to make 100 of these. The second is that warm hands make a mess of chocolate. I had to repeatedly throw everything in the freezer, (perhaps I should have gotten in there too?) so that it didn’t turn to mush. The dried edible flowers were much easier to deal with. Pop open the jar and sprinkle at will. Instant pretty! If I had been on top of things this past summer, those could have come from my garden. Instead they were a much appreciated gift. I think that actually makes them better.

The recipe for this wonderful cake is from none other than Dorie Greenspan and can be found on page 279 of Baking: From My Home to Yours. And although you could make this cake for a Valentine, I'd opt to take the selfish route and keep it all for yourself. Just look at all that chocolately goodness... Don't bother sharing.

16 comments:

Alisa - Frugal Foodie said...

Happy un-Valentine's Day to you! The cake looks gorgeous! And I can deal with the prune factor :)

Brittany (He Cooks She Cooks) said...

I wouldn't have thought about prunes in chocolate cake, but now that you mention it, it sounds like they would make the cake ultra-moist and dense. Looks great!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Oh yes I love this cake. Prunes are a natural in it. But the rose that is super nice!

Pontch said...

Happy un-Valentine's day
the cake and the rose looks so good together..!

Snooky doodle said...

This looks delicious! Iv enever tried making prunes and chocoalte recipes. Wish to though :)

Cakebrain said...

All I can say is "warm hands; warm heart!" :) I admit that I do have cool hands and probably very poor circulation as I'm always feeling chilly. Prune and chocolate are a good thing. Armagnac has to make it better. That's the recipe that Greenspan said cost her a job, isn't it? I've been meaning to make it one day. Looks delicious!

Cakebrain said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

I agree with your conclusion - the perfect sentiment for Valentines Day!

Manggy said...

Happy, uh, Saturday! :) Whether they are dried plums or prunes, I still think they add an interesting flavor to the cake and I love 'em! :)

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I'm with you on this one -- not much of a Valentine's Day person either. But chocolate and prunes? Oh, yes.

Jamie said...

Ha! We also have an anti-Valentine's Day sentiment in my house, but I just use it as an excuse to bake. Your cake is gorgeous and I would even eat it on V Day!

Kevin said...

Using prunes in a chocolate cake does sound good!

Gigi said...

Beautiful cake Brilynn! I too am not a fan of Valentine's Day. It's over rated.

Maria said...

I love this cake!! It is a favorite!

cookworm said...

Bri, this is yet another reason why you rock. I could give a rat's bum about V-day. But that cake, on the other hand...oh yes!

Tartelette said...

When I was single I did not care for it, but my dad always brought me flowers with my mom's. Now that I am married, I still could not care a less if we did not have V-Day altogether but I am thrilled and at peace to be spending it with B. We just don't give anything to each other beside a song and a cake :)

Prunes, Armagnac and chocolate are awesome together!