Valentine’s Day is a favorite among lovers, and at Brampton we celebrate it all month long! Join us at our romantic Maryland B&B any night in February and you’ll enjoy complimentary chocolate truffles, a rose, and a special gift with your stay.
But how did chocolate become linked with Valentine’s Day anyway? What is the connection between this delicious treat and love?
As far back as the Mayans and Aztecs, chocolate was believed to have magical or even divine properties. As chocolate grew in popularity through the centuries, it became associated with aphrodisiac qualities and was so valued it was even used in lieu of wages! Modern science has backed this up by discovering that the chemical phenylethylamine in chocolate is linked to feelings of excitement, attraction and even pleasure.
In 1861, Richard Cadbury began putting specialty chocolates in heart-shaped boxes covered with roses and cupids. These beautiful boxes were promoted as a special place to keep love letters. And in 1907, Milton S. Hershey began producing chocolate kisses, named after the “smooching” sound the machines made as they formed the tear-drop shapes.
Our pastry chef Carol creates amazing chocolate creations for you to enjoy this February, a different delicacy every day! This is an easy homemade chocolate cake recipe for you to try:
Easy Homemade Chocolate Cake Recipe
- 2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chopped
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 6 tablespoons of brewed coffee, cold
- 8 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 ¼ cup plus ¼ cup sugar
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 2 cups unbleached flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 12 ounces bittersweet, chopped
- 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 2 ½ ounces unsalted butter
- 1 ½ cup heavy cream
- Butter two 9-inch cake pans, then line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper and butter paper as well.
- Melt both chocolates together with the 6 tablespoons of coffee in a small sauce pan over low heat. Stir until smooth, then set aside to cool to room temperature.
- In the bowl of a stand up mixer, beat the butter and 1 ¼ cup of the sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the melted chocolate, then the egg yolks, one at a time. Add vanilla extract. Mix well.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix in half of the dry ingredients into the creamed butter mixture alternating with the buttermilk, then the rest of the dry ingredients.
- In a separate mixer bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Add remaining ¼ cup of sugar and beat until stiff but not dry.
- Fold one-third of the egg whites into the cake batter, then gently fold in the rest until there are no traces of egg whites visible.
- Divide the batter into the two prepared cake pans, gently tap pans against counter top, smooth the batter tops, and bake for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool cake layers completely. This is important.
- Place the 12 ounces of chopped chocolate in a bowl with the corn syrup and the 2 ½ ounces of butter.
- Heat the cream until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate. Let stand one minute, then stir until smooth. Let sit until it cools to room temperature.
- Remove the cooled cake layers from the pans and, using a serrated bread knife, cut both cake layers in half horizontally.
- Set the first cake layer on a cake plate. Spread ¾ cup of icing over the cake layer, making sure to reach to the edges. Set another cake layer on top. Repeat with each layer.
- Apply the rest of chocolate icing to the sides and the top of the cake with a spatula forming swirls or smooth completely with a straight baker spatula.
- If you wish you can decorate the cake with chocolate covered coffee beans and chocolate curls.
- Serve the cake with a dollop of whipped cream, although it’s pretty good as is. Enjoy!