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Published January 21, 2014, 04:12 PM

Halgrimson: Chocolate cake perfect for Valentine’s Day

In preparing for Valentine’s Day, thinking about chocolate is a useful pastime. And it’s none too early.

By: Andrea Hunter Halgrimson, INFORUM

In preparing for Valentine’s Day, thinking about chocolate is a useful pastime. And it’s none too early.

While riffling through my recipe boxes, a came across a chocolate cake recipe I haven’t made in a long time. It’s just right for the occasion.

The original recipe for this cake is written in long-hand on a card. It came from my good friend Sylvia Paine Lindman, who now lives in Portland, Ore.

I have adjusted the recipe to my liking.

The only thing that gives any rise to this cake is the beaten egg whites. The eggs must be carefully separated in order not to get any yolk into the whites because it keeps the whites from attaining the proper volume.

I always use three bowls to separate eggs so if a yolk breaks on the second or third egg, I don’t have to start over again.

It is also important to have an absolutely clean bowl and beaters when whipping the whites as any residue in the bowl will inhibit the egg whites.

The cake may be frosted or not. If frosted, it may be garnished with chopped, toasted nuts, which is gilding the lily, but what are holidays for?

CHOCOLATE CAKE

Butter for greasing pan

1 pound good semisweet or bittersweet chocolate

4 tablespoons flour

¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature

3 tablespoons sugar

4 eggs, separated

Butter an 8-inch square pan, line it with parchment and butter parchment. Turn oven to 450 degrees.

In a heavy pan or double boiler, melt the chocolate. Stir in flour, sugar and butter. Set aside.

Beat egg yolks and stir into cooled chocolate mixture. Set aside.

In a clean bowl with a clean beater, whip egg whites into soft peaks that stay in the bowl when it is tipped. Gently fold them into the chocolate mixture and pour into the prepared pan.

Bake for about 15 minutes. Cake should be firm at the edges and soft and moist in the center. Cool in the pan and frost if desired. Makes 6 to 12 servings.

CHOCOLATE GLAZE

4 ounces semisweet chocolate

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

In a heavy pan, combine chocolate and butter. Stir until melted. Remove and heat and let cool until slightly thickened. Spread over top and sides of cooled cake. Let stand at room temperature until glaze hardens.

Readers can reach Forum Food Columnist Andrea Hunter Halgrimson at ahalgrimson@forumcomm.com

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