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A Chocolate Valentine

Island Epicure

Nothing says, “I love you,” like something chocolate. It tastes good. Eating it makes you feel good. Chocolate may even lengthen your lifespan to its full allotment. For sure, it will enhance your and your true love’s joy in the living of it.

One Valentines day, my grandson James, made a chocolate Valentine pizza. He melted milk chocolate, spread it about ½ inch thick in a wax paper lined heart-shaped cake pan and decorated it with red hots, silver sprinkles, and coconut shreds. James grew up and moved to the mainland  long since, but he has the heart-shaped pie pan. Perhaps he’ll make his roommate a chocolate valentine. (I would use bittersweet chocolate to cut back on sugar.)

A special dessert with less sugar in it is this gluten-free Chocolate Angelfood Cake from my small cookbook Wholegrain and Gluten Free, available at the Minglement. This cake makes a good base for slightly thawed frozen strawberries. Add whipped cream and you have a delightful, delicious version of strawberry shortcake.

Chocolate Angelfood Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Makes 8 servings

 3/8 cup brown rice flour
6 Tablespoons coconut sugar or Splenda®
 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
 ¼ teaspoon salt

 Beat until foamy:
6 egg whites at room temperature (save the yolks for a custard)
Beat in and beat to stiff peaks:
1 tablespoon cream of tartar
dash salt

Fold dry ingredients into egg whites, one-third at a time. Transfer batter to ungreased 5x9-inch loaf pan. (If the pan has any grease on its sides, the cake will not rise.) It’s okay to grease only the bottom. If you have no tube pan, the chocolate valentine  can be baked in a loaf pan.

Bake 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted at center comes out clean.

Cool upside down on  a rack for 1 hour, until cake is quite thoroughly cooled. With a thin knife, cut the sides of the cake loose from the pan. Decant. Slice with an angel cake slicer or with two forks held back to back. Serve with fresh or partly thawed frozen berries and spray-on whipped cream.

Note: To save egg yolks, place them in a small glass jar. Cover them with a thin layer of water to keep a tough skin from forming. Cap jar. Refrigerate. Use within four days. Make custard, or incorporate into scrambled eggs or an omelet for a family breakfast.