You dislike gimmicks. Gimmicks are not your thing. The first Valentine’s Day we spent together, we argued about this, because while most of the world knows that February 14 is just another day, to the woman you ended up marrying, it could potentially be an indicator of whether or not the two of us were in love. So here you are, four years later, having spent your past several Valentine’s Days doing things like surprising me with chocolate-covered strawberries and helping me sew felt hearts on our outfits and baking heart-shaped pizzas late at night. Last year, you cooked me a homemade dinner of coq au riesling you found on my Pinterest board, alongside salads topped with heart-shaped beets and our first-ever einkorn cream puffs. You are good to me. Tonight, at a time when finances feel tight and my pregnant personality makes me break down crying when I am either happy or sad, you told me you cashed some random savings bonds to take me on a road trip, yet another thing I don’t deserve. What is it about marriage that makes it easy to take one another for granted? Why do I forget what a gift it is that you are laying there next to me night after night? Today I want you to know that being yours makes me feel rich, no matter what comes next, and I love you, Tim. Happy Valentine’s.
Valentine’s Heart Cakes with Homemade Chocolate Shell
Step one for these heart cakes is to bake a layer of your favorite white or yellow cake (our einkorn version is below). Step two is cut out hearts. Step three is mix together a homemade chocolate shell on the stove that you can drizzle and spread on top. A little chill in the fridge so the chocolate can harden, and there you go: you’ve got a super fun, albeit super gimmicky cake that is right up my Valentine’s alley—and, thankfully, right up my willing-to-celebrate-Valentine’s-with-me Valentine’s alley, as evidenced by the fact that he baked and topped them with me a few days ago.
STEP ONE: Basic Single-Layer Einkorn Cake
3/4 cup organic coconut sugar
softened 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose einkorn flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup yogurt
1/8 cup water
Preheat oven to 350F degrees and grease and flour a 9-inch round pan.
Place coconut sugar in Vitamix or food processor and process on high until very powdery (this is basically to make your own fine sugar). Let coconut sugar settle in the mixer for a minute and then add it to a large bowl. Add softened butter and olive oil to bowl of sugar and use a hand mixer or stand mixer to blend until nice and creamed. Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add and mix in vanilla.
Place remaining ingredients in two separate bowls. The first bowl is for dry ingredients (einkorn flour, baking powder, salt), and the second is for liquids (milk, yogurt, water). Mix each combination well.
Add the dry and liquid mixes to the sugar-butter bowl alternately, mixing well after each addition. Once everything is well combined, pour batter into prepared cake pan. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove to a cooling rack and cut out hearts with a cookie cutter.
STEP THREE: Homemade Chocolate Shell
This is our go-to chocolate, as perfect for pouring on top of ice cream (where it hardens right away) as it is on these little heart cakes. The below proportions are what we like, but you can feel free to adjust the sweetener, etc., as you like.
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons organic coconut oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup
In a small skillet over medium-low heat, stir together ingredients until fully softened throughout. Use a spoon to drizzle the mixture on the heart-shaped chocolate cakes, spreading it slightly as you do. Place cakes in the refrigerator until chocolate hardens, about 20 to 30 minutes, although longer is also fine.
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.