Forget the store-bought box of chocolate. Nothing says “I love you” like this homemade dessert featuring almond cake and not one, but two decadent sauces. In fact, it’s so delicious, your Valentine may just ask for it year-round. Oh, and that isn’t a typo in the title. You absolutely mix the champagne into your cake for this culinary work of art!
When it comes to sweets, head Pastry Chef Rodney Diehl never disappoints. So when he agreed to give us a preview for the upcoming Valentine’s Day edition of Wine, Wit & Wisdom, we couldn’t wait to see what he’d whip up inside our Taste Studio demonstration. This cake in and of itself is enough reason to center your date night around this event, but it’s only one of three delicious desserts you’ll get to sample. Even better? He pairs each one with a different glass of bubbly. That’s why we think this recipe would definitely get Thomas Jefferson’s stamp of approval!
Not a fan of white chocolate? Let me start with the fact that Rachel (who doesn’t really care for it either) devoured her portion. Yes. It is that good. There are three steps to this process and what better way to illustrate them than with pictures?
First Step: The Cake
Next Step: White Chocolate Sauce
Final Step: Icing on the Cake
(Three Simple Ingredients: egg yolks, sugar, and champagne!)
- ¼ cup almond paste
- ½ cup butter (softened)
- 2 eggs (beaten)
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup cake flour
- 4 Tbsp white chocolate (cut into small pieces)
- 12 egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup champagne
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- ½ pound white chocolate chopped
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 Tbsp white Creme de Cacao
- Whipped cream
- Fresh berries (strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries)
- In a medium bowl, mix together the almond paste and butter (pick both apart with your hands into small pieces).
- Slowly mix in the sugar
- Gradually mix in the eggs and then the flour until well blended.
- Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Lightly flour your baking dish of choice (four 4-oz ramekins or one 10-inch cake pan)
- Use a pastry bag or ice cream scoop to transfer batter
- Bake at 325 until lightly brown on the edges (about 12-15 minutes for ramekins and 15-17 minutes for cake pan)
- Add cream and butter to small saucepan
- Place the pan over low heat until the butter melts and the cream comes to a simmer (stir frequently)
- Pour the hot cream over the chocolate in a bowl, stirring until it's completely melted and the mixture is smooth and creamy.
- Stir in vanilla and creme de cacao (can serve warm or at room temperature)
- Using a double boiler, whisk together sugar and egg yolks
- Stir in the champagne
- Whisk and cook until very thick
- You can serve hot or cold. To chill, remove pot/bowl from double broiler and set in a bowl of iced water for five minutes
- Optional: fold sauce into one cup of whipped cream (store bought or homemade)
- Pour white chocolate sauce onto plate and drizzle with raspberry sauce
- Remove cake from ramekin and place in center of plate
- Top with champagne sabayon and fresh berries
Make sure you buy more than one bottle of champagne because not only will you mix it into the recipe, you’ll also want to pour a flute (or two, or three) of the bubbly to serve with it. Chef Rodney paired this dessert with a Cava called Juvé y Camps. It’s just one of the selections that will be featured during the Valentine’s Day Wine, Wit & Wisdom event.
We leave you with a tip for chilling that bottle of champagne in no time. Chef says to pour ice into the sink, plug the drain, add water, then place the bottle in the ice bath. Champagne chilled in iced water gets cold in just five to ten minutes versus the traditional couple of hours in the fridge or 30 minutes (gasp) in the freezer! Who knew?
What do you think? Do these cakes seem easy enough to make for your sweetheart? If so, let us know how they turn out!