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The Valentine's Day Showstopper

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Every so often, we get the chance to reshoot one of our favorite recipes from the Food52 archives.

Today: A cake to launch a thousand ships.


This post is brought to you by our friends at Noritake. Noritake’s Cher Blanc is featured below.

There's a reason there's no such thing as a wedding pie. Don't get us wrong -- we adore pies -- but you can't stack them in five towering tiers or swaddle them in every shade of buttercream or deck them out in sugar flowers (at least, not without that making one very silly-looking pie).


When it comes to sweeping people off their feet, there is nothing quite like cake. And when it comes to baking cakes that cause people to fall in love with you, look no further than chocolate. But if you're looking to gild the lily -- to really steal the show or to put a ring on it, say -- let us suggest this one.

Merrill took inspiration from a favorite childhood treat and did it one better with an ever more chocolatey incarnation, its frosting singing of citrus. It's everything you love about chocolate cake, but simultaneously deeper and brighter, more cozy and more special. Perfect for a valentine, in other words.

Deep Chocolate Cake with Orange Icing

Serves 12

Chocolate Cake

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup strong coffee (or instant espresso)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup whole milk

Orange Icing

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 1/2 tablespoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
2 tablespoons Cointreau or other orange-flavored liqueur
1 tablespoon mascarpone
1 to 2 tablespoons milk

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photo by James Ransom

This post was brought to you by Noritake.

Tags: valentine's day recipes, chocolate, cake, orange, holiday, dessert