SAN DIEGO, February 9, 2016 — February 14 is Valentine’s Day!
It is considered the most popular time of year to express love and affection for those held most dear.
Sharing tokens of appreciation and gifts such as greeting cards, flowers, candy and more is one of the most joyful aspects of this holiday.
“The day of romance…is named for a Christian martyr and dates back to the 5th century, but has origins in the Roman holiday Lupercalia,” according to History.com.
In the U.S., Valentine’s Day has evolved into a billion dollar industry, with approximately 19 billion dollars spent in 2015, according to an estimate by usnews.com.
Love is such a driving force that it can produce an overwhelming desire to share and express emotions in limitless ways.
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.” – Helen Keller
Along with the beauty and love inherent in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, there can be a temptation to overindulge while dining out, consuming alcoholic beverages, enjoying candies and confections and more, which can significantly increase the intake of unwanted sugars, calories and fats.
Eating Well offers one possible solution to overindulgence in their wonderful recipe for Chocolate Decadence.
Rich and mousse-like, Eating Well’s healthy Chocolate Decadence is rich in chocolate, low in calories and fat and easy to make.
Chocolate Decadence Cake
- 7 ounces (approximately 1 1/3 cups) of bittersweet chocolate (60-70 percent cocoa) finely chopped
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup plus 1/4 cup sugar (or sugar substitute) divided
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup low- or non-fat milk
- 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 350 degrees.
- Line the bottom of an 8- or 9-inch cake pan (1.5 to 2 inches deep) with parchment paper and coat the sides of the pan with cooking spray.
- Put a kettle of water on to boil.
- Place chocolate and cocoa powder in a large bowl.
- Combine flour, 2/3 cup sugar and salt in a small heavy saucepan. Whisk in just enough of the milk to form a smooth paste. Mix in the remaining milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to prevent burning (especially around the sides and bottom edges of the pot), until the mixture begins to bubble. Boil gently, stirring constantly for 2 to 2.5 minutes. Scrape the hot mixture immediately over the chocolate and cocoa. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. The batter will be very thick. Stir in egg yolks and vanilla.
- Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually sprinkle in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar (or sugar substitute), beating on high speed until the egg whites are stiff but not dry.
- Gently fold about 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate batter to lighten it. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites until no white streaks remain. Scrape the batter into the cake pan, smoothing the top.
- Set the cake pan in a larger baking pan and place on the oven rack. Pour enough boiling water (from step 3) into the baking pan to come one-third to halfway up the side of the cake pan. Bake until the surface of the cake is slightly crusted and springs back when gently pressed, 20 to 25 minutes. (The cake will still be quite gooey inside.)
- Bring sugar (or sugar substitute) and 1/4 cup water to a simmer in a small saucepan, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Transfer into a bowl, cover and chill overnight.
- Remove the pans from the oven. Transfer the cake pan to a wire rack and cool completely, approximately 2 hours. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight before serving.
- To serve: Soak the blade of a thin knife in a cup of very hot water until warm. Slide the knife around the sides of the pan to release the cake. Place a piece of wax paper on top of the cake. Invert a plate over the wax paper and invert the pan onto the plate. Remove the pan and peel away the liner. Place a serving plate over the cake and turn the cake right-side up again; remove the wax paper. Dip a sharp knife in hot water and wipe it dry before cutting each slice. Drizzle, if desired, with chilled sugar mixture.
Chocolate Decadence is most enjoyable if served chilled and may be kept refrigerated for up to 2 days.
With only 164 calories per serving (12 servings per cake), and only 6 grams of fat, Chocolate Decadence cake may become a Valentine’s Day favorite!
Though Valentine’s Day has evolved into a commercially significant billion dollar industry, it is important to remember that this wonderful tradition is about expressing love and affection, which may be done totally from the heart and without any expense.
“Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love.” – Leo Tosltoy
Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!
Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, is a health care provider of over 32 years. As a featured “Communities Digital News” columnist, LifeCycles with Laurie Edwards-Tate emphasizes healthy aging and maintaining independence, while delighting and informing its readers. Laurie is a recognized expert in home and community-based, long-term care services, and is also an educator.
In addition to writing for “Communities Digital News,” Laurie is the President and CEO of her firm, At Your Home Familycare, which serves persons of all ages who are disabled and infirm with a variety of non-medical, in-home care and concierge services.
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