A Valentine’s Day Selection for All You Chocolate Lovers

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, we’ve combed through our recipes and located chocolate gems to help you celebrate the day.  You can make these desserts, including a luscious vegan chocolate cake, either with or without your Valentine’s help in the kitchen.

Chocolate Cake to Live For: Our friend Fran Costigan gets more fan mail for this wonderfully named cake, pictured at right, than any of the dozens of recipes she’s created. “I’ve gotten so many letters and thank yous for that cake over the years,” says Fran, a New York pastry chef who creates vegan desserts that taste great. “People tell me: ‘This is the best cake I’ve ever had.’” What makes this chocolate cake even more remarkable is the recipe involves zero dairy products, like milk or butter. Eggs aren’t used either. (Click here to get the recipe.)

Chocolate Arbequina Truffles: These phenomenal truffles, pictured at left, will satisfy any chocolate lover’s sweet tooth. World renown chocolatier Alice Medrich developed the truffles for California Olive Ranch. She’s an award-winning cookbook author and is known as the First Lady of Chocolate. The truffles are made with our Arbequina extra virgin olive oil. (Click here to get the recipe.)

Chocolate Orange Almond Olive Oil Cake: We recently made this cake, pictured at right, to celebrate after a fifth grader brought home an awesome report card. He gobbled the cake up. He’s not the only one who’s been known to do so. Our food writer friend Marie Simmons created this cake one day. Marie’s husband, John, was so excited to eat it that Marie was unable to take a photo of the whole cake. “John couldn’t wait to taste,” she told us in an email. “Now I have cake with a wedge out.”  (Click here to get the recipe.)

Chocolate Ripple Pound Cake: Ever wonder how pound cake got its name? The classic recipe packs in a pound of butter, for starters. That’s four sticks for a recipe that fills the average Bundt pan. Alice Medrich has demonstrated once again you can skip the butter and use extra virgin olive oil instead. We’ve made this cake, pictured at left, a number of times. We haven’t been disappointed. (Click here to get the recipe.)

Mousse au Chocolat with Olive Oil: One of our favorite chocolate desserts. Pictured at right, this  chocolate mousse delivers fabulous taste without the guilt. Friends we’ve shared the recipe with rave about it, too. Food writer friend Nancy Harmon Jenkins gave us this recipe. We’ve made this mousse with our Miller’s Blend and Everyday oils. Our Arbosana and Arbequina would work, too. We’ve also topped our mousse with orange zest, dark chocolate shavings, and flaky fleur de sel sea salt – as well as nothing at all. (Click here to see the recipe.)

Olive Oil Walnut Brownies: Deeba Rajpal, the creative force behind the gorgeous blog Passionate About Baking, whipped up these brownies, pictured at left, after sampling them at a New Delhi hotel. She asked the chef for the recipe and promptly went home to bake them herself, making some changes and overcoming a power outage that knocked her oven out of commission temporarily. “The texture was fabulous,” she says. “BIG HIT with the kids too.” (Click here to get the recipe.)

Bon appétit,

Your friends at California Olive Ranch