Valentine’s Day Desserts for Chocoholics and Non-Chocolate Fans

Count myself and my colleagues among those who think dessert is the most important part of a Valentine’s Day meal. With that in mind, we’ve sorted through our recipe collection and picked out some favorite olive oil-inspired desserts. They’ll please chocolate lovers and non-chocolate dessert fans alike.

Photo courtesy of CafeFernando.com

Clementine and Olive Oil Cake

You see clementines in grocery stores at this time of year. They peel them easily. And they’re sweeter than oranges. This cake, in photo above, comes courtesy of a notable food blog, Cafe Fernando. Its creator is a Turkish food enthusiast from Istanbul named Cenk. He says an Alice Medrich olive oil pound cake recipe inspired this dish. “This cake combines the floral and sweet taste of clementines with a rich extra virgin olive oil,” Cenk writes. “After tasting this cake, I feel like I will never use butter in a citrus cake again.” Try our delicate Everyday Fresh oil for this cake. (Click here to see the recipe.)

Mousse au Chocolat with Olive Oil

This wonderful dish delivers a big chocolate jolt without the guilt. There’s no cream in this chocolate mousse, created by food writer and olive oil aficionado Nancy Harmon Jenkins. In the California Olive Ranch kitchen we’ve made this mousse with our peppery Miller’s Blend and delicate Everyday oils. Our robust Arbosana and fruity Arbequina would work, too. We’ve also topped our mousse with orange zest, dark chocolate shavings, and flaky fleur de sel sea salt – and nothing at all. (Click here to see the recipe.)

Orange-Glazed Olive Oil Cake

Bill Yosses prepares fabulous desserts for President Obama and the first family – not to mention guests and dignitaries dining at  the White House. No doubt your Valentine is worthy of a dessert created by Yosses, the highly acclaimed White House pastry chef. (Mine certainly is!) This cake appears in his book The Perfect Finish: Special Desserts for Every Occasion (W.W. Norton & Co., 2010). Yosses called the cake one of his favorites in the book, noting it was “original and delicious.” Use our Everyday Fresh oil. (Click here to go to the recipe.)

Grown-Up Birthday Cake

Photo by Sarah Shatz for Food52

I like the name of this cake – and the ingredients that inspired the name. “A sweet sponge filled with jam and iced with a rich chocolate buttercream, this cake hides a grown-up a secret: The batter contains olive oil and white wine, making it fruity and complex,” write Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, authors of the new book The Food52 Cookbook, Volume 2 (William Morrow Cookbooks, 2012), where the recipe appears. As with many things chocolate, I’d recommend using our robust Arbosana oil.  (Click here to see the recipe.)

Bon appétit,

Master Miller Bob Singletary