Be my Valentine!

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Chocolate and Strawberries

To start with, we are going to make a Quatre-Quarts loaf (pound cake). It is very popular in France and everybody knows how to make one. It is names 4/4 because the 4 major ingredients necessary are measured in exactly the same quantities.

Le Quatre-Quarts

Le Quatre-Quarts

So, to make the loaf above I used:

  • 4 whole eggs (1 egg per 50grs of flour)Ingredients for the  cake
  • 200grs plain flour
  • 200grs unsalted butter (20grs for the tin)
  • 200grs sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tea spoon of Madagascan vanilla essence

Before you start, preheat the oven at 200C

Method: start by melting the butter in the microwave for 1 minute, leave it to cool down. In the meantime whisk all 4 eggs whole, with sugar and the salt until there is no more granules. Now, add the melted butter and whisk again to mix.  Sieve into the mix the flour and baking powder. Mix well, then add the vanilla essence and mix it in too.DSC03510

Now butter your loaf tin and pour in your cake mix. Place it in the oven for 40 minutes. Run your knife through the cake to check that it is dry inside.

For the montage you will need:

  • Nutella chocolate
  • 3 ripe strawberries (thinly sliced)

Once the cake is cooked, remove from the tin and place it on an oven tray to cool down for an hour. Then, cut the sides and the top bulge of the cake to make look rectangular.

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Cut the cake in the middle (the long way), cover both inside with Nutella chocolate.

Place both side onto of each other like a sandwich and press down. Leave to the side.

 

Time to prepare the chocolate covering.

Ingredients:

  • 150grs 74% dark chocolate (broken in pieces)DSC03514
  • 30grs sugar
  • 40cl hazelnut oil
  • 50grs white chocolate (grated for decoration)

Heat the oil and the sugar together to melt all the granules… don’t let it brown, we just want to melt the sugar. Place all the dark chocolate in a bowl and then place the bowl in a shallow pot of boiling water. With a spatula, stir gently until all the chocolate is melted. Now add the still warm sugar and oil combo and mix well. Until is all look like a very shinny brown sauce.DSC03516

Switch off all fires. Now place your cake sandwich on a silver tray, then, gently pour your chocolate preparation on it making sure to cover all the visible areas of the cake.

Leave it for 1 minute then, delicately dust the top of your cake with white chocolate flakes. I kept it simple as it was my first time playing around with this idea, but I suspect the next time, I will write something funny with the flakes.

Now delicately lift your cake from the bottom with a cake spoon and place it on a serving plate,

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then place it in the fridge for 1 hour before serving.

Note: if you do not want your cake to be too sweet, just reduce the amount of sugar in the Quatre-Quarts. You will definitely need the address sugar on the chocolate preparation or it will be too bitter…

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Serving suggestion – Happy Valentine!

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