Have you figured out what your Valentine’s Day plans are yet? Don’t leave things too late and end up having to make a gas station stop. I mean what’s the worst that can happen when you come home with some withered lily’s and a Snickers bar? I’ll let you figure out the answer to that.
But seriously, there’s no need to get in a tizzy. This chocolate strawberry truffle cake is like a really dense chocolate brownie, perfect for a surprise dessert on Valentine’s Day! I bet you even have all of the ingredients in your kitchen to make this ridiculously easy chocolate cake. Let’s talk about the dairy in this lavish dessert first. There’s butter…and lots of it. Just be sure to buy your butter and dairy products that carry the REAL seal stamp. The seal is proof that the dairy you’re about to enjoy is made from U.S. cows milk. The REAL seal was created over 30 years ago by American dairy farmers to differentiate their product from imitations. The farmers are guided by strict regulations to give us peace of mind in our choice of dairy products, and if those products don’t meet the requirements then the seal cannot be proudly displayed on the package. You can make this cake the day before and warm it slightly before serving with some chocolate sauce or a dollop of the best chocolate ice cream.
So why should we pay so much attention to U.S. dairy and the REAL seal? Here are some examples-
REAL seal dairy provides nine important nutrients that both adults and kids need.
Dairy is a fantastic source of calcium, great for strong teeth and maintaining bone mass.
Milk is the number one food source in the United States diet for calcium, potassium and vitamin D.
Milk is a great provider of dietary vitamin D. This can be especially helpful to people who find it difficult to get out and reap the benefits of natural sunlight.
Dairy provides calcium, magnesium, potassium and vitamin A.
The REAL seal is proof that the product carries no casein, caseinate, vegetable oil, non-domestic dairy protein or ingredient, or any cheese substitute or cheese analog.
Next time your in the dairy aisle, take a second and look for the REAL seal logo
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a round 9 inch cake tin and flour the base, dumping out any excess flour.
Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over a low heat and add both kinds of chocolate. Stir to melt together and set aside to cool slightly.
In a medium bowl, beat 1/2 cup sugar and the egg yolks with a whisk until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
Slowly add the melted chocolate to the beat yolks, then add the almonds and flour. Mix well by hand.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the egg whites and cream of tartar. Beat with a whisk attachment until soft peaks appear. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar while on high speed until firm peaks are visible.
Transfer 1/3 of the beaten egg whites to the chocolate mixture and fold in with a spatula or wooden spoon. Add the rest of the egg whites and fold in making sure to mix it well but gently. You don't want to see any egg whites in the chocolate batter.
Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
Let cool before slicing.
For the sauce- Melt the chocolate and gradually whisk in the butter until smooth and shiny.
For the caramel strawberries- Line a cookie sheet with wax or parchment paper. Heat the sugar, water and honey in a small saucepan over a medium heat until it starts to turn a golden color. Carefully watch it until it next starts to turn a light amber color.
Take the pan off the heat and dip a strawberry into the caramel letting the excess drain back into the pan until it starts to taper off. Lay the strawberry with it's long "tail" on the prepared cookie sheet.
Once the cake is ready to be served, garnish with a few of the strawberries.