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What does Valentines Day mean to you? Bunches of red roses, carefully written love letters, thoughtful gifts all from your loved one? Opinion is divided as to the origin of Saint Valentines Day. There were numerous Christian martyrs named Valentine.The one probably remember at this time was a priest in Rome at the time of Emperor Claudius ll who performed secret marriages in defiance of the Emperor who had decreed weddings be suspended. He was arrested and imprisoned awaiting his execution. During that time he restored the sight of  the jailers blind daughter. On the eve of his death he penned her a farewell note signed, “From your Valentine”. He was executed on February 14, 269 AD. Also the pagan festival of Lupercalia connected to fertility was celebrated at this time. It is thought that perhaps the early Christian church tried to christianize the pagan festival so decided to celebrate the feast of Saint Valentine at the same time. Through the years it has become associated with love and affection and Saint Valentine is the Patron Saint of engaged couples and married lovers.

I like to celebrate the day by spoiling the people I love – my husband and two beautiful children -with a little something delicious! This Truffle Mud Cake is just the thing. Simple ingredients, even easier method and the taste? All chocolate!

Use the very best chocolate that you enjoy eating and serve it with fresh berries or a cherry sauce. It is very rich and really you only need a small slice so it will serve 12 easily. Simply dust with cocoa or make a chocolate ganache to guild the lily.
Rich Truffle Mud Cake (adapted from Bake by the Australian Woman’s Weekly)

6 eggs
100g brown sugar
350g dark eating chocolate
50g white eating chocolate
300ml thick cream, (48% fat content)
80ml liqueur of choice ( I like Frangelico)

Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a deep 22cm round cake pan. Line the base and sides with baking paper. Melt the chocolate seperately. Beat the eggs and sugar until well mixed. Strain egg mixture into a large bowl (to remove any “bits”) and continue to beat until thick and creamy. Beat in melted chocolate until combined. Then using a spatula, gently fold in cream and liqueur. Pour mixture into pan. Place pan in baking dish and pour enough boiling water into the baking dish to come halfway up side of pan. Bake 30 minutes, cover with foil and bake 30 minutes more. Discard the foil, remove the cake pan from the baking dish, cool cake in pan. Turn cake onto serving plate cover and refrigerate overnight.

To “guild the lily” as I have done, melt 100g dark chocolate with 50ml cream and spread over the cold cake. Melt a further 40g white chocolate with 20 ml cream and pipe in circles around the top of the cake. Draw a toothpick gently from the inside circle to the outside and even intervals around the cake.
Enjoy the day with the ones you love, don’t forget to tell them how special they are and give the most important gift of all – time!
Happy Saint Valentines Day!

I purchased the most wonderful farm, fresh figs on the…
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