the first time that I cooked for Ralph

Valentine’s Day 1989 was the first time that I cooked for Ralph. We had been dating for nine months, without me so much as making him a cup of tea. I did not want to be in the kitchen. I was not myself.

Ralph had started to think that I really couldn’t cook at all. He thought that my friends and family were all pulling his leg, when they told a ‘food story’ about me.

The difficult journey that I had chosen to take, with my two baby girls, was the most selfish thing that I had ever done. Nature did not intend for me to focus inwards. It felt unnatural.

So many years wiser now, I understand that, as deeply as I had fallen in love with Ralph, it was more than my need to be with him that led me to change my life’s direction. I also felt a primal responsibility, as a mother, to teach my daughters to choose their partners well. The upsetting decision that I made, so many years ago, allowed my daughters to grow up in a home full of romance. We even refer to our girl-time as romantic. It’s lovely…

On February 14th, 1989, I went back into the kitchen to prepare my first Valentine’s dinner for Ralph. I remember doing something with fresh pasta and roasting Cornish hens but most vividly I remember the ‘knock it out of the park chocolate raspberry perfection’ for dessert.

Chocolate Raspberry Buttercreams

preheat oven 350*F

Butter and flour a 9″ x 9″ square pan [I used a round pan]

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate

1/2 cup butter

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

Melt butter and chocolate together

then allow to cool

Beat sugar, eggs and vanilla together until thick

Add flour and cooled chocolate mixture and blend until well mixed

Pour into prepared pan

Bake 35 minutes – cake will still be moist in centre

Allow to cool completely

BUTTERCREAM:

2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate

1 ounce unsweet chocolate

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

2 eggs

1 cup unsalted butter

Melt chocolates together then set aside

Bring sugar and water to a boil.

Boil 1 minute then remove from heat

Beat eggs til frothy

 With mixer running, add sugar/water mixture in a slow steady stream

Beat well [5 minutes on high] Mixture should look thick and lemony

Add butter 1 tablespoon at a time.

Add cooled melted chocolate.

Beat until very thick and fluffy. [It will take forever but it will happen. I cover my mixer with a tea towel to keep from having frosting everywhere!

Spread a thin layer of raspberry jam over the top of the cake

Spread buttercream carefully over jam.

GLAZE:

1 ounce unsweetened chocolate

1 tablespoon butter

Melt chocolate and butter together

Using the tines of a fork, drizzle chocolate over the frosting

Refrigerate for several hours before serving

Thanks so much for reading.

  • David D.

    OMG that looks amazing, think i will need to make that this weekend. Great idea to cover mixer, never thought of that, much easier than having to scrub the cupboards (and me) every time I bake. by the way, i have been making bread regularly now, is it normal to go through a loaf every 2 days? (considering I am the only one eating it hahah)

    • You will love these!!!!!!!!!!!! As far as how much bread is disappearing – ‘what’s normal!?’ Enjoy… xoxo

  • Carol

    Michelle, guess what I’ll be making my SWEETHEART this Valentine’s Day ?
    The recipe sounds devine, I’m sure Ralph loved it, and guess who else will ?
    Thanks for sharing.

    • Wonderful! Bill will love them.

  • Um – I do not believe you have ever made this for the other great love of your life….ME!

    • You are so funny! Do you not remember making these when we were catering????????????????

  • Kaitie

    I love these so much!!!! Yum yum yum…they are really yummy the next morning for breakfast too :-). hmmmm I wonder where I get not wanting to cook when I am not balanced from…..

    • I wonder… xoxo

    • meggie

      maybe you should not be so saucy! These are my fav!

  • YUM! I’ll have to make that for my love!

  • Looks delicious, I am going to try! 🙂

    • You will not be disappointed!

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