Some say it with flowers, others with jewelry. Then there are those who shift to the oven to turn up the heat. We’re talking, of course, about love and the biggest day to show it (at least commercially).
If you’re not a baker but love one, you may want to wrap up the new, perfectly timed “Everything Chocolate,” by the editors of America’s Test Kitchen (ATK) (366 pages, $35), and give it to your sweetie.
The book provides recipes from the simple (Chocolate Turtle Cookies and Chocolate Zucchini Cake) to the classic (Pots de Crème or Chocolate Soufflé), from the contemporary (Vegan Fudgy Brownies or Chocolate Avocado Pudding) to the spectacular (Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake and Hazelnut-Chocolate Crêpe Cake), with too-many-sweets in between to name (but including DIY candy bars).
However, if you are a baker, then by all means find this book and stock up on chocolate. Your loved ones are waiting.
To get the baker started, we offer three options to prepare for the big day, all of them manageable for someone busy.
The first is the Hot Fudge Pudding Cake, a comforting puddle of goodness, warm, rich and kind of messy, not unlike love itself. Make it in a cast-iron skillet and serve it up hot.
ATK tinkers with the classic recipe for a pudding cake in order to increase the chocolate flavor, using both cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate, as well as that secret ingredient of brewed coffee.
Like your love served chilled? Then Chocolate Cream Pie may be more your style. ATK offers its twist on this age-old recipe by intensifying the chocolate with both cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate, then adding a bit of butter to create a silky filling. If you don’t have the time or interest in making your own pie crust, reach for the frozen substitute.
Our third option for this chocolaty day is from another baker, Alison Roman, whose recipe for a certain chocolate chip cookie once went viral.
Her new cookbook “Nothing Fancy” (320 pages, $32.50) dips into a snack that could well keep the recipient of this gift happy at least 24 times, or less if shared. The Tiny, Salty, Chocolatey Cookies are just that, salty bites to end the meal, or maybe the day.
Lee Svitak Dean • @StribTaste