“Biochemically, love is just like eating large amounts of chocolate”.
~ John Milton
My husband, Chris loves chocolate in all of its forms, so I thought I’d make him a chocolate cake for Valentine’s Day as an expression of my love for him. We have been married since “childhood” and I hope to keep the love by adding some lavender for its mythical effects on nurturing it. Both chocolate and lavender have a long history in aiding affairs of the heart and this recipe is lower in fat than most (at 0.5 grams per serving) so it will be kind to his heart both ways.
A very personal and romantic message written on a blank or homemade Valentine card is also part of my plan. This year, I think, something from the heart will be so much better than a box of chocolates with mysterious centers, purchased at the last minute. I’m aiming for an original card and our Lavender Lover’s Chocolate cake to make this Valentine’s Day memorable.
I’ve used LavenderGreen’s prepared Lavender and Tahitian Vanilla sugar in this recipe, but you can make your own by adding a teaspoon to a tablespoon of crushed lavender petals and a vanilla bean to a cup or two of sugar and storing it in a cool dry place for ten days. You can order it on our site. Or, if you are running late, you can use plain sugar with 1 1/2 teaspoons of pure vanilla and a teaspoon or two of crushed lavender florets.
If you are using lavender buds you have on hand, make sure they are of the English, Angustifolia variety such as Hidcote or Munstead which are best for cooking. Craft quality lavender is better suited for sachets and soaps because it has a clean, sharp fragrance that would spoil the scent and taste of the cake.
You might want to try this cake (even if you’re not trying to woo your husband or lover this Valentine’s Day) and be sweet to yourself and your friends and family. It takes about an hour from start to finish, including baking.
Lavender Lover’s Chocolate Valentine Cake
1 3/4 cups un-sifted flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
13 tablespoons cocoa, unsweetened
2 cups lavender vanilla sugar (reduce sugar if desired)
7 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup nonfat milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup boiling water
1. Combine all dry ingredients.
2. Put into large mixing bowl with the rest of ingredients, except for water.
3. Add boiling water and stir.
4. Put into greased 9 x 13, or 2 8 inch cake pans that have been greased and floured.
5. Bake at 350 degrees F.
6. Bake layers for 30-35 minutes (round layer or heart shaped pan)
Bake 9 x 13 for 35-40 minutes (sheet cake size)
Notes for the chef: Your batter may look a little thin, but this recipe produces a very moist chocolate cake. You may lift cake on to a platter with raspberry sauce as shown in the picture and top with fresh raspberries, or ice the cake with your favorite icing. For Lavender Lovers, we also like to dust it with powdered sugar or whipped cream with lavender flowers strewn on top.
Credits, this recipe has been modified from a Hershey’s original and adapted by Lavender Lynn and LavenderGreen.
If you don’t have a heart shaped baking pan, make the sheet cake format and cut individual servings with a heart shaped cookie cutter.
Calories: 185 per serving for the cake
In the mood for a lighter dose of Chocolate and Lavender?
Enjoy our favorite Lavender hot chocolate recipe.
Lavender Hot Chocolate
About This Recipe
This is a wonderful recipe posted on Food.com by “ratherbeswimin” in 2008 and made at the farm many times. We substitute 3 tablespoons of our own Tahitian Lavender sugar and omit the pulverized dried lavender and vanilla extract from this recipe, but it’s great either way. Calories are 196 per cup. We also top off the pretty cup with a little whipped cream sprinkled with lavender florets when we’re in the mood and don’t mind the extra calories. To cut calories in half, make this cup half coffee and half hot chocolate which I do when I need a quick, feel good pick-me-up in the afternoon.
4 cups whole milk or 4 cups half-and-half
1 tablespoon pulverized dried lavender
1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Add milk to a medium saucepan; add in the lavender; set over medium heat and bring just to a boil.
2. Remove from the heat and steep for 5-8 minutes, or longer for a stronger lavender flavor.
3. Return saucepan to heat; whisk in the chocolate until melted and smooth.
4. Whisk in the cocoa powder, sugar, and salt; remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract.
5. Divide among 4 Irish coffee glasses or mugs, straining out the lavender if desired.
Prep Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Happy Lavender Valentine’s Day to You!