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Meringue & Chocolate Mousse Cake recipe

Meringue & Chocolate Mousse Cake recipe

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Creamy and crunchy textured and not overly sweet, turn this cake into a special dessert.

2 people made this


  • For the Meringue : 250g icing sugar 250g regular white sugar 40g cocoa powder 8 egg whites
  • For the Mouse: 500g dark chocolate 450g heavy cream 80g sugar 4 egg whites


  1. MeringuePreheat the oven to 120º C. Line two baking trays with baking paper.Sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl. Beat the egg whites, add a few regular white sugar and continue to beat until.When content soft peaks form, add the remaining regular white sugar gradually, stirring constantly.Add the icing sugar and cocoa powder you've sifted to the egg whites and mix with a spoon, gently.Divide the meringue mixture and with a spoon, shape 3 circles with 23cm in diameter.Put both trays into the oven and bake for approximately 1 hour.Remove and set aside to cool completely.
  2. Chocolate MousseMelt the chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave. Whisk heavy cream on high speed until medium peaks form and set aside.Beat the egg whites and then add them to the melted chocolate and mix gently, pour the whipping cream into the mixture and stir again with the spoon.
  3. Assemble the cakeSpread 1/3 of the mousse over the first meringue disk, Set a second disk over the mousse and repeat the process of filling. Frost the cake with the rest of the mousse.Freeze for 30 minutes and serve.

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Strawberry Meringue Chocolate Mousse Cake

This is truly a show stopping strawberry meringue chocolate mousse cake! It’s 3 layers of strawberry meringue with chocolate mousse and strawberry filling.


  • 4 whole Egg Whites
  • 1 box (1/3 Oz. Size) Strawberry Gelatin Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 cups Chocolate Mousse (See My TK Recipe Box)
  • 6 whole Strawberries, Thinly Sliced, Plus An Additional One For Garnish
  • Chocolate Shavings, For Sprinkling On Top


Preheat oven to 225ºF and line two baking sheets with silicone mats. Crack the egg whites into a mixing bowl and whip them up a little with a hand mixer just for about 30 seconds. They should get foamy. Then mix in the gelatin powder, corn starch, and balsamic until fully combined. Finally, add in the sugar and keep whipping the mixture up until it forms stiff peaks. Divide the mixture into 3 equal portions. Fill a piping bag with the first portion and pipe it into a large circle on the baking sheet. Start in the center, then keep going around like a snail shell. Pipe the second portion onto that baking sheet in another circle. Then pipe the third circle on the second baking sheet since the first one will be full.

Bake the meringues for about 2 hours, until they are completely firm but still shiny. Leave them in the oven for 6 hours at least to dry out. I recommend making this in the evening and just leaving them overnight. Once the meringues are ready, the easiest way to remove them from the sheet trays is to just peel the silicone mat off of the bottom. Put the first layer on a cake plate and spread 1 cup of the chocolate mousse on it. Then place half of the sliced strawberries on the mousse. Repeat that with the next layer of meringue, mousse and strawberries. Finish the cake with the final layer on top. Garnish the top with shaved chocolate and a fanned out strawberry. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Recipe Summary

  • 1 1/2 cups hazelnuts (7 ounces)
  • 6 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips (6 ounces)
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • Chocolate shavings, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350° and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Draw two 8-inch rounds on one sheet of the parchment and one 8-inch round on the other.

Spread the hazelnuts on a third baking sheet and toast for 12 to 14 minutes, until browned. Let cool slightly, then transfer to a towel and rub to remove the skins. Chop the nuts. Lower the oven temperature to 225°.

In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the whisk, beat the egg whites with the salt at medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the granulated sugar at high speed until stiff. Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts. Fold in the hazelnuts and chocolate chips. Pour the melted chocolate down the side of the bowl and gently fold until the meringue is lightly marbled.

Spread the meringue in the drawn circles and bake for 2 hours and 30 minutes, until crisp rotate the pans halfway through baking. Turn off the oven, leave the door ajar and let the meringues cool completely.

In the bowl of the standing mixer, beat the cream with the confectioners' sugar until firm. Remove the meringues from the parchment paper. Spread the whipped cream on the layers and stack them. Refrigerate or freeze the cake overnight. Cut into wedges and serve at room temperature. Garnish with chocolate shavings before serving.

Chocolate Hazelnut Meringue and Mousse Cake recipe

Day one:
Chocolate Mirror Glaze: (Can be made up to 3 days in advance)
6g (3) Gelatin Leaves – soaked in 1 liter cold water until soft about 20 minutes
250g Granulated Sugar
50g Dark Cocoa Powder – sifted (I use NoMU)
100ml Woolworths Ayrshire Whipping Cream
125ml Water
50g 85% Lindt Dark Chocolate

Hazelnut Meringue Layers:
4 XL egg whites
2.5ml cream of tartar
200 ml granulated sugar
125 ml Raw Hazelnuts – roasted in a dry pan until lightly browned then ground finely
1ml vanilla seeds
Pinch Maldon Salt flakes

Day two:
Chocolate Mousse Filling:
100g 85% Chocolate – chopped
200g dark chocolate 70% – chopped
6 XL Egg Yolks – at room temperature

250g Philadelphia Cream Cheese – at room temperature

500ml Woolworths Ayrshire Whipping cream
6g Gelatin leaves – softened in 1 liter cold water for 20 minutes
120g Castor sugar
5ml Vanilla Extract

Flourless Chocolate Cake Layers: (repeat recipe for 2 layers)
4 XL eggs – separated (room temperature)
1 Egg Yolk only
200g Castor Sugar
130g 85% Chocolate (this amounts to 1 slab plus 3 blocks of Lindt)
50g Unsalted Butter
2,5ml Maldon Salt
1ml Vanilla seeds

Day three:
Candied Hazelnuts: (prepare while cake is cooling in the fridge)
20 Hazelnuts – lightly toasted (this will ensure you have extra to allow for breakages)
20 thin cocktail sticks with sharp ends
250ml sugar
15ml Water
5ml lemon juice
Pack of Prestik or Blu-tack

How to
Day one:
Chocolate Mirror Glaze:
Combine the sugar, cocoa powder, cream and water in a saucepan and heat over moderate heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved and it comes to the boil

Remove from the heat, stir in the chocolate pieces until melted

Squeeze most of the water out of the gelatin leaves then drop them into the hot chocolate glaze and stir until dissolved

Pass the glaze through a rough sieve and stir gently then allow to cool for about 15 minutes

Pass the glaze through a fine sieve so that it has no bubbles or tiny lumps in it. I hold the sieve close to the bowl so that no little bubbles form when it pours through

Set aside to cool enough to glaze the cake (if making beforehand seal once cooled and place in the fridge until required. You would have to warm it slightly to make it pourable before use if refrigerated)

Hazelnut Meringue Layers:
Preheat oven to 110deg C and place rack on bottom shelf of oven

Line 2 30x20cm (ungreased) cookie sheets with parchment paper. Using the same springform pan bottom as a template trace a circle onto each sheet of paper then turn the paper over on the cookie sheets so that the pencil mark is on the underside

In a very clean metal mixing bowl using a very clean whisk beat the egg whites with vanilla seeds and cream of tartar until soft peaks form

Beat in the sugar gradually – 1 tablespoon at a time – until glossy stiff peaks form.

Fold in the ground hazelnuts gently using a metal spoon

Divide in half and spoon the meringue onto the paper using an offset spatula to spread it evenly inside the circles and smoothing the tops

Place both pans on the bottom rack of the oven and bake for about 1 hour until crisp and dry. Check it after 45 minutes as they are thin disks and ovens vary

Turn off oven and allow to cool for an hour before removing and cooling completely in the pan. Turn out onto wire racks and peel off the paper backing

Store in an airtight container until required. Can be made 2 or 3 days ahead of use

(You could make one thick meringue layer, baking for about 1 ½ hours and cooling for 2 hours in the oven if preferred but I wanted a 4 layer cake at the end of the process)

Day two:
Chocolate Mousse Filling:
Place the egg yolks, cream cheese, vanilla extract and 100g of the sugar into a bowl and beat until pale and thick

Place the chopped chocolate in a glass bowl. Pour 200ml cream into a jug and micro on high until the cream just comes to the boil. Squeeze most of the water from the gelatin then whisk the leaves into the hot cream mixture. Pour this over the chopped chocolate and leave to melt then whisk gently until all the chocolate has melted

Pour the still hot chocolate mixture slowly over the beaten egg yolk mixture while the mixer is running on low and whisk until all mixed in. Set aside to cool for about 15 minutes before adding the whipped cream

Beat the rest of the cream and 20g sugar until stiff peaks form then add 2 tablespoons to the egg mixture to loosen and fold in. Fold in half of the remaining whipped cream gently and then fold the rest of it into the egg mixture until evenly distributed

Cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge to set for a few hours

Flourless Chocolate Cake Layers:
Melt butter and chocolate in the microwave on low for 2 minutes – whisk after each minute then set aside to cool a bit once smooth

Brush bottom and sides of a swissroll tin 30x25cm with melted butter then line with parchment paper. Brush paper with butter as well

Place egg whites into a very clean mixing bowl and beat on high with a very clean whisk or blades until frothy. Add half the sugar, 1 Tbs at a time, beating all the time until medium stiff glossy peaks form (not dry stiff peaks) Set aside

Place egg yolks, salt, vanilla and sugar into a second large mixing bowl and using the same blade or whisk beat on high speed until pale and thick – about 3 or 4 minutes

Beat the slightly cooled chocolate mixture into the egg mixture

Fold the egg whites gently into the chocolate mixture with a metal spoon until evenly distributed then pour the mixture into the prepared pan

Bake for 15 minutes then remove and cool

Repeat recipe for the second layer

Once cooled cut into 2 circles using a 23cm Springform pan as a template

Turn over onto a wire rack and place a warm wet tea towel over the base of the pan for just a few seconds to loosen the cake.

Remove the pan, peel off the paper, remove the offcut bits of cake and wrap the 2 circles gently in clingfilm (I use a piece of cardboard as a base as these cakes are delicate and light) and store in an airtight container.

To assemble:
Brush base and sides of a 23cm springform pan with melted butter. Line the base with a circle of parchment paper and brush paper with butter as well

Place the first chocolate circle into the base and drizzle 20ml of hazelnut liqueur over the cake

Place one third of the chocolate mousse filling on top and smooth with a spoon or spatula. Tap the pan gently on your counter top to fill up any gaps

Place a layer of hazelnut meringue onto the smoothed and straightened mousse in the pan, and fill with half the remaining mousse. Give another tap on the counter top to settle it all into place

Repeat with the second meringue layer and pour the remaining mousse over the top. Tap on the counter top again once or twice then smooth the top with an offset spatula until it is even and very smooth

Place the final chocolate cake layer on top and press down gently so that it is level with the top of the sides of the pan. Drizzle 20ml hazelnut liqueur over the cake then cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge overnight before coating with the mirror glaze

Day three:
Unmoulding the cake and covering with mirror glaze:
Remove prepared mousse cake from the fridge and wrap a warm towel around it to loosen from the sides and bottom of the pan. Unclip and remove the sides of the springform pan and place cake on a wire rack over a clean baking tray (I left it on the base of the springform pan because it was easier and you don’t see the base at all once glazed)

Warm the mirror glaze in the microwave for 30 seconds, give it a gentle stir to mix then pour the glaze onto the centre top of the cold cake. Using an offset spatula level and spread it outwards and allow it to run over the sides of the cake, covering it completely. You can use the spatula to smooth the sides a bit if you like but the rippled patterns look quite good

Allow to stand for 15 minutes or so until it has set a bit then gently lift the cake and place it on a serving plate or board and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour to set completely

(the extra glaze that dripped into the baking tray can be lifted with a spatula and poured through a fine sieve to remove any cake crumbs and kept for dessert or ice cream topping (yummy with some chopped toasted hazelnuts swirled through it)

Candied Hazelnuts:
Prepare a dripping space for the candied hazelnuts – underside of a cupboard hung over your counter top is ideal. Line the surface directly below with newspaper. Stick 20 balls of prestik (tick-tack or Blu-tack) evenly apart in a row on the underside of the cupboard (I did this the night before!)

Poke a wooden cocktail stick into the bottom of each hazelnut and set aside

Place a large pan of iced water close to the stove to stop cooking once the sugar is at the correct level of cooking (pan must be big enough to hold the saucepan)

Place the sugar, water and lemon juice in a small saucepan over low heat. Don’t stir but you can swirl the pan gently to ensure all the sugar has dissolved. You can wash down the sides of the saucepan with a brush dipped in cold water if needed to avoid crystals forming in the candy

Bring it to the boil over moderate heat then watch it carefully as it boils and allow it to turn a light to medium amber colour – no darker otherwise it goes bitter

Remove from heat once the desired colour has been reached and plunge the saucepan into the icy water bath to stop the cooking process and to cool the candy down for about 10 minutes. It is cool enough when you can dip the back of a wooden spoon into it and it forms a long slow droplet when you remove it. The shard of candy should be able to snap cleanly when cold

Gently dip and swirl the prepared hazelnuts into the candy then remove and stick the back ends of each cocktail stick into the prepared prestik balls, working from the ball furthest from you and allow to drip in long strands and cool and harden completely before removing the wooden sticks gently and breaking the beautiful candy spikes about 10cm or so from the hazelnuts (it was a damp humid day when I made mine so the spikes would not stand up. I remedied it by breaking the candy off close to the hazelnuts…not the same visual effect I was looking for but it worked well)

To serve:
Remove cake from the fridge, decorate with the candied hazelnuts around the outer edge and some roughly chopped hazelnuts in the centre then cut into wedges and serve. We ate ours as is but you could cut the richness with a few fresh or frozen raspberries and a dollop of creme fraiche


  • 3/4 cup (3 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (3/4 ounce) cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (about 4 1/3 ounces) packed light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup (2 1/3 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream, cold, divided
  • 20 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, divided
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped (see note)
  • Confectioners' sugar for dusting cake

Recipe Summary

  • 7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • ⅞ cup margarine
  • ⅞ cup white sugar, separated
  • 6 eggs, separated

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

Melt chocolate and margarine together in a saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

Beat half of the sugar and egg yolks together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Stir in chocolate mixture until just combined.

Beat egg whites in a separate bowl with an electric mixer until foamy. Gradually add remaining sugar, continuing to beat until stiff peaks form.

Spoon 1/3 of the chocolate mixture onto beaten egg whites using a rubber spatula. Gently run spatula around the edges of the mixture lifting the bottom up and over the center, repeating until well incorporated. Add remaining chocolate mixture, folding just until batter is smooth. Pour 3/4 of the batter into a 9-inch square pan.

Bake in the preheated oven until edges are puffed and surface is firm, about 25 minutes. Set pan on a wire rack and allow cake to cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Spread remaining batter over cake. Refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 30 minutes more.

Death by Chocolate Cake (with step by step)

This cake is called Death by Chocolate, it is an amazing creation by Marcel Desaulniers. Actually, its not even a cake.. It is a chocolate journey! An experience of layer upon layer of fabulous decadence and incredible flavor combination's and textures that leave you in amazement.

It all starts out with a chocolate brownie layer, then a layer of chocolate ganache, then there is the cocoa meringue layer, then the mocha mousse layer, then another brownie layer. You coat the entire cake in chocolate ganache and top it with a beautifully piped chocolate mousse. The recipe even calls for a fabulous rum sauce, but for this occasion I omitted it. It is an amazing sauce, I recommend you try it if you like.

Do you ❤ l ove ❤ TSRI? Don't miss another recipe. Click here to Subscribe to The Slow Roasted Italian by Email and receive new recipes in your inbox every day!

7 layers! Seven layers of heavenly chocolate. I do not recommend skimping on your ingredients in this cake. I love Ghirardelli and Pernigotti chocolates in this cake.

So, here is how I made this masterpiece.

I started out preparing the Cocoa Meringue. It takes 3 hours of oven time, so best get to it first. Prepare the meringue per the instructions. Trace the bottom of a 9" pan onto parchment paper, turn it upside down. Transfer your meringue to a piping bag or plastic bag with no tip, cut a hole in bag and pipe a circle on the parchment, starting on the outside. Bake per instructions.

Prepare the Chocolate Ganache next. Heat butter and cream as per directions and then pour over chocolate. Stir until smooth. Allow to sit at room temperature until you are ready to assemble.

Next prepare the Mocha Mousse per the instructions. You will have 3 bowls to fold together the whipped cream, egg whites and chocolate mixture. Fold together and refrigerate until needed for assembly.

You will start to prepare the Simply the Best Chocolate Brownie to go into the oven once the meringue comes out. Prepare brownie as instructed. After baked, and de-panned allow to cool before cutting into 2 layers. Set aside for assembly.

Assembling the Death by Chocolate

You start with a 9" springform pan on a cake circle or other pan that will fit in your freezer or refrigerator. Place the top layer of the Simply the Best Chocolate Brownie in the pan cut side down.

Add 1 1/2 cups of the Chocolate Ganache with a ladle and smooth to the edges.

Place your trimmed Cocoa Meringue into the pan on top of the ganache and lightly press down to assure there are no air bubbles. If your meringue breaks, reassemble it in the pan as closely as possible.

Spoon the Mocha Mousse on top of the meringue. Spread evenly out to the sides.

Place the remaining layer of the Simply the Best Chocolate Brownie, bottom side up, on top of the mocha mousse. Chill the cake in freezer for 30 minutes or refrigerate for 1 hour.

Remove from the freezer and cut around the edges to release from the spring-form pan. Pour the remaining ganache over the cake and use a cake spatula to spread the ganache evenly over the and sides of the cake. Refrigerate the cake for 10 to 15 minutes to set the ganache.


well then consider me ready because this cake I must have! Seriously, not only stunning but lush and divine! Wow, impressed, inspired and hungry!

This is still the best chocolate I have ever had. I have the remaining cake cut into slivers and stacked in freezer containers now. PURE heaven straight from the freezer.

Oh my I can sure see why she asked for this! Yum! It's amazing. Your post shows us how to make it every step!

WOW, I saw this cake on Mary's blog and couldn't help but come to see all those decadent layers come together!! Adding this to my birthday wish list and heading off to check out all your other recipes.

Beautiful - a work of art! You know I love chocolate cake and since we don't live anywhere near each other - guess I'll have to make my own one day. Thanks for the great recipe! Hope you are feeling better today and hope you have a fun weekend.

I feel like I should clarify that I didn't actually ASK for this cake. The amazing Donna offered to make it again. Who am I to turn down an offer like that?! Heaven knows, I will never be ambitious enough to make something this fantastic myself.

Thanks again, Donna. Truly phenomenal cake.

Donna, what a fantatic birthday present! This looks unbelievably delicious. Your step by step directions are wonderful and easy to follow, too. I'm wondering, since I've never worked with a baked meringue before, did you use spatulas to transfer it? I know you said if it breaks you can reassemble it, so I'm thinking it must be very delicate at that size.

Lynne, no the meringue is not too delicate. However when you trim it to fit your pan, it can break. I transferred it with my hands, but once I got it in the pan one side was a tiny bit too big, so when I pressed it in there it developed a crack. No big deal though.

Thank you for all the amazing compliments!

What a gorgeous cake. you did such a great job with the piping! That takes some patience. :)

A chocolate goodness that it is! This is the most wonderful thing ive ever seen! Brilliant :)

Warning, this is going to be a long comment. Death by Chocolate is my favorite cookbook of all times and I have never made this particular cake. Bad, bad girl that I am. I think I have found my chocoholic twin here. Your cake is AMAZING! It must have taken you all day! I know that when I am making a M.D. cake, that it will take several hours of my day. I am so impressed! :) Anyhow, I found you from Donna and she must be quite a friend to have a cake like that baked for her. Cheers!

Correction to my previous comment: I found your from Barefeet in the Kitchen. you are Donna. I realize that now. Sorry!

My mouth is watering. Somehow my cottage cheese i'm snacking on right now, doesn't taste so satisfying anymore. mmmm chocolate.

Looks divine. I know a birthday person who might just be enjoying this soon!

this is marvellous!! choc lovers will go crazy for these!! Appreciate your pictorials guide.

Oh wow. there are no words to describe how wonderful this cake looks! So many amazing layers of chocolatey heaven :)

How did I miss this post. You made this perfectly. It's such a lot of work, but one of the most delicious cakes I've ever tasted! Brava!

This is a beautiful cake. The Chocolate Expresso Fudge Cake from the Death By Chocolate recipe book is my favorite and the Old Fashion Chocolate Cake is my Husbands favorite cake.

You definitely a must do recipe. Your recipes don't disappoints me, it's always a great one.

Sharing this recipe on our Facebook page. The tutorial is very detailed. :) People will love this version of the Death by Chocolate cake. :)

Hello, I took this cake on and what a task it was. I hoped it was worth the expense and the amount of time/work it took to make. And it was. The directions were pretty good, only had a few questions like one part said to start piping the meringue from the outside and the other said from the inside, in the end I guess it didn't matter. However, you can't see the different layers in mine like shown in the picture. As well, there was a lot of wastage on the cocoa meringue, so could do will 2 or maybe 3 egg whites instead of 4. There wasn't enough ganache to use a full cup & a 1/2 between the layers, so I only used a full cup and there was still only barely enough to cover the outside. Cutting the brownie into 2 pieces was near impossible, had to reverse the layers and leave the bottom where it was as the top got all cracked up when trying to cut it. Had to piece together the pieces onto the cake. All in all the taste of this cake is very rick and decadent and would only attempt to make it again for a very special occasion, as its very expensive. Thanks for posting the recipe.

i had this at a restaurant. the white was a thick white chocolate though, not meringue. do you have a recipe for this.

I made this, but have a few complaints. mocha mousse did not come out, had way too much ganache, and the brownie layer did not cook all the way through. I did make a few adjustments, and ended up getting the evil eye when there was not enough for a second serving. The recipe has been requested, and I will share with my suggestions for changes, or suggestions.

Personally I followed the exact recipe and found it to be amazing. Everything turned out perfect. I followed the steps in order as suggested and it turned out great. However we learned that you need to sit out about 30 minutes to an hour before serving so it reaches room temperature. This made the cake more enjoyable and it was delicious. However this cake took me 6 1/2 hours total time to make so the next time I'll start early morning!!

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Paula Shoyer
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French-trained pastry chef Paula Shoyer wrote The Kosher Baker: Over 160 Dairy-Free Recipes from Traditional to Trendy to start a kosher baking revolution. A former attorney, Paula teaches baking in DC and across the US and Canada. A frequent guest on local and national television and radio, her second book, The Holiday Kosher Baker, was released October 2013.

Use real butter

Recipe: the concorde chocolate meringue mousse cake

In this house, Jeremy is the romantic and I am the unromantic. That doesn’t mean I’m boring – I recognize romantic things, I just find them superfluous. Jeremy isn’t a hardcore romantic, but he does give me the moony eyes from time to time and likes to go out for candlelit dinners, hold hands, sip champagne together under the stars, and cuddle under a snuggy blanket while watching a good old sci fi/fantasy/action-adventure movie. I don’t equate love with romance, but I do equate (good) food with love. When I make food, when I share food, when I gift food – it’s all a form of love. So I’m sharing some love with you this week.

this is love

this is your brain on love

I’ve teamed up with my good friend, Ellen of Helliemae’s Caramels, to do a little Valentine’s Day giveaway for use real butter readers. No one is paying anyone. We are doing this just for fun. Ellen is donating the caramel goodness and I’m wrangling the random number generator (a.k.a. Kaweah) who is coming out of retirement JUST FOR YOU. Why? Because… love! Should you be one of the winners, you can select one of the following packages:

plain jane

Plain Jane: includes a jar of caramel sauce and a bag of Caramelo tinies. The caramel sauce is unsalted, dark, and slightly bitter. I love using it for baking projects or fancy desserts. The Caramelos are the smoothest, creamiest, butteriest bites of intensely rich and delightfully chewy unsalted caramels you will ever put in your mouth. They’re so good, I just popped one in my pie hole!


Adventure: for the more daring individual, includes a jar of Chili Palmer caramel sauce and a bag of Passion Fruit caramel tinies. Chili Palmer is like getting kicked in the shins and passionately kissed at the same time. You are eloping with a frisky salted burnt caramel sauce loaded with spice (from the chili and cinnamon), heat (from the chili), butter, and sweetness. This stuff is ridiculous on ice cream. Don’t just try it on vanilla, it’s great on chocolate, absolutely sinful on my key lime pie ice cream, and pretty darn swoon-inducing straight off the spoon. What better partner to the sassy Chili Palmer caramel sauce than the exotic and seductive Passion Fruit caramel tinies? We are talking about a burst of tropical tartness playing off the buttery smooth caramel with hints of vanilla. A seasonal item (only around Valentine’s Day) worth every luscious calorie.

1) Share the food you most associate with love in the comments below.
2) One comment per person, please.
3) Comment must be received before 11:59 pm (MST), Thursday, February 6, 2014.
4) The prizes can only ship in the US.
5) Kaweah will select two winners.
6) Winners will be announced and contacted on Friday, February 7, 2014.

And now something sweet for everyone whether you win the giveaway or not! Two years ago, I purchased Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé, written by Dori Greenspan. It sat on my shelf collecting dog ears, but I never got around to making anything out of that gorgeous book until recently. This cake is so luxurious it even has a name that begins with “The”, like The Edge, except this is called The Concorde and it is a cake made entirely of chocolate meringue and chocolate mousse.

trace three 8 1/2-inch circles on parchment paper

flip the papers over so the tracing is face down on the baking sheets

fit two pastry bags with a 1/2-inch plain piping tip and a 1/4-inch plain piping tip

Get all of your equipment ready for the meringue because you don’t want it to deflate while you’re futzing around with drawing circles and such. I couldn’t find anything in my house that measured 8 1/2 inches in diameter for tracing, so I used an 8-inch removable base from a 9-inch tart pan. Worked just fine and gave me a little leeway in the meringue volume too.

chocolate meringue: dutch-process cocoa powder, egg whites, sugar, confectioner’s sugar

sift the confectionere’s sugar and cocoa powder together

whip the whites and granulated sugar to glossy stiff peaks

One thing that is critical for both the meringue and the mousse is that you don’t over beat the egg whites. The progression for whipping egg whites goes a little like this: gloppy egg white goo, bubbly clear goo, frothy, foamy and white, soft peaks (blobbish), firm peaks (holds a shape, but the tip might succumb to gravity), stiff peaks (holds a shape and is smooth, shiny), over beaten (dry, chunky, breaks apart). Over beating the whites will result in an inferior product, so avoid that mistake if you can. I over beat the whites for the mousse and it changed the texture (see later).

add some cocoa and powdered sugar

fold the dry mixture quickly, but gently into the egg whites

The meringue bakes for a couple of hours and then cools for at least another couple of hours. Don’t start on the mousse until the meringues are completely cooled. It’s possible to break this up into two separate days (up to a week apart) if you can store the meringue in a cool, dry location or wrapped in the freezer. The mousse should be made right before it is needed.

mousse: egg whites, egg yolks, chocolate, butter, sugar

add melted (and cooled) chocolate to the whipped butter

Everything was on a good roll until I began beating the egg whites. It went from soft peaks to slightly over beaten before I realized it and the whites were a little dry looking. I beat in the egg yolks which seemed to smooth it out, but had a sinking feeling that the over beaten whites would rear their ugly head. As I folded the eggs into the chocolate, the texture went from silky to thick and dull. I knew this wasn’t the texture of mousse, but when I tasted it, it was smooth and creamy, melting right away. So I forged ahead.

whipped whites with yolks

folding the whipped egg mixture with the butter and chocolate mixture

slicing the logs with a serrated knife

Cake assembly was pretty straightforward and forgiving. Set one meringue disk flat-side-down on a cake board, spread some mousse over it, layer the second disk, layer more mousse, and top with the third disk flat-side-up. Then frost the whole thing with the remaining mousse. I think my messed up mousse gave me less volume than I would have had if the mousse had turned out properly. But it worked, and in the end it’s okay if everything gets lightly smooshed together.

spread mousse on the meringue disk

At this point, the cake gets frozen for a couple of hours, presumably to firm it up. Then it is removed and warmed with a hair dryer to soften the outside layer so the logs will stick better. I didn’t bother freezing mine because my mousse was rather firm (more like a ganache than a mousse). So I skipped the freezing and hair dryer steps and went straight to pressing the little logs of meringue all over my cake. Except I didn’t have enough to cover the whole cake, so I opted for just the top. It looked fine.


i can’t resist adding some fruit

The final cake was a resounding success despite my having screwed up the mousse. The recipe puts the finished cake in the freezer for one day to help tenderize the meringue. We tasted it both the day of and the day after (and the day after that) and I have to agree that the texture is much better after a day in the freezer (or refrigerator). This rich, light, not overly sweet (which I love), creamy- and crunchy-textured cake is special and worth the effort. It’s flourless and yet I find it to be a million times better than the typical “flourless” chocolate cakes. The mousse melts in your mouth while the meringue dissolves satisfyingly on the tongue. And even though I love Jeremy dearly, I would not let him finish the entire cake – so we shared half of it with our awesome neighbors. They really enjoyed it too!

not only is it delicious, it makes for a pretty presentation

all of the wonderful layers

The Concorde
[print recipe]
from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé, by Dori Greenspan

1 cup (100 g) confectioner’s sugar
3 tbsps Dutch-process cocoa powder
4 large egg whites (133 g), room temperature
1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar

8 3/4 oz. (250 g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
8 3/4 oz. (250 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
6 large egg whites (200 g), room temperature
1 tbsp granulated sugar
3 large egg yolks, room temperature and lightly beaten

Prepare your equipment: Preheat the oven to 250°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Draw two 8 1/2-inch circles with a pencil on one sheet of parchment paper. Turn it over on the baking sheet so the lead is face down and will not touch the food. Draw one 8 1/2-inch circle on the other sheet of parchment paper and turn it face down on the baking sheet. Make sure you can see the outlines from the other side of the parchment because you will be using these as guides for your meringue layers. Fit a large pastry bag with a plain 1/2-inch tip. Fit a smaller pastry bag with a plain 1/4-inch tip.

Make the meringue: Sift the confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder together into a medium bowl. Whip the egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form (holds shape, but the peak will droop when held upright). Add 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar while still whipping until the whites turn glossy and hold firm peaks (this took me less than 30 seconds, so watch closely). Reduce the mixer speed to medium-low and beat in the remaining 1/4 cup of granulated sugar. Gently fold the cocoa mixture into the egg whites with a large spatula. Don’t freak out if the whites deflate – they will do that – but work quickly.

Spoon 2/3 of the meringue mixture into the large pastry bag. Pipe from the center of each circle outline on parchment paper in a tight outward spiral, making sure each ring touches the previous ring and that the whole layer is no more than 1/3-inch (1 cm) in height. Fill the small pastry bag with the rest of the meringue and pipe as many long strips as possible on the parchment paper with the single disk. Lightly even the disks with a metal spatula to fill any holes or level the top. Bake the meringues for 1 1/2 to 2 hours with a wooden spoon handle in the oven door (to keep it ajar). Rotate the pans top to bottom and front to back 2-3 times during baking. They should be firm, but not colored. Turn off the oven and let dry for 2 hours to overnight with the door closed. Let cool on parchment on cooling racks. The meringues can be made up to 1 week ahead if stored in a cool, dry place (if you live in a dry place) or wrapped up tight and frozen.

Make the mousse: Melt the chocolate over a double boiler, a water bath (don’t let the bowl touch the water), or in a microwave oven on half power for 30 seconds at a time (stirring in between each 30 second interval). You want the chocolate just melted, not burned. Cool the chocolate to 114°F. Beat the butter with a whisk attachment on high until it is smooth (about 3 minutes). Add the chocolate in thirds, beating until blended. Pour the mixture into a bowl. Clean and dry the bowl and whisk attachment. Whip the egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and whip until the whites are glossy. The recipe says firm peaks, but I think it’s best to keep the whites soft. While the mixer is still running, pour the yolks into the egg whites and whip another 30 seconds. Stir 1/4 of the egg mixture into the chocolate with a spatula. Fold the remaining egg mixture into the chocolate. This should be ready right before assembly.

Assemble the cake: Using a serrated knife, cut the long strips of meringue into 1/2-inch long logs. Don’t worry if they aren’t perfect or if you have a lot of crumbs – you will use it all. Set aside. Place a daub of mousse in the center of the flat part of a meringue disk and secure the disk to a cake board. Spread 1/3 of the mousse over the meringue disk. Set a second disk over the mousse and gently press it down until it is level. Spread another 1/3 of the mousse of the second disk. Turn the third disk over so that the flat bottom is facing up and place it on top of the mousse. Gently press the disk down into the mousse until it is level. Frost the cake with the rest of the mousse, covering the top and sides completely. The recipe instructs us to freeze the cake for 2 hours and then use a hair dryer to warm the sides and press the meringue logs and bits on the sides and top of the cake. I didn’t bother freezing and placed the logs on the cake. Wrap the cake in plastic wrap and freeze for a day before serving at room temperature (it makes for a more tender meringue). Serves 8.

more goodness from the use real butter archives

288 nibbles at “i bring you sweet lovin’”

wow, what a cake. Looks terrific and sounds delicious!

Lasagna is my love food. All those layers and warm gooey-ness. What’s not to love?

Wow, this cake is gorgeous!! I love meringues.

Love food for me is that sandwich or bowl of soup or brownie that magically appears by my side when I’m sick or exhausted – nothing tastes as lovely as that!

Homemade vegetable soup with a slice of crusty bread. Lots of happy memories to go with it!

Pita :) well, for the uninitiated it is a dough kneaded on a long pin and stuffed with potato, cheese, cheese and spinach, meat … my favorite is potato made by my Grandma, and although she is over eighty and barely cooked for herself – when I go to Bosnia to visit she painstakingly makes it for me. It is pure love wrapped in warm goodness and so many childhood memories.

Homemade vegan chocolate cake with peanut butter icing.

brown butter sage anything is my love food: specifically, pumpkin ravioli in brown butter sage sauce. Maybe with a splash of sherry. Oops, we’re in love.

This is hard because, yeah, food=love. I think I will have to go with chocolate today! And I want to make that cake!

Any food baked with love but if I have to choose….chocolate, chocolate cupcakes or layered chocolate cake, even chocolate pancakes. Chocolate is sweet and comfort all in one. This year I am thinking Boston cream cake with a chocolate ganache, or chocolate drizzled cream puffs.

For us, clam sauce = love. This is because it requires driving a bit to a specialty store for good clams. But, yum!

My Grandmothers Christmas Cookies. We still make them and it is just like her being with us

Whoa. Pure chocolate deliciousness.

Greetings from Ithaca, NY! My love food is the french onion soup my husband makes just for me. It is a labor of love on his part and I love to eat it!

PS, Thank you for all your glorious recipes and photographs, I am always excited when I see you have posted something new!

For some reason, I associate French Onion Soup with love. It is a labor of love, I suppose!

Homemade ice cream is love. It takes a whole lot of patience to wait that long for the ice cream to freeze and eat!

Homemade food in general is love, but anything a particular amount of time or effort went into makes me happy. A bolognaise sauce, or a paella. Mmmm

Home made pasta tossed with sauteed mushrooms and butter gets me every time.

My favorite food is anything I cook on the top of a mountain outside my tent under the stars. I dehydrate my own meals so it is already something I like enough to cook but cooking and eating it outside after hiking up a mountain with my dog by my side makes it 100 times better.

Hope Kaweah is well. My favorite comfort food is spicy pad thai!

Ooey, gooey cheese makes my heart fill up with love!

Food I associate with love is congee (rice porridge). It was the staple “go to” for my brothers & I that my grandpa and parents made for us whenever we were sick. It’s still pretty great without being sick, but it’s my favorite comfort food ever (:

I associate jam, or other preserved goodies, with love. Jam is the BEST GIFT, especially for people who don’t have a canning tradition in their family. It just makes me happy to give these jars to my loved ones.

king crab legs and a good homemade clam chowder. we always make that to celebrate bdays and special ocassions and it never gets tired, and the kids join in now that they are 7 and lovin it!

I love vietnamese wide noodles! Simply delicious.

I associate your otsu noodles recipe with love. Because it’s the recipe my boyfriend and I love most. Awww.

Beef stroganoff with whole fat sour cream and fresh chives. Brings back memories of my childhood and I make it for my boyfriend who adores it.

I think I probably associate meatballs with love. My mom makes the best meatballs ever (this is an unbiased opinion, clearly). They take time and three different meats and she makes dozens and dozens at once.

This cake is love to me! Anything rich and chocolate has me wrapped around its little finger.

I associate spaghetti sauce with love. My mother-in-law spends a good deal of time making hers, and my husband has built on her recipe to make it his own. He takes great pride in it and loves making it for me (and himself!), and it makes me happy to see the joy it brings him. :)

Risotto. Perfect for making with someone you love, stirring together while drinking wine and enjoying each other’s company!

Love is a warm, delicious, health meal for my family every night.

For me love is vanilla ice cream with marshmallow fluff and caramel sauce and crushed peanuts. My grandma always let me have a small bowl before bed when we stayed at her house. I don’t know how we ever got to sleep!

That cake looks delicious! I think the most romantic food is anything that my husband makes. He is very diligent about making his grocery list and prepping all of the ingredients before he starts cooking. It is really sweet to watch.

chocolate and strawberries are love(ly). so traditional of me

Truffles! the savory kind, not the chocolates.

Love to me is my mama’s stroganoff. Always brings back good memories. But chocolate is good too :)

Food I most associate with love? I think its birthday cake. Maybe not every time, but it seems like so many people in my life will push themselves above and beyond what they’d normally bother to do because its birthday cake, and they love the person who’s birthday it is. They make new things they’ve never made before, create a new design, pull out that old favorite just because its what the birthday person probably _really_ wants, or even figure out how to bring that cake with them on the train so it can be made in Baltimore and eaten in Philly. Oddly, I normally consider myself something of a birthday curmudgeon, but … Birthday Cake ftw!)

Oooooh, that’s pretty I wish I had an occasion to make it. My love food: pizza. Great for sharing, lovely with some champagne, makes everyone happy.

Chocolate sponge cake rolled around whipped cream! Not just delicious, but fun to make with your sweetie too!

So much yumminess, Jen. I have two answers for you. One is not really food, but red wine, which I associate with late nights snuggling and long conversations about life, as well as family dinners and my dad welcoming me home from being away with a bottle of his latest delicious find. For food, my mom’s cheesecake, made with love every year at my birthday.

To me, sliced apples and pears taste like love. It isn’t the fruit particularly, its the care that someone took to remove the seeds, and cut it up, and maybe peel it, and then to share it with you, after going to all that work. Well, you can just taste the love!

Gorgeous, as always you cold hearted, unromantic rady.

For me, romance is pasta. We were talking about this at dinner the other night, asking what your “deal breaker” meal was when you cook for someone for the first time, hoping to take your relationship to the next level. My answer was and is hand made pasta. It’s sexy, it takes time and effort, and the sum is always more than the simple parts which go into it. Much like a good relationship :)

So if I make you pasta, you’d better put out )

i associate chocolate with love.

Oh goodness that cake! And those beautiful caramels!

For me, a bowl of roasted vegetable pasta with garlic sauce and shrimp is love. This is a meal my boyfriend and I have frequently, and not only is it a labor of love with multiple components, but it combines all our favorite flavors and tastes. It is love and comfort in one.

That cake! So gorgeous. And passion fruit caramels? Passion fruit is my favorite EVER flavor.

Food I associate with love is anything someone takes the time to create and share with me.

Homemade dumplings are love.

I associate beignets with love because my Mom would always get a box of the cafe du Monde mix when she traveled through Louisiana and bring it home with her. About 3 times a year I could convince her to make beignets for breakfast for me (cleaning up all that oil was not her idea of a good time). They remain the best beignets I’ve ever had, including at the real cafe du Monde (although those are a close second).

Love is the pies that my mom makes (not just for Thanksgiving, but for anytime!) especially when she makes my favorite flavors even though they aren’t her favorites. And the caramel corn that my dad and I make together every Christmas.

Dogfish. Dogfish isn’t like lobster. It’s even less popular than monkfish. That being said, dogfish is what I associated with love because we both had dogfish for dinner the night of our wedding.

What food do I NOT associate with love? Cheesecake would have to be close to the top.

Chinese dumplings! That’s what I make when I need comfort food, and that’s what my mom made for us. Typical Chinese mom, feeding us is her way of showing her love. And your Chinese dumpling recipe (and fabulous photos) is what drew me to Use Real Butter in the first place. Happy Chinese New Year!

I think any food that you make for your family or friends – is associated with love. I suppose chocolate is the most “love” provoking food. The cake looks amazing.

For me, it’s meat of some kind bec when we were first married I put my husband through grad school and for two years we could not afford to eat any meat. So now, when we celebrate something it’s with a nice steak or a big, fat pork chop. We actually eat a couple of all vegetable meals every week and a fish meal or two, but for a celebration we both like that luxury of a steak. Now for dessert – it’s gotta be chocolate – at least for me.

A tough question! Which love? All loves!

My grandmother making cream chipped beef on toast (or shit on a shingle, depending on where you encountered this dish!) except we cut the toast into sticks and made them into little log cabins which were drowned in the deliciousness!

My husband wanted something super-chocolate for his birthday one year. So Chocolate Chip Brownie Cake was born. With homemade brownies (with chocolate chips, obviously) baked in 9″ cake tins and layered with homemade chocolate frosting! Never tell your cardiologist you even looked at it!

My mom making eggs-in-a-nest (toad-in-the-hole to others, I think) with perfect runny yolks the morning after getting home with our brand new daughter! (I could eat runny yolks again, yay!)

Slaving over a batch of crystallized ginger only to find it was too spicy for me to tolerate. Thankfully my 2-year old daughter was happy to try it and happy to keep eating it! Food loved instead of wasted!

All the Christmas cookies! All the feasts and nibbles and shopping for odd foods in odd places. The year we did all Lebanese food for Christmas, or my grandmother’s last Christmas when my mother patiently grilled piles of Reubens.

All the food and all the love!

This answer will sound shallow and even pedestrian, but for me, it’s a Starbuck’s mocha. Since I cook 2-3 meals/day for my husband and rarely get a day off, it is a big treat when he goes to our nearest large city (almost three hours away) and returns with coffee for me. Now, I know that some will say that Starbuck’s is commercial, yada yada yada, but I like it and I like it even better when my husband is thoughtful enough to cart home a three hour old mocha latte for me.

That’s a tough one. I suppose it’s whatever I make for someone else that they love and I don’t. I think that’s the most sincere form of love from me. My husband loves lasagna and I’m pretty meh about it but I make it at least once a year for him. (The last one had about 3.5 pounds of cheese in it so yearly is more than enough.) Or chocolate chip cookies for my son. He adores them and for me they get old really fast. Or making that damned Monsters U cupcake kit with him that he got for Christmas (thanks Grandma!) which smelled blech to me and looked radioactive. That’s love!

soup is love for me! my mom always made my favorite winter melon soup for me when i was away at college and still does to this day because she knows how much i love it. :)

My immediate response was kiwis. Maybe because they’re so unexpected– you peel away the skin of this fuzzy, mousy, ugly thing, and it turns into a brilliant little perfect emerald fruit. I like the idea that love is like that– self-contained, multidimensional, surprising, and totally unknowable from the outside.

I’d have to say excellent quality dark chocolate for me. Or a good chicago style pizza :)

Don’t laugh… pork bbq. To do it right is a labor of love. It takes hours (although quite unattended) done slow and low, then tenderly chopped by hand to the right texture and lavished with searingly spicy NC crushed red pepper/vinegar sauce. My father made it, I’ve eaten it since I was literally a baby and now I’m the only one in our family continuing the tradition. I make it in memory of all of my loved ones gone on, and for those I’m still lucky enough to feed. And passion fruit (WHAT?). Yes, I personally love all things passion fruit so I’m headed over to Helliemae’s site right now to score me some seasonal PF caramels!

Mine is Arroz Caldo, filipino chicken soup. It is my ultimate comfort food — love for me isn’t fussy, but comfortable.

I feel much as you do about love and food, Jen. It usually means that the people I love often get a sugar high when they are with me. I listen to my loved ones’ comments about food and enjoy surprising them with foods they have mentioned that they don’t often get to enjoy. These have ranged from Bruce Bogtrotter’s chocolate cake for my daughter, to Schnecken for a friend who grew up in Germany and misses its sweet treats. Thank you for supplying me with delicious recipes and wonderful photographs for making my own favorites!

Food I most associate with love –A large pot of chicken soup made from scratch! – On any cold winter’s day or a day where one of us is sick or…just because, my boyfriend and I will make chicken soup from saved chicken carcasses or a whole chicken. Most loving, comforting food ever!

i don’t associate one particular food with love as the act of creating it and sharing it is where the “love” piece comes in rather than a particular kind of food.

What kind of love? Chocolate chip cookies are family-love. Or pot roast.
For romantic love, I have to go with the classic strawberries and chocolate. No food is sexier.

lasagna, ooooey gooey luscious layers of love! and any dessert spells love to me! creme brulee is at the top of my list. but these days, with so much processed “food” out there i think anything homemade spells LOVE!
thanx! Ellen

For me, it’s different foods/places for different people I love. For my Grandma, it’s the 7 layer bars she used to make us and her Grandma’s soup. We are celebrating our birthday’s this Wednesday, and she will be 95!

My mom’s homemade macaroni and cheese. SO good.

Lobster (and lots of it) with melted butter says love to me.

The food I most associate with love is this lasagna bolognese. Seriously, I hand roll out the pasta, simmer the bolognese and assemble it. It takes about 2 days to do. The thing I’m stingiest with most is my time, so this food is quite the time commitment.

Hope that February is treating your family and Kaweah well!

My love food has to be fresh baked bread, warm from the oven. Any accompaniment, or none at all.

That cake looks divine! And I’ll have to go with a from scratch chocolate cake for food love!

That cake is gorgeous! My love food is Goulash, because whenever I came home to visit a big pot of it was always waiting for me cause my Mom knew I loved it :)

Love = green onion pancakes the ones that Mom makes, not restaurant or storebought ones…. My mom used to make them from scratch, dipped in plain soy sauce it brings me back to my childhood!

Gung Hay Fat Choy Jen! Homemade dim sum (lo bak gao, eggs rolls, sui mai).

I associate chocolate croissants with love because my husband likes to buy them for me (and for himself!).

The cheesecake from the 70’s that was cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk and thickened with lemon juice, in a pre-made graham cracker crust, with canned cherry pie filling. I made it for my first married Valentines dinner. I was 20 and could cook very little. But I could make this. I have improved over the years. Of course after 37 I would hope so!

The food I most associate with love is definitely chocolate! Chocolate truffles specifically.

This may sound cliche, but the food I most associate with romance/love in general is spaghetti with ragù sauce. :)
It has to be homemade though! Nothing tastes as good as homemade food that you DIDN’T have to make.

Love is… the dong-quai soup my grandma makes for me every month to replenish my RBC supply, well, because, you know, monthly things. She calls to make sure it’s the right time, and boils it with pork and liver for a little richer flavor.

That’s a tough question, I can only pick one? Hmmm, most of my special, loved up recipes involve chocolate and raspberries. But, really, anything that’s made with joy in the heart of the maker is love food, right? )

Those caramels look gorgeous. My fave is chocolate.

I associate love with roast chicken andchicken fat potatoes.

love is rice. because rice is everyday. it’s a staple. it’s a necessity.

My love food that I make for my husband is chocolate cupcakes, from scratch, thickly frosted with vanilla bean buttercream. Sometimes they’re decorated with jimmies or a single fresh raspberry.

The love food that he makes for me is homemade meatballs, of beef and pork combined, browned then simmered in homemade tomato sauce.

The loveliest meals are when we cook together, and these things both get made.

Brie is my love food! I remember eating it for the first time with my mom, in the car on the way home in the dark. I had to use a spoon to cut it for the crackers.

Oven-roasted Chicken and potatoes, because that’s why my Mom makes for me every time I fly 3000 miles to visit childhood home : )

That is one beautiful cake. Just perfection! Love to me is all about chocolate cake…or my favorite rainbow cake….just like a big rainbow cookie!

This cake looks lovely! I think I’m going to have to try it when I have a block of free time and a dinner party planned.

I associate my mother’s baked macaroni and cheese with love. She always makes it when requested, and it’s the dish she brings to friends and neighbors when sickness or tragedy falls on their homes. It’s also the dish I make when I’m most acutely homesick in the winter.

Kimchi is love because kimchi is a staple for every meal my parents eat, and they are two of the most loving people I know.

Mashed potatoes! The ultimate comfort food.

I associate love with apple turnovers drizzled with caramel sauce. They were the first baked good I made for my significant other and still one of his favorites. As far as puppy love, I’d have to say poached chicken breasts. My pup gets so excited whenever he smells chicken in the kitchen! Just makes my heart all warm and fuzzy.

Birthday cakes — or whatever sweet the birthday person wants. Celebrating another year with something homemade is love, indeed.

Thanks for the giveaway and all that you do.

Anything baked from scratch. After my son was diagnosed with Celiac disease I had to re-learn to bake gluten free and I did because homemade baked goodies are such a special thing to have. So whether it’s muffins, pie, pizza or steamed buns making it anew at home is the answer.

Ohhhh, I would say any kind of homemade pasta with a rich, creamy sauce. Add in some garlic bread and red wine and you’ve got a real love feast!

Chocolate chip cookies is love to my grandchildren

My ‘love’ food is ice cream, or more specifically: ice cream cake.

I know it seems odd, but artichokes with melted butter….spring, renewal, the ones you love… What more could you ask?

My love food, strangely enough, is rued rei, a traditional Mennonite scrambled egg recipe that’s really more like an eggy, cut-up pancake. I only have it when I go home (about every 2 years or so) because I just can’t seem to make it like my dad does.

Love is homemade mashed potatoes I make for my daughter even when I’m too tired to do it. It’s her favorite food.

Anything homemade especially desserts!

Hard to pick one love food as cooking is the primary way I express love! But I guess nothing is more about love than the fresh fruit pies I make every summer, especially sour cherry – we only get sour cherries for a couple of days each year and I always drop everything and start pitting!

Love is a big bowl of noodles! Spicy, soupy, and steamy!

Love food for me is my dad’s chicken stock – the foundation for so many things he makes, and the time it takes to make, and the way it makes everything it’s in better. He serves it up in a mug when you’re home sick, like a warm blanket.

Ice cream, epecially chocolate ice cream!

Our family tradition every Valentines Day is to have steak, baked potatoes, and cherry cheesecake made at home for me, my hubby, and my two sons. Have been doing this as long as I can remember, and my sons are now aged 24 and 31.

Eggs, bacon, & potatoes. The first meal my husband made me when we were dating, and a sign of love from either of us to get up early enough to make it for each other now.

Sushi! My husband and I have always shared a love for all food. Sushi and other Japanese foods were our first obsession.

Fry bread. Of course! Lard, flour and water. The real native way. Having a piece of fry bread is my gramma sitting on her back porch over her mini range with a sea foam box of lard next to her. My gramma is awesome. I love her so much. Her and fry bread. My two loves.

Chocolate- chalk it up to invasive marketing I guess.

My mother’s homemade chicken soup when I am under the weather.

Looks delicious!! Quick question, how do you chop your chocolate? Every time I try (okay like three separate occasions) I end up melting bits of it or it comes out really uneven. Is there a proper technique for it? Thanks!

Hi Rachel – I use a sharp knife and try to avoid touching the blade or the chocolate with my hands. Hands melt chocolate like nobody’s business. The chocolate doesn’t have to be totally uniform in size, just avoid large chunks of chocolate that will take longer to melt. Hope that helps! -jen

Things that take a long time to make or have lots of steps – but are worth it in the end.

Love is home cooked Chinese food from my mom – specifically rice noodles, beef noodle soup, garlicky stir fried pea tips, and warm Chinese buns, all eaten with family!

Love your site, Jen! Your pics are amazing!

For now, it is Pho. I’ve learned to make it the authentic way, and it does take time, but – oh my. It always gets me warm thanks!

I just asked my husband and he said that homemade soup makes him feel loved. You have to have guessed that for me, it is pie.

Hot cocoa. Please try not to squelch that romane from Jeremy. Now, have I mentioned what a good looking dog Kaweah is? Wise too…

Love is homemade dumplings. You wouldn’t bother with all the chopping, kneading, rolling, and pinching unless you were making them for or with someone. They remind me of childhood Sundays when my parents would take turns rolling out the peels while I raced them with stuffing.

Pancakes = love. More specifically, making pancakes with my man on a weekend morning.

Porridge, jook, however you say it – warms you up from the inside and feels like my mom has wrapped me in a down blanket!

Love is a home-cooked meal, whatever it may be. My favorite would be a hearty stew.

I associate love with food too….and since I cook for my husband, that food has to be long cooked/braised meat. He is a meat lover through and through :)

Toast. So simple, and so satisfying. Ready for sweet or savory or (say it with me now) Real Butter – whatever your heart desires. It’s the perfect thing. In our family we say “I love you more than toast” to show just how much we love each other!

Cooking with love is in everything I cook and is one of my favorite things to do for family, friends and for someone I haven’t met yet. My favorite love food is a delicious southern home cooked meal…fried chicken, mashed potatoes, fried okra, pinto beans, buttermilk biscuits, gravy and sweet ice tea…topped off with an apple or cherry pie with ice cream. When you push away from my table…you know you have been LOVED.

From Mom, love meant her famous chocolate chip cookies that she timed so that they would just be coming out of the oven as we got home from school. yummmmm…

Anything my mother cooked was with love. It was her way of telling us how much she cared. But, Sunday dinners at her table were legendary. Ham, Swiss Steak, delectable vegetables, mashed potatoes, always a dessert… Not only the meals themselves, but the after-dinner conversations stoked by another glass of wine — these thingsloom large in my favorite memories and remind me that although she often had trouble expressing it, she loved her family — especially when we all gathered at her table on Sundays.

My love loves caramel and meringues! A post made for him! I love chocolate in every form so we get along well.

Swedish pancakes with raspberry jam. My dad’s aunt made these crepe-like pancakes for him as a child and then years later, he made them for my brothers and I. As I’ve grown and began cooking for my own family and friends, these amazing pancakes have become a staple for many special occasions. I love sharing my family’s tradition with others and seeing their faces light up when they take that first bite. I’m also pretty sure that my husband fell instantly in love with me when he first tasted them years ago. They are buttery, light and a little sweet, and are the perfect treat to share with loved ones.

All our kids live away from where we presently reside (Gainesville, Florida – Go Gators!). Since we usually have the warm Florida weather, every time one of them comes to visit, I make (and they hope I do) my version of Ecuadorean Ceviche (fish or shrimp, depending on who’s coming), with what the call Mom’s Aji Sauce (hot sauce), popcorn or patacones (fried green plantains). Takes us all back to the days we lived there, our beach house, old friends and the wonderful Ecuadorean food.

Oh my goodness. That cake looks awesome but it was the sundae which made my mouth drool. Cinnamon rolls with a thick cream cheese frosting are my husband’s favorite. My personal love is a plain jane sundae: caramel, chocolate, whipped cream, strawberries, nuts with a cherry on top.

This looks incredible!! Chocolate for me is love food….always makes me feel better!

um…this is tough, but I would have to say, Shepherd’s Pie. My sweetheart is from the UK and that is his favorite dish. I love to make it because it turns out a bit different each time I make it… lots of mashed potatoes or perhaps more sauce and less meat…always a surprise!

Champagne and strawberries!

Simple. Strawberries fresh from the garden, whipped cream, and champagne…sigh.

My Mom’s chicken and dumplings.

Creamy, simmered on the stove for half an hour, Rice Pudding, an ultimate comfort food. I make it for friends in stress to let them know they are loved.

Hi, Jen! I am with you on this – for me food is definitely love, homemade food that is! And the love food would be Korean BBQ Bulgogi and the best homemade Kimchi ever that my Russian mom makes. And this is what my family really appreciates, any time of year!

this is hilarious! you give away food and your readers come out of the woodwork! food love … every person I have ever been with I cook for. I cook what they eat what they love what their grandmother’s made

but for me I always said…. just make me a peanut butter and jelly. not fancy and not hard. but after I cook and cook at home or for work a simple sandwich made just for me is perfect.

going to so make that cake for my kids second birthday… he loves chocolate

Love is anything homemade!

Dulce Delicious caramel ice cream – we even served it at our wedding! Same concept make a mighty fine latte too!

that’s such a cool way to garnish the top! for the contest…i associate 蛋饺 (danjiao for any english readers) with love because it takes quite a long time to make a big batch!

Love expressed through food takes many forms with me. I have a chocolate chip cookie recipe that was shared with me by my daughter’s sitter some 15 years ago. Any time I bake a batch of those, love is involved. I enjoy baking and I enjoy giving them to people I care about. Love is also anything that my husband and I cook together in the kitchen. The whole process is love — from gathering and preparing the ingredients, consulting each other about whether it needs a pinch of this or that, plating and enjoying the meal, even cleaning up. It’s all performed with love and is never a chore when done this way. One of the meals that we created together when we were first dating was an Asian style tofu and green beans dish. Takes me back to those silly, giddy, crazy-in-love days every time we make it.

Steak! Whenever my husband comes back from deployment he grills steaks for the family. It is wonderful!

Lobster! The color and flavor = LOVE for me.

After long thought, the food I most associate with love is ambat, a dal made with dried yellow peas (toor dal), coconut milk and cabbage made into a gravy or soup and served with basmati. I know this doesn’t sound like love but when served fresh and hot, the dal, which has great complexity of flavor and, on a freezing day like today, is love. I learned to make it from my mother-in-law who taught me as a deep love grew between my then boyfriend and me.
Thank you for the great recipes and stunning photos, Jen! Fun give-away, too.

Love and food should always go together… feeding my friends and family is always an act of love. However, for this exercise, I’ll say that homemade cinnamon rolls are love. Warm out of the oven on a snowy day like today…. LOVE. And sharing caramel anything is a loving act! May you 3 all have a warm and cozy sweet Valentines day.

Jen, this is beautiful. I think I shall make it for the office next week.
Lobster is my ‘love food’ !!

I don’t love chocolate. It’s tasty and all that, but I prefer light, fruity desserts. However, my husband and children LOVE chocolate. So I suppose when I find myself making some rich, chocolatey dessert, I know it is out of pure love. Love for others, not myself :). Now caramel? Caramel I love!

My love food is Lasagna Bolegnese that my husband would make for me. He is gone but now I make it for my daughter to remind us both of the man who could cook anything.

I’m going to have to echo a previous commenter who said “Birthday cake.” I was trying to decide whether my answer would be the lasagna my mom always made for my birthday, or the cheesecake she always made for my dad’s birthday, or the heart-shaped chocolate cake I remember from my childhood birthdays (I am a Valentine baby). The common thread is birthdays, and mom’s love. Even if my birthday “cake” is a lasagna. :)

Love to me is crusty bread just out of the oven. There is something about baking with yeast, smelling the yeast, letting the dough take its time, and watching the transformation, that says love to me. And if you spice that warm bread and get some butter and homemade applebutter… Well, that’s just heaven

Double Chocolate Cake from Gourmet with strawberries. But that crusty bread fresh from the oven sounds mighty good too!

OH MY GOSH. So super YUM! I want to reach into my computer and snag that slice of cake! Damn, I am just waking up to breakfast and I see this. I would be happy to have this for breakfast! I am feelin’ the love! Thank you for posting this. Maybe I will give this a try for V-day for my man, although I might say that it does look a bit intimidating to make.

Beautiful cake. Love food in our house is cinnamon rolls warm from the oven.

Love for me is a meyer lemon curd tart! Not only in the effort to make the curd and crust but all the love I pore into my tree.

I would say any baked item but chocolate is my all time favorite and associate with love. Anything sweet is always good.

For me, I can tomato sauce for my family to show them love, and my daughter makes me parmesan chicken / son makes creme brulee to give love back.

Rib roast…my mother’s specialty. And cream. My sweetie’s favorite ingredient…or maybe butter…

Whatever food that I cook and reminds the eater of what their Mama made.

Normally my sincere response would be CHOCOLATE, but feeling especially sentimental lately. My dad was the baker in the family. He didn’t do a lot of baking, but I must have gotten my love of baking from him. Don’t get me wrong, my mom’s a wonderful cook, just had not much interest in the baking end of the spectrum. My dad used to make cinnamon rolls for us almost every Sunday morning. I can still smell them – a very sweet memory.

My love food is Sushi! The melting your mouth, dabbed with wasabi. Wasabi releases natural endorphins. :)

Love is definitely a pillowy soft cream cheese topped kolache. I want 6 of them in my belly right now…

Wow! I love all food, so that’s tough. Maybe a good soup though with a good bread! My husband and I used to have a lot of soup/bread while we were dating. They’re so comforting! We’ve also come to love a good red wine, so that might be a second, if it counts as food. :)

Both packages look amazing! I love good caramel!

I big bowl of homemade soup! I add some fresh bread and a class of wine for a perfect meal.

I show love for those I love by cooking for them and they love it! moony eyes?

girl of many talents, Jen! awesome, thanks for sharing, love it

I think for me it’s ozoni, the Japanese hot pot with mochi traditionally eaten for breakfast on New Year’s Day. It’s real comfort food for me, and I strongly associate it with my father’s love for his family, since he makes it every year. And more recently, my boyfriend and I have made ozoni for HIS family, since his grandmother is now too frail to make it, and so it’s taken on a slightly more romantic hue. It’s food that takes time (to make the broth) and timing (to quickly cook the vegetables and mochi at the end), and those things are both pretty relevant to relationships, I’ve found. If not ozoni, then I’d have to say soft scrambled eggs with cheese. Gorgeous cake, by the way!

Love is chicken soup, made from scratch starting with a whole chicken and some vegetables. I recently did this for my husband after we flew back on a red eye from Hawaii while he was fighting a cold. Cutting up the chicken, starting the stock, letting it boil down, and then adding noodles and fresh veggies while he was sleeping and I was exhausted was one of the most loving things I have ever done.

Sacher Torte, mit schlag pleeze…preferable consumed in Vienna!

I would have to say I equate love with fresh ripe peaches, thinly sliced Lake Champlain 5 Star Chocolate Hazelnut bar and any good French rose champagne!

The cake is beautiful! I associate chocolate = love!

Pancakes! My dad made animal pancakes for my sister and me growing up, and I make them for roommates as a morning surprise.

Cut up fruit! When I’m at home, a few hours after dinner, my mom would always call myself and my three brothers down for wonderfully large bowls of fruit. One for each of us! Fruit has always been a favorite of mine, and the extra care that goes into making each of us a bowl screams love. (:

I generally consider myself asexual so all my food memories of love have to do more with family than any sort of romantic love. For me, it has to be the baked Chinese sponge cake. I hate making it but it is by far, the most preferred cake of my family so I always make it during birthdays, holidays, random days when people are craving it. If it wasn’t for love of my family, I would never make that cake again since I don’t even eat it myself…

Cookies of any sort. I make countless cookies at the holidays because I always think they’re one of the best ways to share my love with friends and family next door and across the country. And what’s not to love about homemade cookie when you’re cuddled up with the people who matter most?

Dark chocolate :) = my love language.

When I was a child, my mom used to make Waldorf-Astoria cake every year, only on MY birthday. This is the original name of red velvet cake and is so much more than just food coloring and cream cheese icing when done right. Her homemade cake is delicious and so tricky. It only turned out just perfect when she was patient and took her time. We moved far from mom when I got married and the year I turned 30, my husband called mom for the recipe and had a friend make it for me so that we’d be surprised when we went to their house for dinner the night of my birthday. Five of us ate the whole cake in about two hours while we played games. Such love.

Love = beef croquettes. My Lola (grandmother) made them for me as a little girl until I could make the for her. :-)

Hi Jen! That dessert you made looks really beautiful. Well, when I think of the one food I LOVE to make for my loved ones, I have to go with homemade cinnamon rolls. The smell is irresistible and fills the house! My boyfriend and I will be celebrating our 3rd Valentine’s Day this year. He is a total romantic and I am so blessed to share my life with him. Our favorite dessert to eat together is definitely coconut creme pie. Yum! I made Oh Sweet Day’s coconut creme pie last Summer and we really loved it. The custard filling was perfect!

My “love” food could be so many things, mostly the things that my mom makes. A warm bowl of beef noodle soup, Taiwanese style corn soup, sesame oil fried egg….My dad’s would be a warm bowl of mashed potatoes, since he was the one that always cooked “American” food. My grandma’s lion’s head meatball would be up there as well…
That cake looks so tasty! I imagine the crunch of the meringue complements the silky smooth chocolate mousse really well.

There’s only one dinner that makes me soooo happy. I know I’m loved when my plate has Baked Chicken with Mushroom Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Frozen Corn, and Pepsi with Maraschino Syrup. My husband made this for me while we were dating. He says it was the 1st full dinner he’d ever made for a lady. Judging by the kitchen, it may have been the truth.

Homemade pizza is my love food. For a number of years it has been a weekly tradition for me and my loved one. It’s different every week, from traditional tomato-basil-mozzarella to red-curry tofu to salmon tikka masala. The homemade crust and cheeses vary, too — but one thing is certain: we don’t miss a week.

My Mom’s three layer chocolate cream cake that she would make in a shape of a heart whenever she was inspired just because she loved us so.

I love caramels, but I just love them for themselves. The food I associate with love is anything Italian my soulmate partner of 15 years died right before Thanksgiving, and he was a fine Broooklyn Italian cook.

I associate ice cream with love. My dad used to take me out when he wanted to have a heart-to-heart talk.

My love and I are huge fans of Mexican food! At our wedding 18 years ago, we fed everyone with a burrito bar! So, for us it’s easy – ANYTHING Mexican = LOVE.

I think the food I associate most with love is my mom’s sticky chicken -it’s one of the more time/labor intensive dinners she would make, so we didn’t have it often, but it was both of ours favorite and always made that day more special.

Chinese food is my love food. It is a family event. Everyone gets to eat what they like and we all share it. There is a lot of conversation and happy satisfaction.

Beautiful Concorde cake. It is so very yummy!

Gorgeous cake…love your recipes and pictures.

Almond lime cheesecake…my family’s favorite.

Pork sandwich with a fried egg is our thing, but we love food in general. :)

What most means love to me is a fresh baked chocolate chip walnut cookie. Love, Love, Love.

We are rich with yummy, homemade good food every day and I am so grateful to give this abundance to my family
with LOVE, everyday! It’s how I feel “rich” and how I share my love.
Our current favorite would be homemade pizza: piled high with rich, savory tomato sauce, garlic, onion, thinly sliced mushrooms, artichoke, olive, sundried tomatoes, peppers, mozarella cheese in a deep dish corn meal crust and I put hot pepper flakes on mine. Yum!

An omelette and toast for breakfast with my boyfriend :)

My food of love is pancakes, from scratch of course! Saturday mornings are usually pancake day. It’s the only morning I get with my boys when we can sleep in, not rush and not have to be anywhere…which is good because a belly full of pancakes does not a motivator make!

When I was a kid, I associated chocolate banana cream pie with love, because we only ever had it for my father’s birthday. These days I associate cookies of all kinds with love, because they’re what I make to show affection for friends and family.

I associate congee (or Chinese porridge) with love. Whenever my sisters or I feel sick or unwell, my mom would make congee to make us feel better. They come in all sorts of flavors and ingredients so it’s never the same.

I would have to say pasta. One year my friends and I sat together for a dinner made from scratch (pasta was the entree), we love home made food and we would all feel the love through the deliciousness and warmth of the food :)

I associate ackee and salt fish with fried flour dumplings. This is the Sunday breakfast in Jamaica. My aunts would make on occasions after wedding,birth,Easter ,graduations when all the extended family together and we all laugh, talk, joke and have a awesome loving time in our p.j’s. Gret memories of my childhood.

Lamb stew with sweet potato rosettes. The stew also has spinach and cauliflower in it. It is one of the recipes that my husband and I have been making since we were dating. We’ve been married for 23 years. We work together on it.

Love your blog! I took your advice for a place to eat when I was travelling around the US and visited Boulder. Had dinner at The Kitchen. Thanks from the Food Grid in London. x

Love, LOVE, LOVE your blog! I’m with the chocolate=lovers.

The food I associate most with love is grilled cheese sandwiches with purple onion inside! My mom used to make these for me and I don’t know anyone else who melts the purple onion inside the grilled cheese. And the cheese has to be pepperjack, and the bread should be whole grain. Soooooo goooood.

Homemade pasta is definitely love for me

anything with almonds or almond paste or marzipan or amaretto… <3 <3 <3

Chicken noodle soup for a sick grandchild, aka Magic Soup.

The food I associate love is my Grandma’s Beef Stew with sugar muffins. She still uses the same yellow handled knife to cut the beef that she did when I was a child and wasn’t tall enough to see the counter – just the yellow blade in her hand.

Slightly burnt sweet rice with caramelized shallots and lap xuong (Chinese sausage) was a quick and simple but delicious snack food that both my mom and dad made for us. My parents were never on the same raising me and my siblings, so that they both made this as a snack for us kids translates to common parental love for me.

(I actually might be the minority in choosing something savory rather than chocolate!)

By far my love food is lemon bars. I mean – straight out of the oven, big glass of milk, …heaven.

Cake or pie made with love by my talented boyfriend. The last one he made me was for my birthday, and I requested one we’d heard of but never tried: banoffee pie. Holy hell, it that a caramel lover’s dream.

ribs in the slow cooker. Or pulled pork. Any of those long drawn out meat dishes are love to me.

Anything that I make is a gesture of love for the recipient but I equate chocolate and champagne with love most of all.

A roasted chicken stuffed with herbs, olives and preserved lemons. A dear friend made us one right after our son was born and the meal came on a day when we were especially bone-weary, new parents. It tasted amazing! We have been roasting up them in the same way for going on three years now.

Fresh baked hot rolls (like Granny used to make) with homemade raw butter and homemade strawberry jam. The golden color of the hot rolls and the butter reminds me of my love of family, farmers, and food. Humble bread, butter, and jam are transformed with the care that goes into their genesis.

Love is fresh fruit and crème fraiche, and a good stiff drink. Something quick and easy we can enjoy without lots of dishes.

Shanghai Dumpling with the soup…..MMMmmmmmMMMmmmmm good. :)

Love is a homemade chicken pot pie… every year for my birthday, made by my mother. Now, love is whatever I make for my husband, especially if its really spicy!

Chocolate covered strawberries mean love to me! Or a really rich chocolate cake with a little cinnamon and chili in it.

I’m with Kat – big, juicy, fondant filled chocolate covered strawberries!

Love is sharing a pint of delicious ice cream with one spoon. I could easily eat an entire pint by myself, but I know I truly love my husband when I feed him bites of Ben & Jerry’s.

Love food OR food love — either way it has to spell COMFORT, with 2 exceptions and those being homemade from scratch german chocolate cake with coconut pecan icing and Spanish Paella.

The food I associate most with love is the burger and waffle fries I had on my first date with the love of my life. :)
Happy valentines day, everyone!

Best food ever to eat or make? I would have to say MACARONI and CHEESE. I’m still hunting that perfect recipe… you know the one, creamy and full of UMAMI but still reminds you of that guilty pleasure of the blue box! :D

I think food is my love language….whenever I am making something for someone, it is love. Making my kids favorites-apple pie, cherry pie, dirt pudding, cookies, my husband’s chocolate cake…. Baking with apples always reminds me of my mom–her unconditional love.

Homemade mac n cheese. Yum yum.

Love? I wanted to say chocolate but that’s so cliche. I’m gonna go with my mom’s braised lamb and beancurd in a claypot! It takes forever to cook and mom always makes it cause she knows it’s one of my favorite dishes!

The food I most associate with love are the sugar cookies that my grandma used to make before she passed. She would decorate them with sprinkles or a cherry. I have her recipe and the cut-outs to make the cookies, but they’ll never be as good as when she made them.

What a pretty cake! The berries are the finishing touch, for sure. This is definitely a labor of love. I must try this some day. I simply must…

Chocolate=Love at this house. :)

“The Meal” prepared by my grandma (chili rellenos, beans, squash, rice), or my mom’s homemade whole wheat bread<3

Anything that stops the moment with the complexity of its flavor and composition. Most recently, this was a triple chocolate ganache/mousse cake topped with fresh raspberry.

My chocolate brownies. My mom made them for me, and I make them for my husband and for special friends.

The risotto with asparagus and shrimp that my daughter and I make together – togetherness equals love.

Chocolate chip chunk cookies with pecans!

Hard to pin down just one food. I’d say anything someone makes for you=love.

For me, love is making a dinner that requires effort on a weeknight when we’re both tired from work.

I love tea before bedtime. My favorites are rooibos and black tea flavoured with cocoa.
However, I think this recipe might be replacing tea…

Coq a vin… it is just so warm, rich, and inviting cheesy as it sounds, it feels like a giant pot of love. Coincidentally it is also one of the first meals I cooked my boyfriend.

Hmmm. What food = love? This is such a hard question to answer succinctly… but right now I’d say, thick greek yogurt with new zealand honey and freshly toasted walnuts or pecans. That’s love.

Homemade chicken noodle soup and sushi! Though not together….though maybe together.

I’m not sure there’s one food that I associate with love, but my husband made me a great curry for Valentine’s Day one year, so that dish makes me think of his love.

Any of the slow boiled Cantonese soups that my mum makes. It’s just the taste of home.

Any food made with family and friends. If I had to pick one food it would be my Grandma’s chocolate cake. After driving 12 hours to visit my grandparents. We would run in the house and sit at the kitchen table eating cake. Filling in Grandma with all our news. Eating that cake is like a warm hug…love!

I love that you added the raspberries. In fact, I think the cake needed that pop of colour! Something bookmarked for days when I have too much egg whites like after making another kueh lapis!

An annual Valentines Day ritual for me and my beloved is sesame chicken.

How can it be anything but chocolate, craved round the world by every culture?

Love is my mom’s lentil soup – her mom’s recipe. I will always say, if I had to eat one thing for the rest of my life it would be this. Lentils, potatoes, carrots, noodles and a thickening rue. She serves it every year on Christmas Eve and many other cold Kansas evenings. It fills your belly and makes you feel all warm inside. That’s love.

Love for me is rack of lamb with a garlic, mint, and walnut crust. Made it for my (now) fiancé the first time I visited him in what is now our home. It was so good, we got up in the morning, went to get more lamb, and had it again for breakfast.

Big chewy chocolate chip cookies make me think of love… They also remind me of home and family and snowy winter nights.

Hmmm…I associate really dark chocolates with love. OH. The chocolate banana bread pudding from Christy’s in Long Beach….THAT is love!

I’m a dessert lover, mostly chocolate but just about anything sweet.

Lamb chops. My husband loves them, so I tend to make them for special occasions.

Grandmother’s Christmas cookies and her mac&cheese. None better!!

ANYTHING chocolate – dark, milk or white – love them all and sea salt caramels are a very close 2nd!

From scratch chocolate cake and/or macaroni and cheese.

Chocolate. Dark, delicious chocolate. Perhaps with a glass of port. Husband enjoys that too, but if it’s really from me to him, it’s got to be a really good steak. Followed by chocolate. And port.

I initially saw the egg white on whisk shot as a merengue creature, and was marveling at your ability to do such delicate work in your dry air (I was post-skimming at work). That would be a great, if not traditional/fancy, dessert decoration!

Sushi. When I started dating my sweetheart, he had never eaten sushi, but had always wanted to try it. We did and he loved it, so everywhere we travel to now, we try and find one at least one sushi restaurant to go to. They are like eating beautiful little presents with each other. <3

Growing up, the hit dish at every gathering on my mom’s side were pacintas–essentially the Romanian version of beignets. Oily, light, and doused in powdered sugar, the platter was always gone in minutes. They remind me of Great Aunt Philomena, mass holidays in my grandpa’s garage warmed with space heaters, Thanksgiving bingo, and simply how special it is to hold on to tradition! Pure love.

Pasta. I come from an Italian family and food is always how we show love.

French fries. As in, I love you if I will share any with you!

I associate love with… a soy sauce beef and tofu dish that my dad makes. It was a staple in our house when we were growing up, and he still makes it when we come back home to visit. :)

Homemade Food = Love, but right now in our house it’s homemade baked goods. When I pull a cake, brownies, or cookies from the oven this cold Minnesota winter I can feel the lightness & warmth in our house.

Homemade applesauce – we used to get apples by the bushel or the box, and it took “all hands on deck” as my mother would say to chop them and get them cooking in these massive pots on the stove. We left the peel on, so once it had cooked down it all went through a hand-cranked food mill, and we would take turns as our arms got tired. The whole house would smell amazing!

I will take processed food favorites and re-translate them into homemade goodness.

My mom always used to bake us monkey bread for breakfast Christmas morning. Monkey bread, upside down cakes, and other caramelized brown sugar goodness still gives me the warm fuzzies.

Love is hot out of the oven chocolate chip cookies!

Steamed Crab legs. My mom made these for my brother one day and i thought “mom loves him so much.”

love is a hand delivered warm chocolate croissant after a stressful day at work.

My husband does several special things for me that make me feel precious and cared for, and the first is that he often makes me an egg sandwich (with the works) and surprises me with it when I have been working outside in the mornings teaching riding lessons and have gotten too busy to eat. Another one is that he knows I love “Dots” candy, and when we first began seeing eachother he always had a tiny little box of Dots with him. I will always associate “Dots” with the feeling of being thought about and loved, and I love that he always remembered. He still brings me a tiny box of Dots occasionally. :-) Sometimes it is the little things that count the most!

Love is anything my momma makes to eat! But nothing beats her chicken and spinach cream spaghetti. A totally delicious comfort food that screams love!:)

Thanks everyone for your participation! Entries for the giveaway are now CLOSED, but you can still leave comments regarding the recipe!

Love for me will always be Egg Pastina. It’s what mom made when I was feeling icky, and what she brought to the hospital when I was recovering from cancer….. she brought it in a microwaveable thermos, still warm all the way from NJ to where I was in NY. Comfort and love, all in a bowl.

This cake is amazing. It was so easy and the flavours are delicious. I think it even gets better after a few days and was good room temperature or chilled.

I’m with you, I’m definitely a “good food=love” person. The cake looks beautiful, and my only concern is the uncooked egg content, particularly in the mousse. We eat runny yolks all the time, but the egg whites in the mousse are just whipped raw egg whites, right? I’m not super concerned for myself, but my husband once got salmonella poisoning from eating cookie dough that completely took him out of commission for a whole week. So now, he’s super paranoid and gets after me when I sneak a taste of cookie dough or cake/brownie batter. So, I think I’ll use more of a whipped cream type of mousse rather than this whipped egg one, but thanks so much for the idea! (oh, and I didn’t know where you were going when you were piping the straight lines, but cut up on top of the cake they look like beautiful little chocolate curls. Genius!

Staci – you can purchase pasteurized organic egg whites (horizon makes them) at whole foods.

Use real butter:
You must be related to my to my women folk. I love love love this story and can totally relate to each and every stage. I will most definitely be taking this challenging morsel. We are a long line of southern women who believe in the use of egg whites in many food groups. I too buy only organic and fresh when available. Thank you for this pleasant share. SunShine from Texas.

Chocolate Meringue Layer Cake

Fresh raspberries lighten up this rich chocolatey dessert. Although you may be tempted to dig in right away, let the cake sit for 30 minutes and then cut with a serrated knife.

  1. Heat oven to 275°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Draw two 6-inch circles on each sheet of parchment, then flip over.
  2. Combine potato starch and sugar. In a very clean large bowl, using an electric mixer, whisk egg whites and vinegar on medium speed until foamy peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add sugar mixture, 1 Tbsp at a time, beating 30 seconds before adding more. Beat until whites are stiff and glossy. Add vanilla and beat 1 minute.
  3. Using a fine-mesh sieve, sift cocoa powder on top of egg-white mixture. Add chocolate and, using a large rubber spatula, fold into egg-white mixture.
  4. Using the circles as a guide, divide mixture between prepared baking sheets and use a small offset spatula to smooth into 2 even rounds. Bake 1 hour, then turn oven off and let meringue layers cool completely in the oven, at least 3 to 4 hours or up to overnight.
  1. Melt chocolate in microwave on 50 percent power in 30-second increments, stirring until fully melted. In a medium saucepan, whisk together egg yolks, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 3/4 cup heavy cream. Heat on medium, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened and mixture coats the back of a spoon, 4 to 5 minutes. Whisk in melted chocolate. Remove from heat, transfer mixture to a medium bowl, cover, and refrigerate until cool to the touch, about 1 hour.
  2. Once cool, using an electric mixer, beat remaining ¾ cup cream and 2 Tbsp sugar together until medium peaks form. Mix 1/3 of cream into chocolate mixture to loosen. Fold in remaining cream. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour before assembling. Stir to loosen before using.
  3. To assemble, transfer 1 meringue round to a large, flat serving dish and spoon 1/4 of mousse over top, spreading into even layer. Top with second layer of meringue and mousse repeat. Sprinkle top with raspberries and shaved chocolate, if desired.