What is Love? It cannot be summed into one response. Love is a multitude of moments, of emotions, of dreams. Love can be found in every aspect of your life from the first moment your parents hold you, to the first moment you found your passion, and to that precious moment when you look into your loved one’s eyes.
Love is simply not just one of those moments. It’s a feeling that is indescribable, it’s a feeling that is the sum of all emotions into one, Love. This is for me to say. So here I find myself on Valentines’ day, the question is what I shall do? I’m surrounded by love daily; I can’t simply celebrate it on one day alone, let alone one lifetime. But I must show it somehow, so I have a found a simple way to celebrate Love.
To share this feeling with the people who matter most, to the moments that make every emotion exude from my body, to those days that are full of nothing but love; whatever that shall be. I learned to bake. I learned that sometimes words aren’t enough to express how I feel, so I put all those feelings into cooking — with the hope that whoever shall be tasting it will feel the love. It is as act of care. An act of gratitude. An act of sharing. So, I’d like to share with you today a dessert recipe from one of my favorite books; Mexico: The Cookbook by Margarita Carrillo Arronte, to share my love with you all. I hope you find it as special as I do. Happy Valentines’ day and may your days always be full of Love.
- ¾ cup (2oz/50g) all-purpose (plain) flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 5½ tablespoons (2¾ oz/70g) butter, diced
- 1 cup (4oz/120g) confectioners’ (icing) sugar
- 3 eggs
- 4 tablespoons almond meal
- 1 cup (3oz/80g) finely grated unsweetened coconut
- ½ cup (3½ oz/100g) sugar
- ½ cup (3½ fl oz/100ml) aged mezcal
- 4 tablespoons (2oz/50g) butter
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 small ripe pineapple, peeled, cored, and sliced
- ½ cup (3½ fl oz/100ml) heavy (double) cream
- 4 tablespoons confectioners’ (icing) sugar
- 8 raspberries, blackberries, or strawberries
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line an 8½-inch (22-cm) cake pan or 8 individual cake pans with parchment paper.
- Sift together the flour and baking powder into a bowl.
- Beat together the butter and confectioners’ (icing) sugar in another bowl until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the ground almonds and grated coconut and beat well. Add the flour mixture in batches and beat until all the ingredients have been incorporated.
- Spoon the batter into the pan(s) and bake for about 30 minutes for the large one (or 20 minutes for the individual cake pans), or until golden brown and a wooden toothpick (cocktail stick) inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Meanwhile, make the syrup. Combine the sugar and ½ cup (4 fl oz/120ml) water in a saucepan, heat gently, and stir until the sugar has dissolved completely. Bring to a boil, without stirring, and boil for 2 minutes or until clear. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool.
- Remove the cake pan(s) from the oven, turn out the cake(s), and let cool. Combine ½ cup (3½ fl oz/100ml) of the cooled syrup with the mescal and drizzle over the cake(s) to make them borracho (drunk).
- For the decoration, combine the butter and sugar in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, covered, until caramel colored. Add the pineapple slices and cook a few minutes on each side to caramelize. Remove the pan from the heat. Cover and set aside.
- Beat the cream with the confectioners’ sugar in a bowl until it forms soft peaks. To serve, top the cake(s) with pineapple slices and spoon over the cream. Decorate with berries of choice.
Happy Valentine’s Day!