Alex Guarnaschelli’s Valentine’s Day Masterpiece Chocolate Cake Is Topped With a Kahlúa Frosting

Food Network star Alex Guarnaschelli’s Chocolate Cake may be simple in name; however, the final product is anything but.

With its deeply satisfying cocoa flavor and silky white chocolate glaze, the Iron Chef’s cake will dazzle even the pickiest of sweethearts this Valentine’s Day.

Chef Alex Guarnaschelli demonstrates how to prepare a meal at a 2019 Food Network event.
Food Network chef Alex Guarnaschelli | Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for NYCWFF

Guarnaschelli’s Chocolate Cake is the ultimate Valentine’s Day dessert

In her most recent cookbook, Cook with Me: 150 Recipes for the Home Cook, the chef shared her favorite chocolate cake recipe, being clear that she gladly jumps at any chance she can get to bake. “Mostly because,” she wrote, “I have spent so much of my adult life cooking chicken breasts and making salads.” (Find the full recipe for this chocolate cake in Cook with Me.)

Her cake includes two sticks of unsalted butter, one and a half cups of granulated sugar, two large eggs, three large egg yolks, one tablespoon of vanilla extract, two cups of all-purpose flour, one-half cup of unsweetened cocoa powder, one teaspoon of kosher salt, a half teaspoon each of baking powder and baking soda, and one cup of buttermilk at room temperature. 

Baking, for the Alex vs. America star, is a literal treat. “Icing a cake is a refreshing, satisfying break for this savory chef,” she confessed.

Chocolate lovers will fall in love with Guarnaschelli’s moist chocolate cake and its just-sweet-enough glaze. Simple and elegant, this is a flavorful and tender cake you’ll return to again and again. 

Her chocolate cake’s glaze calls for Kahlúa

To top the cake off, the Food Network personality says, “you can serve it with this white chocolate glaze (that gets an extra kick from Kahlúa) or make the same glaze with dark chocolate instead.”

If you’re using white chocolate for the glaze, Guarnaschelli points out that white chocolate chips should not be used: “Buy white chocolate bars instead and finely chop as much as you need.” The reason, she says, is that a chopped bar melts more evenly than chips. 

Make the glaze by bringing heavy cream and Kahlúa to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Next, the chef says to combine this cream mixture with the melted white chocolate until smooth. Just make sure to keep the glaze warm!

She admits that if it were up to her, every cake would be a Black Forest cake, and so she would “love to load the top of the glazed cake with brandied cherries, too.”

Alex Guarnaschelli uses bourbon for another chocolate cake’s frosting.

Guarnaschelli says not to hurry through a particular step

The Chopped judge notes that one step of the process for this cake that should not be rushed through is the creation of the batter.

She explains that to start, one cup of butter should be creamed in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. The sugar is added and mixed at medium speed until it’s a smooth mixture.

Emphasizing that it should take approximately 10 minutes, Guarnaschelli says, “Do not rush this step; the sugar is softening and fluffing the butter and this is part of what gives a great cake its great texture.” 

Whether it’s made for a sweetheart or a sibling, Alex Guarnaschelli’s chocolate cake is a message of love in every bite.

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