With this recipe, you will be able to create a beautiful dessert with minimal effort. The base of this dessert is a chocolate poundcake. This will be topped with a raspberry coulis sauce and a whipped mascarpone cream on top.

Hearts, Cupid and greeting cards –– these are some of the things that people equate with Valentine's Day. For me, Valentine's Day has always meant one thing: a reason to eat lots of chocolate.


I agree it is a day to remember those special people in my life, but what better way to show them you care than to create an amazing, decadent, heartfelt tribute in chocolate?


With this recipe, you will be able to create a beautiful dessert with minimal effort. The base of this dessert is a chocolate poundcake. This will be topped with a raspberry coulis sauce and a whipped mascarpone cream on top. Mascarpone cheese is an Italian dessert cheese that is unbelievably decadent and I absolutely adore it.


Chocolate Poundcake


6 ounces unsalted butter


1 1/2 cups sugar


3 eggs


1 teaspoon vanilla


1/2 cup buttermilk


2 tablespoons water


3/4 cup Hershey's cocoa


1 cup all purpose flour


1/4 teaspoon baking powder


1/2 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 10-inch round pan, then line with parchment paper.


Using a mixer with a paddle attachment, lightly cream softened butter and sugar. Gradually add eggs until incorporated.


Alternating, add dry and wet ingredients, starting and ending with dry until incorporated.


Pour into the prepared pan and bake about 25 minutes. Times are approximate as oven temperatures and pans are always different. Cake will be ready when inserted toothpicks come out just barely clean.


Raspberry Coulis


3/4 pound thawed or fresh raspberries


1/4 cup sugar


Combine ingredients in saucepan and simmer for about 30 minutes until thickened.


Puree in blender, then put through a sieve gently so as not to push the seeds through. Cool and refrigerate.


Mascarponecream


3 cups mascarpone cheese


6 tablespoons powdered sugar


1 cup heavy cream


Using a whisk attachment on a mixer, whip cheese and sugar together.


Slowly add heavy cream in small batches and whip until thick before adding next batch. Continue until fully incorporated and stiff peaks form. Be careful not to over whip or mixture will curdle.


Makes 6 servings.


Assembly


With a 3-inch heart cutter, cut six chocolate-cake hearts. Place each heart in center of a plate and top with raspberry sauce, letting sauce ooze over the sides.


Top with a healthy dollop of mascarpone cream (about a half cup). Serve it to someone you care about.


Don't worry if you don't have time to bake a cake. You could always save a step and purchase a pre-made cake. It's the thought that counts!


Kristen Livoti has been a pastry chef for 15 years and is the owner of BellaCakes, a cake and confectionary shop in Marlborough, Mass. She can be reached at Kristen@bellacakes.net or by calling 617-417-4453.