A Valentine for Dad: Champagne Chocolate

With all the talk about Black fathers, I was reminded of a story written for National Public Radio (NPR) last year for Valentine’s Day. It is about my family, specifically my father and how he started a tradition in our family to enjoy Valentine’s Day with his daughters and his wife. The story includes two of ShoeBox Oven’s favored chocolates: Champagne Chocolate and Bittersweet Chocolate Cake. I hope you will also enjoy it and treasure the men in your life: fathers, uncles, cousins, sons, nephews, husbands, brothers and friends. Remember Father’s Day was started to honor the Civil War veteran, who raised his six children after his wife died in childbirth.

Read the story here.

Champagne Chocolate
Makes 9 to 12 servings


16 ounces dark chocolate (70 percent cacao)
6 ounces (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
3/4 cup flour
1 cup champagne
Champagne glaze (below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter a 9-by-9-inch baking pan or any special mold you want to shape your chocolate.

Melt the chocolate with the butter in a double boiler or microwave. Do not overheat or the chocolate will seize and become stiff.

Beat the salt, vanilla and sugar into the melted chocolate mixture.

One at a time, beat the eggs into the chocolate mixture. Add the flour to the mixture and mix until blended.

Using an electric mixer, add the champagne and beat on high for about 3 minutes, until the mixture is shiny.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake about 45 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with crumbs stuck to it and the cake is still moist.

Champagne Glaze
2 cups champagne
1 cup sugar

Simmer the champagne and sugar in a pot for a few minutes, until the sugar has dissolved. Brush the warm brownies with the champagne glaze. The chocolate will absorb the liquid leaving the top shiny.

Cool the brownies on a rack or in the refrigerator overnight.

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