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.
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.
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.