I am not the biggest fan of Valentine’s Day, but rest assure, I won’t use fifteen minutes of your day to rant about my feministic theories about romance, love and a holiday that is as much appreciated as it is despised. I will, however, use up every last minute (that you would be so kind to give me) to tell you about how rich and luxurious this dessert is. Layers of decadent chocolate cake, vanilla yogurt cream and fresh strawberry puree make for one sensually scrumptious dessert. The small bites of soft, rich chocolate cake holds up to its tangy and sweet counterparts. The combination of tart yogurt and sweet cream cheese is the perfect partner for orange-zest scented strawberry sauce. It’s like the pseudo super-sweet form of peanut butter and chocolate, which might I add should be refrained from the other 364 days of the year. Of course I am being sarcastic because this definitely qualifies as a “I officially live for the weekends where I have just about enough time to sleep and do housework” occasions as well. Basically, whenever you need a little reminder that life is really glorious because there are things like chocolate, strawberries and cream cheese.
Actually, I should clarify that this is not a recipe you want to start making on the regular. Unless you are training for a marathon, then I say what the heck! So I guess I am saying there are always exceptions.
Just as there is for the senseless holiday we like to call Saint Valentine’s Day. Yes, it’s origins are far from the silly escapades we see today. I can’t fathom Valentinus ever imagined his actions in a prison cell would lead to florists pumping out nearly 200 million red roses each year in his name. Most people during that era would probably have to sell their belongings to buy a dozen roses, but today it’s something we consider mandatory. Well, at least for one gender because you know, women deserve at least one day of recognition.
These are obvious flaws that exist in the celebratory day, but like I’ve established, there are always exceptions. I think the simple idea of showing attention to another human being, whether it be with a card, flower or date, is one that creates happiness among us all. When decide to let our own needs go and choose to think of how the other person feels, it creates a special moment in humanity — when we choose to empathize. And when we choose to value the other person’s feelings as much as our own, our lives become better as well.
I used a cake recipe from Martha Stewart
Adapted from Allrecipes.com and Smitten Kitchen
- 1 8×8 pan batch chocolate cake or brownies
- ½ pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
- for the vanilla yogurt cream:
- 16 ounces plain greek yogurt
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- for the strawberry puree:
- 1 pint strawberries, hulled and quartered
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- ½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- Slice cake or brownies into 1½ inch cubes. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, cream greek yogurt, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract until all clumps are gone. Chill in fridge until ready to use.
- In a small sauce pan, combine strawberries, sugar, orange zest, orange juice and balsamic vinegar and bring to a simmer.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Cook for 15 minutes (keep an eye on the pan as mine began to bubble once).
- Whisk cornstarch with cold water in a small bowl.
- Mix cornstarch mixture with strawberry mixture and continue to cook for 3-5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool.
- Pour into blender and blend on high until smooth. Pour into a measuring cup or other spouted glass.
- To assemble trifles, start with a layer of cake or brownie cubes. Next, add a layer of sliced strawberries and spoon over about 1 tablespoon of cream. Pour over 1 teaspoon of the strawberry puree. Repeat layering as necessary. Top with powdered sugar if desired.