Ciao a tutti,

Tis the season of love and heartfelt togetherness!  That's right guys and gals, the fat, rosy cherub of Valentine's Day has all but arrived, and you know what that means: chocolate!  Now sure, you may be one of those women who "only make reservations," or perhaps you're a man who, bless your little heart, just couldn't make an omelet without burning down your house along the way.  Well, you're BOTH in luck, because my
Nutella Grand Marnier Cake is going to be the perfect addition to your Valentine's Day.  Not only is it delicious, it's so easy to make even a prehistoric person or persons who may or may not have been living in stony alcoves along mountains could make it!  I think I was close enough without being sued, no? :)

Unlike your average Valentine's Day, this cake is flowerless.  Big plus for those who can't/won't eat baked goods with it as a base.  For those who've never imagined a cake without the versatile white base, I must insist that it is not a dealbreaker -- in fact, it adds a certain amount of density that you could never get otherwise.

The Grand Marnier, along with the zest and juice of an orange makes for a unique blend of personalities within the cake itself.  There's nothing quite like orange and chocolate, but with the addition of the liqueur comes a more refined taste of citrus.  The true essence of the cake is found on top of its deliciously moist head.  The melty-chocolatey crown it wears is a rich, tender ganache that compliments the cake sitting just below.  Towing the Grand Marnier line, it also contains the delicious liqueur for that just-enough loveliness of flavor.  Top with some hazelnuts for good measure, and you've got yourself a Valentine's Day dessert that fits perfectly with the food from "Chez Fancy" that just arrived at the door.

With that, I'd like to wish you all a wonderful Valentine's Day, and ask that you do the responsible and caring thing come the 14th -- send chocolate and flowers to your favorite online cooking show host, and whatever they refuse I'll gladly take!

Tanti Baci,





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