I think this holds true for both the men and the women in the room. Everyone loves chocolate, and when it comes down to it, no matter if it’s a first date or your millionth, just skip everything else about the day and go to dessert.
We haven’t gone out to eat on Valentine’s Day in years. It’s a forced holiday and no restaurant is ever at its peak on a night like that. The steak ends up overcooked, the wine is too expensive, and frankly dessert is always a disappointment. So this year, I suggest a night in like my husband and I do, making sure to include a dessert that seems fancy, but really isn’t.
Parfaits really are the perfect answer to the fancy-but-not-really dessert. They can be made ahead of time and if it’s a little sloppy, that’s okay. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be gobbled up so quickly your date won’t notice.
Not to mention it’s life’s answer to crumbled and broken cake pieces. Now while this parfait includes making the cake from scratch, I won’t judge if you want to use a cake mix. The choice is yours, but it does come together in a jiffy either way!
This particular parfait is a very chocolatey one, with extremely easy spiked nutella mousse, whipped cream and toasted hazelnuts. The best part about this parfait is that it’s easily made ahead of time, so when date night arrives, the only thing you have to worry about is what movie to watch on Netflix.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
For the Cake:
- 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup natural cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup whole milk
For the Whipped Cream and Nutella Mousse :
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 ounce whiskey
- 1 ounce hazelnut liqueur
- 1/2 cup nutella
- 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped
For the Cake:
- Heat your oven to 350°F, grease and flour a 6-inch cake pan
- In a small bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment add the butter and sugar and mix on medium speed until light and airy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Beat in the egg and vanilla extract.
- Mix in half the dry ingredients, then the milk and the rest of the dry ingredients. Scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed while mixing.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool completely before breaking into small pieces. The cake can be made ahead of time.
For the Whipped Cream and Nutella Mousse:
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment add the heavy cream, whiskey and hazelnut liqueur and beat on medium-high speed until the heavy cream forms stiff peaks. Be sure not to over beat the whipped cream.
- Remove about 1/4 of the whipped cream and save to top the parfaits.
- Add the Nutella to the bowl and gently fold in to make the mousse.
To Assemble the Parfaits:
- Fill a parfait glass or mason jar 1/4 of the way with cake, then spoon 2 tablespoons of mousse, a few chopped hazelnuts and repeat until the glass is full.
- Top with whipped cream and chopped hazelnuts.
- If making the parfait ahead, cover and chill and remove from the refrigerator about 30 minutes prior to serving.