Valentine's Day is a funny holiday. Few holidays simultaneously elicit such fervent hatred and such gooey adoration. And every time it rolls around, it's all anyone can talk about it. Which is why I apologize for bringing it up in the first place.
This year I'm living in a co-op, and yesterday evening, we had an all co-op potluck at one of the other co-ops on campus. (I promise, this story has a point). There was music, dancing, a campfire, and lots of delicious food. As we were sitting around the fire, this guy, who was obviously interested in my friend, asked her what she thought about Valentine's Day. She immediately assumed a slight look of exasperation on her face--but she didn't respond with a standard, stereotypical answer. Instead, she put it simply: "What's there to say? I could tell you it's great, or I could tell you it's stupid. We've all heard it before. Frankly, who cares?"
So in honor of that sentiment, I'm going to post a recipe that certainly could have something to do with Valentine's Day, if that's what you want (it's dense and rich and packed with an entire pound of chocolate). But it could just as easily be something you make for no other reason than, well, the fact that it has an entire pound of chocolate. Because, really: if you're going to eat dessert, it better be chocolate. And if you're going to eat chocolate, you might as well go all out.
San Francisco Fudge Foggies
Makes 16 foggies
1 pound bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
1/3 cup strong brewed coffee
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
8 ounces (about 2 cups) walnut halves, coarsely chopped
Position a rack in the center of oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with a double thickness of aluminum foil so foil extends 2 inches beyond sides of pan. Butter bottom and sides of foil-lined pan.
In top of a double boiler set over hot, not simmering water, melt chocolate, butter and dissolved coffee, stirring frequently, until smooth. Remove pan from the heat. Cool mixture, stirring it occasionally for 10 minutes.
In large bowl, using a hand-held mixer set at high speed, beat eggs 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat 2 minutes, or until mixture is light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually beat in chocolate mixture until just blended. Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour. Stir in walnuts. Do not over-beat. Transfer batter to pan. Bake 28 to 30 minutes, or until Foggies are just set around the edges. They will remain moist in the center.
Cool the Foggies in a pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight, or at least 6 hours. Remove top foil and run a sharp knife around edge of Foggies. Using two ends of foil as handles, lift Foggies onto a plate and peel off foil. Invert them again onto a smooth surface and cut into 16 rectangles.