buttermilk biscuits and sausage cream gravy chinese orange beef toasted coconut custard tart cottage pie with beef and carrots


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i bring you sweet lovin’

Recipe: the concorde chocolate meringue mousse cake

In this house, Jeremy is the romantic and I am the unromantic. That doesn’t mean I’m boring – I recognize romantic things, I just find them superfluous. Jeremy isn’t a hardcore romantic, but he does give me the moony eyes from time to time and likes to go out for candlelit dinners, hold hands, sip champagne together under the stars, and cuddle under a snuggy blanket while watching a good old sci fi/fantasy/action-adventure movie. I don’t equate love with romance, but I do equate (good) food with love. When I make food, when I share food, when I gift good – it’s all a form of love. So I’m sharing some love with you this week.


this is love

this is your brain on love



I’ve teamed up with my good friend, Ellen of Helliemae’s Caramels, to do a little Valentine’s Day giveaway for use real butter readers. No one is paying anyone. We are doing this just for fun. Ellen is donating the caramel goodness and I’m wrangling the random number generator (a.k.a. Kaweah) who is coming out of retirement JUST FOR YOU. Why? Because… love! Should you be one of the winners, you can select one of the following packages:

plain jane



Plain Jane: includes a jar of caramel sauce and a bag of Caramelo tinies. The caramel sauce is unsalted, dark, and slightly bitter. I love using it for baking projects or fancy desserts. The Caramelos are the smoothest, creamiest, butteriest bites of intensely rich and delightfully chewy unsalted caramels you will ever put in your mouth. They’re so good, I just popped one in my pie hole!

adventure



Adventure: for the more daring individual, includes a jar of Chili Palmer caramel sauce and a bag of Passion Fruit caramel tinies. Chili Palmer is like getting kicked in the shins and passionately kissed at the same time. You are eloping with a frisky salted burnt caramel sauce loaded with spice (from the chili and cinnamon), heat (from the chili), butter, and sweetness. This stuff is ridiculous on ice cream. Don’t just try it on vanilla, it’s great on chocolate, absolutely sinful on my key lime pie ice cream, and pretty darn swoon-inducing straight off the spoon. What better partner to the sassy Chili Palmer caramel sauce than the exotic and seductive Passion Fruit caramel tinies? We are talking about a burst of tropical tartness playing off the buttery smooth caramel with hints of vanilla. A seasonal item (only around Valentine’s Day) worth every luscious calorie.

The Rules:

1) Share the food you most associate with love in the comments below.
2) One comment per person, please.
3) Comment must be received before 11:59 pm (MST), Thursday, February 6, 2014.
4) The prizes can only ship in the US.
5) Kaweah will select two winners.
6) Winners will be announced and contacted on Friday, February 7, 2014.

Good luck!!

And now something sweet for everyone whether you win the giveaway or not! Two years ago, I purchased Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé, written by Dori Greenspan. It sat on my shelf collecting dog ears, but I never got around to making anything out of that gorgeous book until recently. This cake is so luxurious it even has a name that begins with “The”, like The Edge, except this is called The Concorde and it is a cake made entirely of chocolate meringue and chocolate mousse.


trace three 8 1/2-inch circles on parchment paper

flip the papers over so the tracing is face down on the baking sheets

fit two pastry bags with a 1/2-inch plain piping tip and a 1/4-inch plain piping tip



Get all of your equipment ready for the meringue because you don’t want it to deflate while you’re futzing around with drawing circles and such. I couldn’t find anything in my house that measured 8 1/2 inches in diameter for tracing, so I used an 8-inch removable base from a 9-inch tart pan. Worked just fine and gave me a little leeway in the meringue volume too.

chocolate meringue: dutch-process cocoa powder, egg whites, sugar, confectioner’s sugar

sift the confectionere’s sugar and cocoa powder together

whip the whites and granulated sugar to glossy stiff peaks



One thing that is critical for both the meringue and the mousse is that you don’t over beat the egg whites. The progression for whipping egg whites goes a little like this: gloppy egg white goo, bubbly clear goo, frothy, foamy and white, soft peaks (blobbish), firm peaks (holds a shape, but the tip might succumb to gravity), stiff peaks (holds a shape and is smooth, shiny), over beaten (dry, chunky, breaks apart). Over beating the whites will result in an inferior product, so avoid that mistake if you can. I over beat the whites for the mousse and it changed the texture (see later).

add some cocoa and powdered sugar

fold the dry mixture quickly, but gently into the egg whites

pipe the disks

and several lines



The meringue bakes for a couple of hours and then cools for at least another couple of hours. Don’t start on the mousse until the meringues are completely cooled. It’s possible to break this up into two separate days (up to a week apart) if you can store the meringue in a cool, dry location or wrapped in the freezer. The mousse should be made right before it is needed.

mousse: egg whites, egg yolks, chocolate, butter, sugar

chop the chocolate

add melted (and cooled) chocolate to the whipped butter

luscious



Everything was on a good roll until I began beating the egg whites. It went from soft peaks to slightly over beaten before I realized it and the whites were a little dry looking. I beat in the egg yolks which seemed to smooth it out, but had a sinking feeling that the over beaten whites would rear their ugly head. As I folded the eggs into the chocolate, the texture went from silky to thick and dull. I knew this wasn’t the texture of mousse, but when I tasted it, it was smooth and creamy, melting right away. So I forged ahead.

whipped whites with yolks

folding the whipped egg mixture with the butter and chocolate mixture

the cooled meringue

slicing the logs with a serrated knife



Cake assembly was pretty straightforward and forgiving. Set one meringue disk flat-side-down on a cake board, spread some mousse over it, layer the second disk, layer more mousse, and top with the third disk flat-side-up. Then frost the whole thing with the remaining mousse. I think my messed up mousse gave me less volume than I would have had if the mousse had turned out properly. But it worked, and in the end it’s okay if everything gets lightly smooshed together.

spread mousse on the meringue disk

crumb coating

frosted



At this point, the cake gets frozen for a couple of hours, presumably to firm it up. Then it is removed and warmed with a hair dryer to soften the outside layer so the logs will stick better. I didn’t bother freezing mine because my mousse was rather firm (more like a ganache than a mousse). So I skipped the freezing and hair dryer steps and went straight to pressing the little logs of meringue all over my cake. Except I didn’t have enough to cover the whole cake, so I opted for just the top. It looked fine.

decorating

i can’t resist adding some fruit



The final cake was a resounding success despite my having screwed up the mousse. The recipe puts the finished cake in the freezer for one day to help tenderize the meringue. We tasted it both the day of and the day after (and the day after that) and I have to agree that the texture is much better after a day in the freezer (or refrigerator). This rich, light, not overly sweet (which I love), creamy- and crunchy-textured cake is special and worth the effort. It’s flourless and yet I find it to be a million times better than the typical “flourless” chocolate cakes. The mousse melts in your mouth while the meringue dissolves satisfyingly on the tongue. And even though I love Jeremy dearly, I would not let him finish the entire cake – so we shared half of it with our awesome neighbors. They really enjoyed it too!

not only is it delicious, it makes for a pretty presentation

all of the wonderful layers



The Concorde
[print recipe]
from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé, by Dori Greenspan

meringue
1 cup (100 g) confectioner’s sugar
3 tbsps Dutch-process cocoa powder
4 large egg whites (133 g), room temperature
1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar

mousse
8 3/4 oz. (250 g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
8 3/4 oz. (250 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
6 large egg whites (200 g), room temperature
1 tbsp granulated sugar
3 large egg yolks, room temperature and lightly beaten

Prepare your equipment: Preheat the oven to 250°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Draw two 8 1/2-inch circles with a pencil on one sheet of parchment paper. Turn it over on the baking sheet so the lead is face down and will not touch the food. Draw one 8 1/2-inch circle on the other sheet of parchment paper and turn it face down on the baking sheet. Make sure you can see the outlines from the other side of the parchment because you will be using these as guides for your meringue layers. Fit a large pastry bag with a plain 1/2-inch tip. Fit a smaller pastry bag with a plain 1/4-inch tip.

Make the meringue: Sift the confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder together into a medium bowl. Whip the egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form (holds shape, but the peak will droop when held upright). Add 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar while still whipping until the whites turn glossy and hold firm peaks (this took me less than 30 seconds, so watch closely). Reduce the mixer speed to medium-low and beat in the remaining 1/4 cup of granulated sugar. Gently fold the cocoa mixture into the egg whites with a large spatula. Don’t freak out if the whites deflate – they will do that – but work quickly.

Spoon 2/3 of the meringue mixture into the large pastry bag. Pipe from the center of each circle outline on parchment paper in a tight outward spiral, making sure each ring touches the previous ring and that the whole layer is no more than 1/3-inch (1 cm) in height. Fill the small pastry bag with the rest of the meringue and pipe as many long strips as possible on the parchment paper with the single disk. Lightly even the disks with a metal spatula to fill any holes or level the top. Bake the meringues for 1 1/2 to 2 hours with a wooden spoon handle in the oven door (to keep it ajar). Rotate the pans top to bottom and front to back 2-3 times during baking. They should be firm, but not colored. Turn off the oven and let dry for 2 hours to overnight with the door closed. Let cool on parchment on cooling racks. The meringues can be made up to 1 week ahead if stored in a cool, dry place (if you live in a dry place) or wrapped up tight and frozen.

Make the mousse: Melt the chocolate over a double boiler, a water bath (don’t let the bowl touch the water), or in a microwave oven on half power for 30 seconds at a time (stirring in between each 30 second interval). You want the chocolate just melted, not burned. Cool the chocolate to 114°F. Beat the butter with a whisk attachment on high until it is smooth (about 3 minutes). Add the chocolate in thirds, beating until blended. Pour the mixture into a bowl. Clean and dry the bowl and whisk attachment. Whip the egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and whip until the whites are glossy. The recipe says firm peaks, but I think it’s best to keep the whites soft. While the mixer is still running, pour the yolks into the egg whites and whip another 30 seconds. Stir 1/4 of the egg mixture into the chocolate with a spatula. Fold the remaining egg mixture into the chocolate. This should be ready right before assembly.

Assemble the cake: Using a serrated knife, cut the long strips of meringue into 1/2-inch long logs. Don’t worry if they aren’t perfect or if you have a lot of crumbs – you will use it all. Set aside. Place a daub of mousse in the center of the flat part of a meringue disk and secure the disk to a cake board. Spread 1/3 of the mousse over the meringue disk. Set a second disk over the mousse and gently press it down until it is level. Spread another 1/3 of the mousse of the second disk. Turn the third disk over so that the flat bottom is facing up and place it on top of the mousse. Gently press the disk down into the mousse until it is level. Frost the cake with the rest of the mousse, covering the top and sides completely. The recipe instructs us to freeze the cake for 2 hours and then use a hair dryer to warm the sides and press the meringue logs and bits on the sides and top of the cake. I didn’t bother freezing and placed the logs on the cake. Wrap the cake in plastic wrap and freeze for a day before serving at room temperature (it makes for a more tender meringue). Serves 8.


more goodness from the use real butter archives

chocolate mousse bombes chocolate pistachio cake chocolate cassata cake chocolate cloud cake (flourless)

285 nibbles at “i bring you sweet lovin’”

  1. Zypresse says:

    wow, what a cake. Looks terrific and sounds delicious!

  2. laura b says:

    Lasagna is my love food. All those layers and warm gooey-ness. What’s not to love?

  3. Caitlin says:

    Wow, this cake is gorgeous!! I love meringues.

    Love food for me is that sandwich or bowl of soup or brownie that magically appears by my side when I’m sick or exhausted – nothing tastes as lovely as that!

  4. Kathy says:

    Homemade vegetable soup with a slice of crusty bread. Lots of happy memories to go with it!

  5. Nerina says:

    Pita :) well, for the uninitiated it is a dough kneaded on a long pin and stuffed with potato, cheese, cheese and spinach, meat … my favorite is potato made by my Grandma, and although she is over eighty and barely cooked for herself – when I go to Bosnia to visit she painstakingly makes it for me. It is pure love wrapped in warm goodness and so many childhood memories. http://www.examiner.com/article/bosnian-cheese-pita-recipe

  6. Nomy says:

    Homemade vegan chocolate cake with peanut butter icing.

  7. Chloe says:

    brown butter sage anything is my love food: specifically, pumpkin ravioli in brown butter sage sauce. Maybe with a splash of sherry. Oops, we’re in love.

    beautiful recipes!

  8. Dede says:

    Chocolate=love of course!

  9. Kristin says:

    This is hard because, yeah, food=love. I think I will have to go with chocolate today! And I want to make that cake!

  10. antoinette says:

    Any food baked with love but if I have to choose….chocolate, chocolate cupcakes or layered chocolate cake, even chocolate pancakes. Chocolate is sweet and comfort all in one. This year I am thinking Boston cream cake with a chocolate ganache, or chocolate drizzled cream puffs.

  11. jennifer says:

    For us, clam sauce = love. This is because it requires driving a bit to a specialty store for good clams. But, yum!

  12. Susan Mulvey says:

    My Grandmothers Christmas Cookies. We still make them and it is just like her being with us

  13. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says:

    Whoa. Pure chocolate deliciousness.

  14. Louisa S. says:

    Greetings from Ithaca, NY! My love food is the french onion soup my husband makes just for me. It is a labor of love on his part and I love to eat it!

    PS, Thank you for all your glorious recipes and photographs, I am always excited when I see you have posted something new!

  15. Bridget says:

    For some reason, I associate French Onion Soup with love. It is a labor of love, I suppose!

  16. Eva @ Eva Bakes says:

    Homemade ice cream is love. It takes a whole lot of patience to wait that long for the ice cream to freeze and eat!

  17. Matilda @ Buttered Side Down says:

    Homemade food in general is love, but anything a particular amount of time or effort went into makes me happy. A bolognaise sauce, or a paella. Mmmm

  18. Fiona says:

    Home made pasta tossed with sauteed mushrooms and butter gets me every time.

  19. Monique says:

    My favorite food is anything I cook on the top of a mountain outside my tent under the stars. I dehydrate my own meals so it is already something I like enough to cook but cooking and eating it outside after hiking up a mountain with my dog by my side makes it 100 times better.

  20. LZ says:

    Hope Kaweah is well. My favorite comfort food is spicy pad thai!

  21. Amanda says:

    Ooey, gooey cheese makes my heart fill up with love!

  22. Virginia says:

    Food I associate with love is congee (rice porridge). It was the staple “go to” for my brothers & I that my grandpa and parents made for us whenever we were sick. It’s still pretty great without being sick, but it’s my favorite comfort food ever (:

  23. Emmy says:

    I associate jam, or other preserved goodies, with love. Jam is the BEST GIFT, especially for people who don’t have a canning tradition in their family. It just makes me happy to give these jars to my loved ones.

  24. lilly says:

    king crab legs and a good homemade clam chowder. we always make that to celebrate bdays and special ocassions and it never gets tired, and the kids join in now that they are 7 and lovin it!

  25. Kat says:

    I love vietnamese wide noodles! Simply delicious.

  26. Kimberly says:

    Definitely brownies!!

  27. Allie says:

    I associate your otsu noodles recipe with love. Because it’s the recipe my boyfriend and I love most. Awww.

  28. Kristen says:

    Beautiful cake!

    Beef stroganoff with whole fat sour cream and fresh chives. Brings back memories of my childhood and I make it for my boyfriend who adores it.

  29. Jamie says:

    I think I probably associate meatballs with love. My mom makes the best meatballs ever (this is an unbiased opinion, clearly). They take time and three different meats and she makes dozens and dozens at once.

  30. Eileen says:

    This cake is love to me! Anything rich and chocolate has me wrapped around its little finger.

  31. Emily R. says:

    I associate spaghetti sauce with love. My mother-in-law spends a good deal of time making hers, and my husband has built on her recipe to make it his own. He takes great pride in it and loves making it for me (and himself!), and it makes me happy to see the joy it brings him. :)

  32. Lauren says:

    Risotto. Perfect for making with someone you love, stirring together while drinking wine and enjoying each other’s company!

  33. shannon says:

    Love is a warm, delicious, health meal for my family every night.

  34. Troy says:

    For me love is vanilla ice cream with marshmallow fluff and caramel sauce and crushed peanuts. My grandma always let me have a small bowl before bed when we stayed at her house. I don’t know how we ever got to sleep!

  35. Christa says:

    That cake looks delicious! I think the most romantic food is anything that my husband makes. He is very diligent about making his grocery list and prepping all of the ingredients before he starts cooking. It is really sweet to watch.

  36. Emily says:

    Fondue. What better?

  37. Twila says:

    chocolate and strawberries are love(ly). so traditional of me

  38. aDRIENNE says:

    Truffles! the savory kind, not the chocolates.

  39. Em says:

    Love to me is my mama’s stroganoff. Always brings back good memories. But chocolate is good too :)

  40. Laura says:

    Food I most associate with love? I think its birthday cake. Maybe not every time, but it seems like so many people in my life will push themselves above and beyond what they’d normally bother to do because its birthday cake, and they love the person who’s birthday it is. They make new things they’ve never made before, create a new design, pull out that old favorite just because its what the birthday person probably _really_ wants, or even figure out how to bring that cake with them on the train so it can be made in Baltimore and eaten in Philly. Oddly, I normally consider myself something of a birthday curmudgeon, but … Birthday Cake ftw!)

  41. Jess says:

    Oooooh, that’s pretty; I wish I had an occasion to make it. My love food: pizza. Great for sharing, lovely with some champagne, makes everyone happy.

  42. Leslie says:

    Chocolate sponge cake rolled around whipped cream! Not just delicious, but fun to make with your sweetie too!

  43. Erin says:

    So much yumminess, Jen. I have two answers for you. One is not really food, but red wine, which I associate with late nights snuggling and long conversations about life, as well as family dinners and my dad welcoming me home from being away with a bottle of his latest delicious find. For food, my mom’s cheesecake, made with love every year at my birthday.

  44. Elizabeth says:

    To me, sliced apples and pears taste like love. It isn’t the fruit particularly, its the care that someone took to remove the seeds, and cut it up, and maybe peel it, and then to share it with you, after going to all that work. Well, you can just taste the love!

  45. Marc says:

    Gorgeous, as always you cold hearted, unromantic rady.

    For me, romance is pasta. We were talking about this at dinner the other night, asking what your “deal breaker” meal was when you cook for someone for the first time, hoping to take your relationship to the next level. My answer was and is hand made pasta. It’s sexy, it takes time and effort, and the sum is always more than the simple parts which go into it. Much like a good relationship :)

    So if I make you pasta, you’d better put out ;)

  46. itzia says:

    i associate chocolate with love.

  47. Marisa says:

    Oh goodness that cake! And those beautiful caramels!

    For me, a bowl of roasted vegetable pasta with garlic sauce and shrimp is love. This is a meal my boyfriend and I have frequently, and not only is it a labor of love with multiple components, but it combines all our favorite flavors and tastes. It is love and comfort in one.

  48. Amanda says:

    That cake! So gorgeous. And passion fruit caramels? Passion fruit is my favorite EVER flavor.

    Food I associate with love is anything someone takes the time to create and share with me.

  49. Anne says:

    Homemade dumplings are love.

  50. yams says:

    I associate beignets with love because my Mom would always get a box of the cafe du Monde mix when she traveled through Louisiana and bring it home with her. About 3 times a year I could convince her to make beignets for breakfast for me (cleaning up all that oil was not her idea of a good time). They remain the best beignets I’ve ever had, including at the real cafe du Monde (although those are a close second).

  51. Anna says:

    Love is the pies that my mom makes (not just for Thanksgiving, but for anytime!) especially when she makes my favorite flavors even though they aren’t her favorites. And the caramel corn that my dad and I make together every Christmas.

  52. Kristina says:

    Dogfish. Dogfish isn’t like lobster. It’s even less popular than monkfish. That being said, dogfish is what I associated with love because we both had dogfish for dinner the night of our wedding.

  53. Laura says:

    What food do I NOT associate with love? Cheesecake would have to be close to the top.

  54. Grace says:

    Chinese dumplings! That’s what I make when I need comfort food, and that’s what my mom made for us. Typical Chinese mom, feeding us is her way of showing her love. And your Chinese dumpling recipe (and fabulous photos) is what drew me to Use Real Butter in the first place. Happy Chinese New Year!

  55. Jenny Hartin says:

    I think any food that you make for your family or friends – is associated with love. I suppose chocolate is the most “love” provoking food. The cake looks amazing.

  56. Jacqueline Graves says:

    For me, it’s meat of some kind bec when we were first married I put my husband through grad school and for two years we could not afford to eat any meat. So now, when we celebrate something it’s with a nice steak or a big, fat pork chop. We actually eat a couple of all vegetable meals every week and a fish meal or two, but for a celebration we both like that luxury of a steak. Now for dessert – it’s gotta be chocolate – at least for me.

  57. Danielle says:

    A tough question! Which love? All loves!

    My grandmother making cream chipped beef on toast (or shit on a shingle, depending on where you encountered this dish!) except we cut the toast into sticks and made them into little log cabins which were drowned in the deliciousness!

    My husband wanted something super-chocolate for his birthday one year. So Chocolate Chip Brownie Cake was born. With homemade brownies (with chocolate chips, obviously) baked in 9″ cake tins and layered with homemade chocolate frosting! Never tell your cardiologist you even looked at it!

    My mom making eggs-in-a-nest (toad-in-the-hole to others, I think) with perfect runny yolks the morning after getting home with our brand new daughter! (I could eat runny yolks again, yay!)

    Slaving over a batch of crystallized ginger only to find it was too spicy for me to tolerate. Thankfully my 2-year old daughter was happy to try it and happy to keep eating it! Food loved instead of wasted!

    All the Christmas cookies! All the feasts and nibbles and shopping for odd foods in odd places. The year we did all Lebanese food for Christmas, or my grandmother’s last Christmas when my mother patiently grilled piles of Reubens.

    All the food and all the love!

  58. Miss B says:

    This answer will sound shallow and even pedestrian, but for me, it’s a Starbuck’s mocha. Since I cook 2-3 meals/day for my husband and rarely get a day off, it is a big treat when he goes to our nearest large city (almost three hours away) and returns with coffee for me. Now, I know that some will say that Starbuck’s is commercial, yada yada yada, but I like it and I like it even better when my husband is thoughtful enough to cart home a three hour old mocha latte for me.

  59. Collette says:

    That’s a tough one. I suppose it’s whatever I make for someone else that they love and I don’t. I think that’s the most sincere form of love from me. My husband loves lasagna and I’m pretty meh about it but I make it at least once a year for him. (The last one had about 3.5 pounds of cheese in it so yearly is more than enough.) Or chocolate chip cookies for my son. He adores them and for me they get old really fast. Or making that damned Monsters U cupcake kit with him that he got for Christmas (thanks Grandma!) which smelled blech to me and looked radioactive. That’s love!

  60. elaine says:

    soup is love for me! my mom always made my favorite winter melon soup for me when i was away at college and still does to this day because she knows how much i love it. :)

  61. Juliet says:

    My immediate response was kiwis. Maybe because they’re so unexpected– you peel away the skin of this fuzzy, mousy, ugly thing, and it turns into a brilliant little perfect emerald fruit. I like the idea that love is like that– self-contained, multidimensional, surprising, and totally unknowable from the outside.

  62. maryw says:

    I’d have to say excellent quality dark chocolate for me. Or a good chicago style pizza :)

  63. angelitakarmalita says:

    Don’t laugh… pork bbq. To do it right is a labor of love. It takes hours (although quite unattended); done slow and low, then tenderly chopped by hand to the right texture and lavished with searingly spicy NC crushed red pepper/vinegar sauce. My father made it, I’ve eaten it since I was literally a baby and now I’m the only one in our family continuing the tradition. I make it in memory of all of my loved ones gone on, and for those I’m still lucky enough to feed. And passion fruit (WHAT?). Yes, I personally love all things passion fruit so I’m headed over to Helliemae’s site right now to score me some seasonal PF caramels!

  64. Leah says:

    Mine is Arroz Caldo, filipino chicken soup. It is my ultimate comfort food — love for me isn’t fussy, but comfortable.

  65. Andra says:

    I feel much as you do about love and food, Jen. It usually means that the people I love often get a sugar high when they are with me. I listen to my loved ones’ comments about food and enjoy surprising them with foods they have mentioned that they don’t often get to enjoy. These have ranged from Bruce Bogtrotter’s chocolate cake for my daughter, to Schnecken for a friend who grew up in Germany and misses its sweet treats. Thank you for supplying me with delicious recipes and wonderful photographs for making my own favorites!

  66. Ailsa says:

    Food I most associate with love –A large pot of chicken soup made from scratch! – On any cold winter’s day or a day where one of us is sick or…just because, my boyfriend and I will make chicken soup from saved chicken carcasses or a whole chicken. Most loving, comforting food ever!

  67. jacquie says:

    i don’t associate one particular food with love as the act of creating it and sharing it is where the “love” piece comes in rather than a particular kind of food.

  68. Kris says:

    What kind of love? Chocolate chip cookies are family-love. Or pot roast.
    For romantic love, I have to go with the classic strawberries and chocolate. No food is sexier.

  69. ellen says:

    lasagna, ooooey gooey luscious layers of love! and any dessert spells love to me! creme brulee is at the top of my list. but these days, with so much processed “food” out there i think anything homemade spells LOVE!
    thanx! Ellen

  70. Marni | Love and Duck Fat says:

    Looks amazing! Pinned :)

  71. Kadee Barrett says:

    For me, it’s different foods/places for different people I love. For my Grandma, it’s the 7 layer bars she used to make us and her Grandma’s soup. We are celebrating our birthday’s this Wednesday, and she will be 95!

  72. Dre says:

    My mom’s homemade macaroni and cheese. SO good.

  73. GwenO says:

    Lobster (and lots of it) with melted butter says love to me.

  74. Stephus @ stephsapartmentkitchen says:

    Jen – you are so talented!

    The food I most associate with love is this lasagna bolognese. Seriously, I hand roll out the pasta, simmer the bolognese and assemble it. It takes about 2 days to do. The thing I’m stingiest with most is my time, so this food is quite the time commitment.

    Hope that February is treating your family and Kaweah well!

  75. Salem Raboy says:

    My love food has to be fresh baked bread, warm from the oven. Any accompaniment, or none at all.

  76. Kristin says:

    That cake looks divine! And I’ll have to go with a from scratch chocolate cake for food love!

  77. penny in co says:

    That cake is gorgeous! My love food is Goulash, because whenever I came home to visit a big pot of it was always waiting for me cause my Mom knew I loved it :)

  78. Vicky says:

    Love = green onion pancakes the ones that Mom makes, not restaurant or storebought ones…. My mom used to make them from scratch, dipped in plain soy sauce it brings me back to my childhood!

  79. Shirley says:

    Gung Hay Fat Choy Jen! Homemade dim sum (lo bak gao, eggs rolls, sui mai).

  80. Alison says:

    I associate chocolate croissants with love because my husband likes to buy them for me (and for himself!).

  81. Lisa says:

    The cheesecake from the 70′s that was cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk and thickened with lemon juice, in a pre-made graham cracker crust, with canned cherry pie filling. I made it for my first married Valentines dinner. I was 20 and could cook very little. But I could make this. I have improved over the years. Of course after 37 I would hope so!

  82. Cate says:

    The food I most associate with love is definitely chocolate! Chocolate truffles specifically.

  83. Natalie E. says:

    This may sound cliche, but the food I most associate with romance/love in general is spaghetti with ragù sauce. :)
    It has to be homemade though! Nothing tastes as good as homemade food that you DIDN’T have to make.

  84. Tiffany says:

    Love is… the dong-quai soup my grandma makes for me every month to replenish my RBC supply, well, because, you know, monthly things. She calls to make sure it’s the right time, and boils it with pork and liver for a little richer flavor.

  85. farmerpam says:

    That’s a tough question, I can only pick one? Hmmm, most of my special, loved up recipes involve chocolate and raspberries. But, really, anything that’s made with joy in the heart of the maker is love food, right? ;)

  86. Don says:

    Those caramels look gorgeous. My fave is chocolate.

  87. christina says:

    I associate love with roast chicken andchicken fat potatoes.

  88. cindy ch says:

    love is rice. because rice is everyday. it’s a staple. it’s a necessity.

  89. Kim says:

    My love food that I make for my husband is chocolate cupcakes, from scratch, thickly frosted with vanilla bean buttercream. Sometimes they’re decorated with jimmies or a single fresh raspberry.

    The love food that he makes for me is homemade meatballs, of beef and pork combined, browned then simmered in homemade tomato sauce.

    The loveliest meals are when we cook together, and these things both get made.

  90. Jessica says:

    Brie is my love food! I remember eating it for the first time with my mom, in the car on the way home in the dark. I had to use a spoon to cut it for the crackers.

  91. Jamie B says:

    Oven-roasted Chicken and potatoes, because that’s why my Mom makes for me every time I fly 3000 miles to visit childhood home : )

  92. debbie says:

    That is one beautiful cake. Just perfection! Love to me is all about chocolate cake…or my favorite rainbow cake….just like a big rainbow cookie!

  93. Michaela says:

    This cake looks lovely! I think I’m going to have to try it when I have a block of free time and a dinner party planned.

    I associate my mother’s baked macaroni and cheese with love. She always makes it when requested, and it’s the dish she brings to friends and neighbors when sickness or tragedy falls on their homes. It’s also the dish I make when I’m most acutely homesick in the winter.

  94. Jen says:

    Kimchi is love because kimchi is a staple for every meal my parents eat, and they are two of the most loving people I know.

  95. Pam says:

    Mashed potatoes! The ultimate comfort food.

  96. Katie says:

    I associate love with apple turnovers drizzled with caramel sauce. They were the first baked good I made for my significant other and still one of his favorites. As far as puppy love, I’d have to say poached chicken breasts. My pup gets so excited whenever he smells chicken in the kitchen! Just makes my heart all warm and fuzzy.

  97. Kimberly says:

    Birthday cakes — or whatever sweet the birthday person wants. Celebrating another year with something homemade is love, indeed.

    Thanks for the giveaway and all that you do.

  98. Leslie says:

    Anything baked from scratch. After my son was diagnosed with Celiac disease I had to re-learn to bake gluten free and I did because homemade baked goodies are such a special thing to have. So whether it’s muffins, pie, pizza or steamed buns making it anew at home is the answer.

  99. Melissa says:

    Ohhhh, I would say any kind of homemade pasta with a rich, creamy sauce. Add in some garlic bread and red wine and you’ve got a real love feast!

  100. Sharon says:

    Chocolate chip cookies is love to my grandchildren

  101. Andrea says:

    soft scrambled eggs :)

  102. Jaime says:

    My ‘love’ food is ice cream, or more specifically: ice cream cake.

  103. Judy says:

    I know it seems odd, but artichokes with melted butter….spring, renewal, the ones you love… What more could you ask?

  104. Janet says:

    My love food, strangely enough, is rued rei, a traditional Mennonite scrambled egg recipe that’s really more like an eggy, cut-up pancake. I only have it when I go home (about every 2 years or so) because I just can’t seem to make it like my dad does. http://www.food.com/recipe/ruehrei-scrambled-eggs-115203

  105. Anne V. says:

    Love is homemade mashed potatoes I make for my daughter even when I’m too tired to do it. It’s her favorite food.

  106. Kathy S. says:

    Anything homemade especially desserts!

  107. karen says:

    Hard to pick one love food as cooking is the primary way I express love! But I guess nothing is more about love than the fresh fruit pies I make every summer, especially sour cherry – we only get sour cherries for a couple of days each year and I always drop everything and start pitting!

  108. Susanne says:

    Love is a big bowl of noodles! Spicy, soupy, and steamy!

  109. Naomi says:

    Love food for me is my dad’s chicken stock – the foundation for so many things he makes, and the time it takes to make, and the way it makes everything it’s in better. He serves it up in a mug when you’re home sick, like a warm blanket.

  110. sf11 says:

    Ice cream, epecially chocolate ice cream!

  111. Cindy says:

    Our family tradition every Valentines Day is to have steak, baked potatoes, and cherry cheesecake made at home for me, my hubby, and my two sons. Have been doing this as long as I can remember, and my sons are now aged 24 and 31.

  112. Geneva says:

    Eggs, bacon, & potatoes. The first meal my husband made me when we were dating, and a sign of love from either of us to get up early enough to make it for each other now.

  113. Rebecca says:

    Sushi! My husband and I have always shared a love for all food. Sushi and other Japanese foods were our first obsession.

  114. Lizzy says:

    Fry bread. Of course! Lard, flour and water. The real native way. Having a piece of fry bread is my gramma sitting on her back porch over her mini range with a sea foam box of lard next to her. My gramma is awesome. I love her so much. Her and fry bread. My two loves.

  115. Colleen N says:

    Chocolate- chalk it up to invasive marketing I guess.

  116. Cheal says:

    My mother’s homemade chicken soup when I am under the weather.

  117. Rachel W says:

    Looks delicious!! Quick question, how do you chop your chocolate? Every time I try (okay like three separate occasions) I end up melting bits of it or it comes out really uneven. Is there a proper technique for it? Thanks!

    Hi Rachel – I use a sharp knife and try to avoid touching the blade or the chocolate with my hands. Hands melt chocolate like nobody’s business. The chocolate doesn’t have to be totally uniform in size, just avoid large chunks of chocolate that will take longer to melt. Hope that helps! -jen

  118. Kath the Cook says:

    Things that take a long time to make or have lots of steps – but are worth it in the end.

  119. Andrea says:

    Love is home cooked Chinese food from my mom – specifically rice noodles, beef noodle soup, garlicky stir fried pea tips, and warm Chinese buns, all eaten with family!

    Love your site, Jen! Your pics are amazing!

  120. Ouida Lampert says:

    For now, it is Pho. I’ve learned to make it the authentic way, and it does take time, but – oh my. It always gets me warm thanks!

  121. heidipie says:

    I just asked my husband and he said that homemade soup makes him feel loved. You have to have guessed that for me, it is pie.

  122. uncatim says:

    Hot cocoa. Please try not to squelch that romane from Jeremy. Now, have I mentioned what a good looking dog Kaweah is? Wise too…

  123. Kitty says:

    Love is homemade dumplings. You wouldn’t bother with all the chopping, kneading, rolling, and pinching unless you were making them for or with someone. They remind me of childhood Sundays when my parents would take turns rolling out the peels while I raced them with stuffing.

  124. Kellen says:

    Pancakes = love. More specifically, making pancakes with my man on a weekend morning.

  125. jwen says:

    Porridge, jook, however you say it – warms you up from the inside and feels like my mom has wrapped me in a down blanket!

  126. Holly says:

    Love is a home-cooked meal, whatever it may be. My favorite would be a hearty stew.

  127. Nabeela says:

    I associate love with food too….and since I cook for my husband, that food has to be long cooked/braised meat. He is a meat lover through and through :)

  128. Carol says:

    Toast. So simple, and so satisfying. Ready for sweet or savory or (say it with me now) Real Butter – whatever your heart desires. It’s the perfect thing. In our family we say “I love you more than toast” to show just how much we love each other!

  129. Linda Ward says:

    Cooking with love is in everything I cook and is one of my favorite things to do for family, friends and for someone I haven’t met yet. My favorite love food is a delicious southern home cooked meal…fried chicken, mashed potatoes, fried okra, pinto beans, buttermilk biscuits, gravy and sweet ice tea…topped off with an apple or cherry pie with ice cream. When you push away from my table…you know you have been LOVED.

  130. Cathy says:

    From Mom, love meant her famous chocolate chip cookies that she timed so that they would just be coming out of the oven as we got home from school. yummmmm…

  131. Nan says:

    Anything my mother cooked was with love. It was her way of telling us how much she cared. But, Sunday dinners at her table were legendary. Ham, Swiss Steak, delectable vegetables, mashed potatoes, always a dessert… Not only the meals themselves, but the after-dinner conversations stoked by another glass of wine — these thingsloom large in my favorite memories and remind me that although she often had trouble expressing it, she loved her family — especially when we all gathered at her table on Sundays.

  132. Sondra says:

    My love loves caramel and meringues! A post made for him! I love chocolate in every form so we get along well.

  133. Bridget says:

    Swedish pancakes with raspberry jam. My dad’s aunt made these crepe-like pancakes for him as a child and then years later, he made them for my brothers and I. As I’ve grown and began cooking for my own family and friends, these amazing pancakes have become a staple for many special occasions. I love sharing my family’s tradition with others and seeing their faces light up when they take that first bite. I’m also pretty sure that my husband fell instantly in love with me when he first tasted them years ago. They are buttery, light and a little sweet, and are the perfect treat to share with loved ones.

  134. Cristina says:

    All our kids live away from where we presently reside (Gainesville, Florida – Go Gators!). Since we usually have the warm Florida weather, every time one of them comes to visit, I make (and they hope I do) my version of Ecuadorean Ceviche (fish or shrimp, depending on who’s coming), with what the call Mom’s Aji Sauce (hot sauce), popcorn or patacones (fried green plantains). Takes us all back to the days we lived there, our beach house, old friends and the wonderful Ecuadorean food.

  135. kathie says:

    Oh my goodness. That cake looks awesome but it was the sundae which made my mouth drool. Cinnamon rolls with a thick cream cheese frosting are my husband’s favorite. My personal love is a plain jane sundae: caramel, chocolate, whipped cream, strawberries, nuts with a cherry on top.

  136. Genn says:

    This looks incredible!! Chocolate for me is love food….always makes me feel better!

  137. Jamie says:

    um…this is tough, but I would have to say, Shepherd’s Pie. My sweetheart is from the UK and that is his favorite dish. I love to make it because it turns out a bit different each time I make it… lots of mashed potatoes or perhaps more sauce and less meat…always a surprise!

  138. Gourmade says:

    Champagne and strawberries!

  139. Angie Porter says:

    Simple. Strawberries fresh from the garden, whipped cream, and champagne…sigh.

  140. Maggie says:

    My Mom’s chicken and dumplings.

  141. Eileen says:

    Creamy, simmered on the stove for half an hour, Rice Pudding, an ultimate comfort food. I make it for friends in stress to let them know they are loved.

  142. Anna Durmus says:

    Hi, Jen! I am with you on this – for me food is definitely love, homemade food that is! And the love food would be Korean BBQ Bulgogi and the best homemade Kimchi ever that my Russian mom makes. And this is what my family really appreciates, any time of year!

  143. Marissa says:

    this is hilarious! you give away food and your readers come out of the woodwork! food love … every person I have ever been with I cook for. I cook what they eat what they love what their grandmother’s made

    but for me I always said…. just make me a peanut butter and jelly. not fancy and not hard. but after I cook and cook at home or for work a simple sandwich made just for me is perfect.

    going to so make that cake for my kids second birthday… he loves chocolate

  144. Fran says:

    Love is anything homemade!

  145. Melissa says:

    Dulce Delicious caramel ice cream – we even served it at our wedding! Same concept make a mighty fine latte too!

  146. megan says:

    that’s such a cool way to garnish the top! for the contest…i associate 蛋饺 (danjiao for any english readers) with love because it takes quite a long time to make a big batch!

  147. JacqueB says:

    Love expressed through food takes many forms with me. I have a chocolate chip cookie recipe that was shared with me by my daughter’s sitter some 15 years ago. Any time I bake a batch of those, love is involved. I enjoy baking and I enjoy giving them to people I care about. Love is also anything that my husband and I cook together in the kitchen. The whole process is love — from gathering and preparing the ingredients, consulting each other about whether it needs a pinch of this or that, plating and enjoying the meal, even cleaning up. It’s all performed with love and is never a chore when done this way. One of the meals that we created together when we were first dating was an Asian style tofu and green beans dish. Takes me back to those silly, giddy, crazy-in-love days every time we make it.

  148. Ruthann says:

    Steak! Whenever my husband comes back from deployment he grills steaks for the family. It is wonderful!

  149. Debra says:

    Lobster! The color and flavor = LOVE for me.

  150. Robin says:

    After long thought, the food I most associate with love is ambat, a dal made with dried yellow peas (toor dal), coconut milk and cabbage made into a gravy or soup and served with basmati. I know this doesn’t sound like love but when served fresh and hot, the dal, which has great complexity of flavor and, on a freezing day like today, is love. I learned to make it from my mother-in-law who taught me as a deep love grew between my then boyfriend and me.
    Thank you for the great recipes and stunning photos, Jen! Fun give-away, too.

  151. Deb Cole Kelner says:

    Love and food should always go together… feeding my friends and family is always an act of love. However, for this exercise, I’ll say that homemade cinnamon rolls are love. Warm out of the oven on a snowy day like today…. LOVE. And sharing caramel anything is a loving act! May you 3 all have a warm and cozy sweet Valentines day.

  152. JamieK says:

    Jen, this is beautiful. I think I shall make it for the office next week.
    Lobster is my ‘love food’ !!

  153. Christina D says:

    I don’t love chocolate. It’s tasty and all that, but I prefer light, fruity desserts. However, my husband and children LOVE chocolate. So I suppose when I find myself making some rich, chocolatey dessert, I know it is out of pure love. Love for others, not myself :). Now caramel? Caramel I love!

  154. JulieT says:

    My love food is Lasagna Bolegnese that my husband would make for me. He is gone but now I make it for my daughter to remind us both of the man who could cook anything.

  155. Amanda B. says:

    I’m going to have to echo a previous commenter who said “Birthday cake.” I was trying to decide whether my answer would be the lasagna my mom always made for my birthday, or the cheesecake she always made for my dad’s birthday, or the heart-shaped chocolate cake I remember from my childhood birthdays (I am a Valentine baby). The common thread is birthdays, and mom’s love. Even if my birthday “cake” is a lasagna. :)

  156. Pao says:

    Love to me is crusty bread just out of the oven. There is something about baking with yeast, smelling the yeast, letting the dough take its time, and watching the transformation, that says love to me. And if you spice that warm bread and get some butter and homemade applebutter… Well, that’s just heaven

  157. Stephanie-Oh says:

    Double Chocolate Cake from Gourmet with strawberries. But that crusty bread fresh from the oven sounds mighty good too!

  158. Pey-Lih says:

    OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!! So super YUM! I want to reach into my computer and snag that slice of cake! Damn, I am just waking up to breakfast and I see this. I would be happy to have this for breakfast! I am feelin’ the love! Thank you for posting this. Maybe I will give this a try for V-day for my man, although I might say that it does look a bit intimidating to make.

  159. Karen says:

    Beautiful cake. Love food in our house is cinnamon rolls warm from the oven.

  160. Robert says:

    Love for me is a meyer lemon curd tart! Not only in the effort to make the curd and crust but all the love I pore into my tree.

  161. helen says:

    I would say any baked item but chocolate is my all time favorite and associate with love. Anything sweet is always good.

  162. Amanda W. says:

    For me, I can tomato sauce for my family to show them love, and my daughter makes me parmesan chicken / son makes creme brulee to give love back.

  163. Gini Freemyer says:

    Rib roast…my mother’s specialty. And cream. My sweetie’s favorite ingredient…or maybe butter…

  164. Sandy says:

    Whatever food that I cook and reminds the eater of what their Mama made.

  165. Cynthia says:

    Normally my sincere response would be CHOCOLATE, but feeling especially sentimental lately. My dad was the baker in the family. He didn’t do a lot of baking, but I must have gotten my love of baking from him. Don’t get me wrong, my mom’s a wonderful cook, just had not much interest in the baking end of the spectrum. My dad used to make cinnamon rolls for us almost every Sunday morning. I can still smell them – a very sweet memory.

  166. Stephanie Reese says:

    My love food is Sushi! The melting your mouth, dabbed with wasabi. Wasabi releases natural endorphins. :)

  167. Laura says:

    Love is definitely a pillowy soft cream cheese topped kolache. I want 6 of them in my belly right now…

  168. Janna D says:

    Wow! I love all food, so that’s tough. Maybe a good soup though with a good bread! My husband and I used to have a lot of soup/bread while we were dating. They’re so comforting! We’ve also come to love a good red wine, so that might be a second, if it counts as food. :)

    Both packages look amazing! I love good caramel!

  169. DeeDee Arnzen says:

    I big bowl of homemade soup! I add some fresh bread and a class of wine for a perfect meal.

  170. Rocky Mountain Woman says:

    I show love for those I love by cooking for them and they love it! moony eyes?

    hmmmm…

  171. samantha says:

    girl of many talents, Jen! awesome, thanks for sharing, love it

  172. Kate in New York says:

    I think for me it’s ozoni, the Japanese hot pot with mochi traditionally eaten for breakfast on New Year’s Day. It’s real comfort food for me, and I strongly associate it with my father’s love for his family, since he makes it every year. And more recently, my boyfriend and I have made ozoni for HIS family, since his grandmother is now too frail to make it, and so it’s taken on a slightly more romantic hue. It’s food that takes time (to make the broth) and timing (to quickly cook the vegetables and mochi at the end), and those things are both pretty relevant to relationships, I’ve found. If not ozoni, then I’d have to say soft scrambled eggs with cheese. Gorgeous cake, by the way!

  173. Jen B says:

    Love is chicken soup, made from scratch starting with a whole chicken and some vegetables. I recently did this for my husband after we flew back on a red eye from Hawaii while he was fighting a cold. Cutting up the chicken, starting the stock, letting it boil down, and then adding noodles and fresh veggies while he was sleeping and I was exhausted was one of the most loving things I have ever done.

  174. M.K. says:

    Sacher Torte, mit schlag pleeze…preferable consumed in Vienna!

  175. Nancy says:

    I would have to say I equate love with fresh ripe peaches, thinly sliced Lake Champlain 5 Star Chocolate Hazelnut bar and any good French rose champagne!

    The cake looks amazing!

  176. Kel says:

    The cake is beautiful! I associate chocolate = love!

  177. Jackie says:

    Pancakes! My dad made animal pancakes for my sister and me growing up, and I make them for roommates as a morning surprise.

  178. Nathan says:

    Cut up fruit! When I’m at home, a few hours after dinner, my mom would always call myself and my three brothers down for wonderfully large bowls of fruit. One for each of us! Fruit has always been a favorite of mine, and the extra care that goes into making each of us a bowl screams love. (:

  179. Sherry says:

    I generally consider myself asexual so all my food memories of love have to do more with family than any sort of romantic love. For me, it has to be the baked Chinese sponge cake. I hate making it but it is by far, the most preferred cake of my family so I always make it during birthdays, holidays, random days when people are craving it. If it wasn’t for love of my family, I would never make that cake again since I don’t even eat it myself…

  180. Camille says:

    Cookies of any sort. I make countless cookies at the holidays because I always think they’re one of the best ways to share my love with friends and family next door and across the country. And what’s not to love about homemade cookie when you’re cuddled up with the people who matter most?

  181. Rachel Tilly says:

    Dark chocolate :) = my love language.

  182. scienceteachermommy says:

    When I was a child, my mom used to make Waldorf-Astoria cake every year, only on MY birthday. This is the original name of red velvet cake and is so much more than just food coloring and cream cheese icing when done right. Her homemade cake is delicious and so tricky. It only turned out just perfect when she was patient and took her time. We moved far from mom when I got married and the year I turned 30, my husband called mom for the recipe and had a friend make it for me so that we’d be surprised when we went to their house for dinner the night of my birthday. Five of us ate the whole cake in about two hours while we played games. Such love.

  183. Angela Payumo says:

    Love = beef croquettes. My Lola (grandmother) made them for me as a little girl until I could make the for her. :-)

  184. Becky says:

    Hi Jen! That dessert you made looks really beautiful. Well, when I think of the one food I LOVE to make for my loved ones, I have to go with homemade cinnamon rolls. The smell is irresistible and fills the house! My boyfriend and I will be celebrating our 3rd Valentine’s Day this year. He is a total romantic and I am so blessed to share my life with him. Our favorite dessert to eat together is definitely coconut creme pie. Yum! I made Oh Sweet Day’s coconut creme pie last Summer and we really loved it. The custard filling was perfect!

  185. Justine says:

    My “love” food could be so many things, mostly the things that my mom makes. A warm bowl of beef noodle soup, Taiwanese style corn soup, sesame oil fried egg….My dad’s would be a warm bowl of mashed potatoes, since he was the one that always cooked “American” food. My grandma’s lion’s head meatball would be up there as well…
    That cake looks so tasty! I imagine the crunch of the meringue complements the silky smooth chocolate mousse really well.

  186. Rikki says:

    My mom’s clam chowder. :)

  187. Joanne says:

    There’s only one dinner that makes me soooo happy. I know I’m loved when my plate has Baked Chicken with Mushroom Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Frozen Corn, and Pepsi with Maraschino Syrup. My husband made this for me while we were dating. He says it was the 1st full dinner he’d ever made for a lady. Judging by the kitchen, it may have been the truth.

  188. David says:

    Homemade pizza is my love food. For a number of years it has been a weekly tradition for me and my loved one. It’s different every week, from traditional tomato-basil-mozzarella to red-curry tofu to salmon tikka masala. The homemade crust and cheeses vary, too — but one thing is certain: we don’t miss a week.

  189. Jeanne Kane says:

    Lobster->Love

  190. Sonya M Frymoyer says:

    My Mom’s three layer chocolate cream cake that she would make in a shape of a heart whenever she was inspired just because she loved us so.

  191. Kerstin Peterson says:

    I love caramels, but I just love them for themselves. The food I associate with love is anything Italian; my soulmate partner of 15 years died right before Thanksgiving, and he was a fine Broooklyn Italian cook.

  192. Navya says:

    I associate ice cream with love. My dad used to take me out when he wanted to have a heart-to-heart talk.

  193. Shari from Ohio says:

    Chili and good cornbread!

  194. Gabrielle says:

    My love and I are huge fans of Mexican food! At our wedding 18 years ago, we fed everyone with a burrito bar! So, for us it’s easy – ANYTHING Mexican = LOVE!!!

  195. Erin says:

    FONDUE!

  196. Anne says:

    I think the food I associate most with love is my mom’s sticky chicken -it’s one of the more time/labor intensive dinners she would make, so we didn’t have it often, but it was both of ours favorite and always made that day more special.

  197. Kristiana says:

    Chinese food is my love food. It is a family event. Everyone gets to eat what they like and we all share it. There is a lot of conversation and happy satisfaction.

  198. Ruth Ann says:

    Beautiful Concorde cake. It is so very yummy!

  199. Iris says:

    Gorgeous cake…love your recipes and pictures.

    Almond lime cheesecake…my family’s favorite.

  200. Marie says:

    Pork sandwich with a fried egg is our thing, but we love food in general. :)

  201. JoanH. says:

    What most means love to me is a fresh baked chocolate chip walnut cookie. Love, Love, Love.

  202. Susan Jackson says:

    We are rich with yummy, homemade good food every day and I am so grateful to give this abundance to my family
    with LOVE, everyday! It’s how I feel “rich” and how I share my love.
    Our current favorite would be homemade pizza: piled high with rich, savory tomato sauce, garlic, onion, thinly sliced mushrooms, artichoke, olive, sundried tomatoes, peppers, mozarella cheese in a deep dish corn meal crust and I put hot pepper flakes on mine. Yum!

  203. Ken says:

    An omelette and toast for breakfast with my boyfriend :)

  204. Amanda H. says:

    My food of love is pancakes, from scratch of course! Saturday mornings are usually pancake day. It’s the only morning I get with my boys when we can sleep in, not rush and not have to be anywhere…which is good because a belly full of pancakes does not a motivator make!

  205. TheGeek says:

    When I was a kid, I associated chocolate banana cream pie with love, because we only ever had it for my father’s birthday. These days I associate cookies of all kinds with love, because they’re what I make to show affection for friends and family.

  206. miniBP says:

    I associate congee (or Chinese porridge) with love. Whenever my sisters or I feel sick or unwell, my mom would make congee to make us feel better. They come in all sorts of flavors and ingredients so it’s never the same.

  207. Anna F. says:

    I would have to say pasta. One year my friends and I sat together for a dinner made from scratch (pasta was the entree), we love home made food and we would all feel the love through the deliciousness and warmth of the food :)

  208. Faith says:

    I associate ackee and salt fish with fried flour dumplings. This is the Sunday breakfast in Jamaica. My aunts would make on occasions after wedding,birth,Easter ,graduations when all the extended family together and we all laugh, talk, joke and have a awesome loving time in our p.j’s. Gret memories of my childhood.

  209. Sara_K says:

    Lamb stew with sweet potato rosettes. The stew also has spinach and cauliflower in it. It is one of the recipes that my husband and I have been making since we were dating. We’ve been married for 23 years. We work together on it.

  210. Food Grid says:

    Love your blog! I took your advice for a place to eat when I was travelling around the US and visited Boulder. Had dinner at The Kitchen. Thanks from the Food Grid in London. x

  211. lana says:

    Love, LOVE, LOVE your blog! I’m with the chocolate=lovers.

  212. LJ Moore says:

    The food I associate most with love is grilled cheese sandwiches with purple onion inside! My mom used to make these for me and I don’t know anyone else who melts the purple onion inside the grilled cheese. And the cheese has to be pepperjack, and the bread should be whole grain. Soooooo goooood.

  213. bschus says:

    Homemade pasta is definitely love for me

  214. maddie says:

    anything with almonds or almond paste or marzipan or amaretto… <3 <3 <3

  215. Dona says:

    Chicken noodle soup for a sick grandchild, aka Magic Soup.

  216. Melissa in Colorado says:

    The food I associate love is my Grandma’s Beef Stew with sugar muffins. She still uses the same yellow handled knife to cut the beef that she did when I was a child and wasn’t tall enough to see the counter – just the yellow blade in her hand.

  217. Claire Wang says:

    Slightly burnt sweet rice with caramelized shallots and lap xuong (Chinese sausage) was a quick and simple but delicious snack food that both my mom and dad made for us. My parents were never on the same raising me and my siblings, so that they both made this as a snack for us kids translates to common parental love for me.

    (I actually might be the minority in choosing something savory rather than chocolate!)

  218. Jennifer Hensley says:

    By far my love food is lemon bars. I mean – straight out of the oven, big glass of milk, …heaven.

  219. Holly says:

    Cake or pie made with love by my talented boyfriend. The last one he made me was for my birthday, and I requested one we’d heard of but never tried: banoffee pie. Holy hell, it that a caramel lover’s dream.

  220. megan says:

    ribs in the slow cooker. Or pulled pork. Any of those long drawn out meat dishes are love to me.

  221. Clare says:

    Anything that I make is a gesture of love for the recipient but I equate chocolate and champagne with love most of all.

  222. nichole says:

    A roasted chicken stuffed with herbs, olives and preserved lemons. A dear friend made us one right after our son was born and the meal came on a day when we were especially bone-weary, new parents. It tasted amazing! We have been roasting up them in the same way for going on three years now.

  223. Anna says:

    Fresh baked hot rolls (like Granny used to make) with homemade raw butter and homemade strawberry jam. The golden color of the hot rolls and the butter reminds me of my love of family, farmers, and food. Humble bread, butter, and jam are transformed with the care that goes into their genesis.

  224. Meg says:

    Love is fresh fruit and crème fraiche, and a good stiff drink. Something quick and easy we can enjoy without lots of dishes.

  225. Huong says:

    Shanghai Dumpling with the soup…..MMMmmmmmMMMmmmmm good. :)

  226. Cyndi McNeill says:

    Love is a homemade chicken pot pie… every year for my birthday, made by my mother. Now, love is whatever I make for my husband, especially if its really spicy!

  227. Kat says:

    Chocolate covered strawberries mean love to me! Or a really rich chocolate cake with a little cinnamon and chili in it.

  228. Jackie @Auburn Meadow Farm says:

    I’m with Kat – big, juicy, fondant filled chocolate covered strawberries!

  229. Ashley Propes says:

    Love is sharing a pint of delicious ice cream with one spoon. I could easily eat an entire pint by myself, but I know I truly love my husband when I feed him bites of Ben & Jerry’s.

  230. Helen says:

    Love food OR food love — either way it has to spell COMFORT, with 2 exceptions and those being homemade from scratch german chocolate cake with coconut pecan icing and Spanish Paella.

  231. Urb fan says:

    The food I associate most with love is the burger and waffle fries I had on my first date with the love of my life. :)
    Happy valentines day, everyone!

  232. Candi says:

    Best food ever to eat or make? I would have to say MACARONI and CHEESE. I’m still hunting that perfect recipe… you know the one, creamy and full of UMAMI but still reminds you of that guilty pleasure of the blue box! :D

  233. Becky says:

    I think food is my love language….whenever I am making something for someone, it is love. Making my kids favorites-apple pie, cherry pie, dirt pudding, cookies, my husband’s chocolate cake…. Baking with apples always reminds me of my mom–her unconditional love.

  234. Cindi H says:

    Homemade mac n cheese. Yum yum.

  235. Heather says:

    Love? I wanted to say chocolate but that’s so cliche. I’m gonna go with my mom’s braised lamb and beancurd in a claypot! It takes forever to cook and mom always makes it cause she knows it’s one of my favorite dishes!

  236. Hope says:

    The food I most associate with love are the sugar cookies that my grandma used to make before she passed. She would decorate them with sprinkles or a cherry. I have her recipe and the cut-outs to make the cookies, but they’ll never be as good as when she made them.

  237. CoffeeGrounded says:

    What a pretty cake! The berries are the finishing touch, for sure. This is definitely a labor of love. I must try this some day. I simply must…

    Chocolate=Love at this house. :)

  238. Missy KUPPER says:

    Lobster

  239. Stani says:

    Love food – chocolate :)

  240. Michelle N. says:

    “The Meal” prepared by my grandma (chili rellenos, beans, squash, rice), or my mom’s homemade whole wheat bread<3

  241. Jenny says:

    Anything that stops the moment with the complexity of its flavor and composition. Most recently, this was a triple chocolate ganache/mousse cake topped with fresh raspberry.

  242. Amanda D says:

    My chocolate brownies. My mom made them for me, and I make them for my husband and for special friends.

  243. Mary Ellen says:

    The risotto with asparagus and shrimp that my daughter and I make together – togetherness equals love.

  244. Sarah D says:

    Chocolate chip chunk cookies with pecans!

  245. mrsmarcell says:

    Hard to pin down just one food. I’d say anything someone makes for you=love.

  246. Salena says:

    For me, love is making a dinner that requires effort on a weeknight when we’re both tired from work.

  247. Isabella says:

    I love tea before bedtime. My favorites are rooibos and black tea flavoured with cocoa.
    However, I think this recipe might be replacing tea…

  248. Jade says:

    Coq a vin… it is just so warm, rich, and inviting; cheesy as it sounds, it feels like a giant pot of love. Coincidentally it is also one of the first meals I cooked my boyfriend.

  249. ailo says:

    Hmmm. What food = love? This is such a hard question to answer succinctly… but right now I’d say, thick greek yogurt with new zealand honey and freshly toasted walnuts or pecans. That’s love.

  250. DeeDee says:

    Homemade chicken noodle soup and sushi! Though not together….though maybe together.

  251. Sarah L says:

    I’m not sure there’s one food that I associate with love, but my husband made me a great curry for Valentine’s Day one year, so that dish makes me think of his love.

  252. Jasmine says:

    Any of the slow boiled Cantonese soups that my mum makes. It’s just the taste of home.

  253. Shannon S. says:

    Any food made with family and friends. If I had to pick one food it would be my Grandma’s chocolate cake. After driving 12 hours to visit my grandparents. We would run in the house and sit at the kitchen table eating cake. Filling in Grandma with all our news. Eating that cake is like a warm hug…love!

  254. Mrs Ergül says:

    I love that you added the raspberries. In fact, I think the cake needed that pop of colour! Something bookmarked for days when I have too much egg whites like after making another kueh lapis!

  255. Linda K says:

    An annual Valentines Day ritual for me and my beloved is sesame chicken.

  256. Marilyn Russell says:

    How can it be anything but chocolate, craved round the world by every culture?

  257. Adina says:

    Love is my mom’s lentil soup – her mom’s recipe. I will always say, if I had to eat one thing for the rest of my life it would be this. Lentils, potatoes, carrots, noodles and a thickening rue. She serves it every year on Christmas Eve and many other cold Kansas evenings. It fills your belly and makes you feel all warm inside. That’s love.

  258. Beth says:

    Love for me is rack of lamb with a garlic, mint, and walnut crust. Made it for my (now) fiancé the first time I visited him in what is now our home. It was so good, we got up in the morning, went to get more lamb, and had it again for breakfast.

    Gorgeous cake!

  259. Melissa W says:

    Big chewy chocolate chip cookies make me think of love… They also remind me of home and family and snowy winter nights.

  260. Jennifer says:

    Hmmm…I associate really dark chocolates with love. OH!!! The chocolate banana bread pudding from Christy’s in Long Beach….THAT is love!

  261. Bill F says:

    I’m a dessert lover, mostly chocolate but just about anything sweet.

  262. Nicky says:

    Lamb chops. My husband loves them, so I tend to make them for special occasions.

  263. Kieran says:

    Tarts – sweet & savory!

  264. Ellen says:

    Grandmother’s Christmas cookies and her mac&cheese. None better!!

  265. Anne says:

    ANYTHING chocolate – dark, milk or white – love them all and sea salt caramels are a very close 2nd!

  266. Kara says:

    From scratch chocolate cake and/or macaroni and cheese.

  267. Melora says:

    Chocolate. Dark, delicious chocolate. Perhaps with a glass of port. Husband enjoys that too, but if it’s really from me to him, it’s got to be a really good steak. Followed by chocolate. And port.

    I initially saw the egg white on whisk shot as a merengue creature, and was marveling at your ability to do such delicate work in your dry air (I was post-skimming at work). That would be a great, if not traditional/fancy, dessert decoration!

  268. MB says:

    Sushi. When I started dating my sweetheart, he had never eaten sushi, but had always wanted to try it. We did and he loved it, so everywhere we travel to now, we try and find one at least one sushi restaurant to go to. They are like eating beautiful little presents with each other. <3

  269. AP says:

    Growing up, the hit dish at every gathering on my mom’s side were pacintas–essentially the Romanian version of beignets. Oily, light, and doused in powdered sugar, the platter was always gone in minutes. They remind me of Great Aunt Philomena, mass holidays in my grandpa’s garage warmed with space heaters, Thanksgiving bingo, and simply how special it is to hold on to tradition! Pure love.

  270. pia says:

    Pasta. I come from an Italian family and food is always how we show love.

  271. Sam says:

    French fries. As in, I love you if I will share any with you!

  272. Sarah S. says:

    I associate love with… a soy sauce beef and tofu dish that my dad makes. It was a staple in our house when we were growing up, and he still makes it when we come back home to visit. :)

  273. Becky W. says:

    Homemade Food = Love, but right now in our house it’s homemade baked goods. When I pull a cake, brownies, or cookies from the oven this cold Minnesota winter I can feel the lightness & warmth in our house.

  274. Kelsey says:

    Homemade applesauce – we used to get apples by the bushel or the box, and it took “all hands on deck” as my mother would say to chop them and get them cooking in these massive pots on the stove. We left the peel on, so once it had cooked down it all went through a hand-cranked food mill, and we would take turns as our arms got tired. The whole house would smell amazing!

  275. Kimberly L. says:

    I will take processed food favorites and re-translate them into homemade goodness.

  276. Amanda says:

    My mom always used to bake us monkey bread for breakfast Christmas morning. Monkey bread, upside down cakes, and other caramelized brown sugar goodness still gives me the warm fuzzies.

  277. Colleen says:

    Love is hot out of the oven chocolate chip cookies!

  278. Sunny says:

    Steamed Crab legs. My mom made these for my brother one day and i thought “mom loves him so much.”

  279. alia says:

    chocolate cake!! yummmm….

  280. veekee says:

    love is a hand delivered warm chocolate croissant after a stressful day at work.

  281. Laurie O says:

    My husband does several special things for me that make me feel precious and cared for, and the first is that he often makes me an egg sandwich (with the works) and surprises me with it when I have been working outside in the mornings teaching riding lessons and have gotten too busy to eat. Another one is that he knows I love “Dots” candy, and when we first began seeing eachother he always had a tiny little box of Dots with him. I will always associate “Dots” with the feeling of being thought about and loved, and I love that he always remembered. He still brings me a tiny box of Dots occasionally. :-) Sometimes it is the little things that count the most!

  282. Adolfo says:

    Love is anything my momma makes to eat! But nothing beats her chicken and spinach cream spaghetti. A totally delicious comfort food that screams love!:)

  283. jenyu says:

    Thanks everyone for your participation! Entries for the giveaway are now CLOSED, but you can still leave comments regarding the recipe!

  284. Maggie says:

    Love for me will always be Egg Pastina. It’s what mom made when I was feeling icky, and what she brought to the hospital when I was recovering from cancer….. she brought it in a microwaveable thermos, still warm all the way from NJ to where I was in NY. Comfort and love, all in a bowl.

  285. Holly Smith says:

    This cake is amazing!!! It was so easy and the flavours are delicious. I think it even gets better after a few days and was good room temperature or chilled.

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