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Seriously Simple: Make Valentine's Day extra sweet

By Diane Rossen Worthington, Tribune Content Agency on

(EDITOR'S NOTE: This is a corrected version of the previous recipe. Baking powder was missing from the ingredient list and instructions. PHOTO: One color photo goes with this column. Caption: Cut the cake to reveal velvety bits of caramel that slightly melted as the dessert baked in the oven. Credit: Betty Rosbottom, Filename: 20180122msfst-d.jpg; slugged SIMPLE.)

Valentine's Day can often feel like a forced day to be happy and in love. For me, it's a time to remember those I love. Sometimes I celebrate with just my husband and other times I invite friends into the fold to have a delicious meal and stimulating conversation. Even those that are having a hard time can't help but relax and enjoy when this dessert is served. And it is truly Seriously Simple to prepare.

I have made many a chocolate cake, each that has its own special attributes. Ones that have multi-layers with different buttercreams, ones with ground nuts instead of flour, ones covered with chocolate ganache.

And then there is this one.

The rich chocolatey cake batter is embedded with chunks of caramel that soften and melt slightly as the cake bakes. A light sprinkle of sea salt adds an even richer taste sensation. If you make this ahead, just make sure to warm it before serving. And don't worry if you have leftovers. Freeze, defrost and enjoy for another meal.

Kudos and thanks go to well-respected cookbook author and blogger Betty Rosbottom, who concocted this heavenly combination. I found this recipe on her website (www.bettyrosbottom.com) and contacted her to see if I could share it with my readers. She happily agreed. When I asked how she developed this recipe she explained that she tasted something like this while in Paris and then set out to recreate it for her readers. I've adapted it and hope you love it as much as I do. Make sure you look for good quality dark chocolate. If you can find handmade caramels, the cake will be that much better. And remember: This cake is great for any happy occasion!

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Dark Chocolate and Caramel Cake

Serves 8

7 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 pound bittersweet chocolate chips or bars, cut into small pieces (I like Ghiradelli 60%)

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