Dinner at Eight :: Valentine's Day

banner image Irene Suchocki

A couple of weeks ago Rebekah and I decided that our very first official "Dinner at Eight" date would be in honor of Valentine's Day. It seemed like the perfect day to start! I had high hopes of red cut-out hearts all over my walls, my husband's favorite dinner eaten together by candle light, sweet conversation, and our very favorite chocolate cake. 

But life always has a way of changing our plans, doesn't it? I woke up on Monday (Valentine's Day) feeling absolutely exhausted. I hardly slept at all on Sunday night; I had so much on my mind. Monday was a really special day with my little family, but it was also very busy. I spent a large portion of the day making phone calls and registering my little ones for preschool, a decision that literally had only been made the day before. I felt a huge sense of relief in getting that all done, but it left me with very little time or energy to follow through on my plans for an extravagant Valentine's Day date. 

So I nixed the decorations plan and decided to proceed with the favorite dinner and cake. No problem, right? 

 Remember how I have been trying to cut back on my gluten this month? Up until Monday I had only eaten it about three times in two weeks and had started to notice that the stomachaches I usually get a few times a week were pretty much nonexistent. Well, while making dinner on Valentine's Day I decided to sample some french bread, along with some of the kids' pizza. So not a good idea. I got a really, really bad stomachache almost immediately. A stomachache that lasted the rest of the night and is still lingering even today, four days later! Needless to say, I didn't feel up to making the rest of dinner or even dessert. Such a bummer. Erik was so awesome and insisted that we reschedule our little date for the next night.

So on Tuesday night, I decided to play it super simple. No stressing about decorations and dinner. Just the easiest + yummiest chocolate cake ever and sweet conversation. It was perfect.

And my favorite part of all? Well, after the to-die-for cake and uninterrupted conversation with my very favorite person? The intentionality of it all. In the simple act of making a cake for my husband, I realized how much I have missed being intentional with him. It is so easy to get caught up in just being a mama, especially when you have children as young as I do. It felt so good to anticipate Erik and my time together. To be planning it and how to make it special. Going out on dates is fun, but planning these at home dates? There is something seriously powerful and truly special about it. 

Go ahead. 

Give it a shot.

And while you're at it, make your love one of these chocolate cakes. You won't regret it!



7 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped 
(I always use Ghirardelli 60% cacao chocolate chips)
1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 c. + 2 T. sugar
5 large eggs
1 T. flour

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 8-inch round cake pan. Line the bottom of the pan with a round cut out piece of parchment paper. Butter the paper. 

Put chocolate and butter in a medium size microwaveable bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds at a time, stirring often until smooth.

When smooth, add sugar , stirring well. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes. 

Add eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each one. Add flour. The batter should be dark and silky. 

Pour batter into pan and bake for 25 minutes (check at 20 minutes) or until top is lightly cracked, edges are puffed, and the center looks set. 

Cool on rack for 15 minutes. 

When you are ready to remove the cake from the pan, cover the top with foil and flip the cake top side down onto a plate. Remove the parchment paper, put another plate over the bottom of the cake, and flip the cake right side up. It sounds silly, but this step is critical or your cake will end up falling apart!

Serve warm or cold with fresh whipped cream.


Don't forget to check out Rebekah's Valentine's Day Dinner at Eight! Her decorations were seriously beautiful and she looked absolutely stunning all dressed up for her husband!


  1. Ooh, I love this cake recipe of Molly's. Great choice! And I agree, sometimes the anticipation and planning can be just as awesome as the time itself. Helps you appreciate the spontaneous on the other end of things, if that makes sense at all. Came to your blog via Rebekah's, and adding you to my reader, for sure :)

  2. I believe I enjoyed this very cake on Thanksgiving! Glad you had a lovely "date." Love you

  3. That is so sweet! I'm totally going to try the cake recipe... I love how it looks in your Fiestaware dish, too!

  4. Soooo sweet, Andi! Where are the kids going to do preschool at? I didn't realize gluten had such an effect on your stomach... I've heard it's a common allergy for sure & Ken's naturpathic doc recommended he cut it out of his diet too. Interesting... :) So, on this recipe, is it really only a Tablespoon of flour?? Crazy! Awesome! haha. Love you & hope you enjoy this weekend with your beautiful, darling, wonderful family! Thanks for the inspiration to plan something special as a date at home with Ken... the wheels are turning.. :)

  5. One of my favorite cakes for sure! So sorry to hear about your stomach. Way to cut back on extravagant plans and stick to something simple and delicious.

  6. andi, sending you love and praying for you and your family! i am totally cheering you on in spirit as you are moving bravely (yes, bravely and so beautifully) into new things (diet-wise, preschool-wise, making more intentional time for erik, etc.). i, like jenny, love that you made a low-key evening into a special, rich time, simply by showing up with your whole heart to bless your husband (and eat cake!). :) my heart hears yours, friend, and cares about where you're at. (and i love picturing you and tiffany hanging out this past week! how i would've loved to have been there, too!!) have a wonderful weekend with your family, andi. xoxo

  7. Oh, you already know how I feel about this cake!