Chocolate Sweetheart Cake Makes 1 9-inch heart-shaped cake
Moist and tender, dark and delicious, plain or fancy -- this is the perfect chocolate cake. It's sweetened naturally, using no refined sugar, and has only 2 tablespoons of oil, but its rich, moist texture and dark-chocolate flavor will delight your sweetheart. The cake freezes beautifully for up to one month. So keep one on hand for unexpected guests -- just remember to defrost the cake in its wrap.

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Baking Time: 25 minutes

Nonstick cooking spray or
vegetable oil
1 cup unbleached white flour
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder
2 tablespoons maple sugar or Sucanat
1 1/2 teaspoons nonaluminum baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup vanilla soy milk
1/2 cup filtered water
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup raspberry seedless all-fruit jam
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup Ultimate Chocolate Sauce (recipe follows)
2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly coat a 9-inch heart-shaped pan with oil or nonstick spray. Sift flour, cocoa powder, sweetener, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt and cinnamon into a medium bowl and stir with a wire whisk to mix.

2. Measure soy milk, water, canola oil, 3 tablespoons jam, maple syrup, extracts and vinegar into blender and blend on high speed one minute, until smooth and foamy.

3. Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and whisk until batter is smooth. Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake on center rack of oven until cake is set, about 25 minutes. The sides of the cake will pull away from the pan and the surface of the cake will spring back when pressed lightly.

4. Cool cake in the baking pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn the cake out of the pan to cool completely on a wire rack. Wrap cooled cake in plastic wrap and freeze 30 minutes.

5. Spread top of cake with a thin layer of jam, then gently spread a 2-inch border of chocolate sauce around outer edge and down the sides. Smooth with a rubber spatula and arrange raspberries around the edge of the cake. Refrigerate to set.

Variations: To create a Black Forest Cake, substitute cherry jam and fresh cherries. Or, for a nutty variation, simply sprinkle the top with your favorite toasted nuts.