When I was in elementary school back in the 1970s, exchanging valentines on February 14th was so exciting. Back then most of the valentines were homemade (and most didnt come with a piece of candy attached). We each made a cardboard mailbox decorated with wrapping paper to sit on our desk and collect our little notes during the class party. Wed overindulge in sweet pink cake, frosting and punch, and stagger home happily to sort and reread the cards.
Now that Solomon and Celia are in 7th and 9th grades, there are no more class Valentines Day parties or foldable Snoopy cards, no conversation hearts or pink lollipops or frosted cupcakes. This year we will celebrate Valentines Day as a family. My love notes will come after dinner in the form of a light and springy angel food cake with whipped cream and homemade fresh raspberry sauce.
This angel food cake recipe from Betty Crocker is simple to make and comes out beautifully.
Making a fruit sauce is delightfully easy. I dont like to use a lot of added sugar, especially when Ill be serving it with a sweet dessert, so I use fruit juice and agave nectar to sweeten and thin it. You can use strawberries, blueberries or blackberries instead of, or in addition to, the raspberries (of course the blue and black berries wont give you the same pinkish reddish Valentines Day hue), and experiment with different fruit juices like pomegranate, apricot or mango instead of orange.
Straining the sauce only takes a minute but its an important step so the final sauce isnt too full of seeds that get stuck in your teeth.
Reserve a few fresh berries to garnish the plates, with a sprig of mint if you have any growing in your yard.
Id love to hear how you make Valentines Day special in your home. Please leave a comment below sharing your ideas or traditions.