With Valentine’s Day coming up next week, get prepared to win over your valentine with your baking skills!
If your valentine is anything like me…or human, chocolate cake is definitely the way to their heart. This cake isn’t as difficult as it looks but you should gain some extra brownie points for the added effort of adding a surprise heart to the centre of your cake.
This cake actually won me a bottle of Prosecco for a bake off in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity…probably the more likely way to my heart on second thoughts.
The cake looks pretty impressive and tastes really good too. So if you’ve got someone to impress this Valentine’s Day, here’s how to make The Cornish Cook’s Valentines Chocolate Hidden Heart Cake.
For the Pink Sponge
175g Unsalted Butter | 175g Caster Sugar | 3 Eggs | 1 tsp Vanilla Extract | 175g Self-Raising Flour | 1/2 tsp Baking Powder | Pink or Red Food Colouring
For the Chocolate Sponge
175g Unsalted Butter | 175g Caster Sugar | 3 Eggs | 1 tsp Chocolate Extract (optional) | 150g Self-Raising Flour | 1/2 tsp Baking Powder | 35g Cocoa Powder | 1 tbsp Milk
For the Chocolate Ganache Topping
100ml Double Cream | 200g Dark Chocolate | 50g Unsalted Butter
I’ve chosen Crushed Frozen Strawberry’s but there are lots of options here. Why not try your Valentine’s Favourite Chocolates, Edible Rose Petals or Edible Flowers, Fresh Raspberries, Love Heart Sprinkles or Piped Roses if you’ve got the skills?
Start with your pink cake. Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees c. Cream your butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add your beaten eggs gradually and whisk until twice the size. Add your vanilla extract and mix, before folding in the sieved flour and baking powder. Add a small dash of food colouring then continue to add until you have the colour you want the heart to be. Add your mixture to a lined loaf tin and bake for 40-45 mins. Take the cake out of the tin after about 10 minutes then leave to cool on a wire rack.
Once cooled cut the pink loaf cake into inch thick slices. Cut a heart out of each of these with a heart shaped cookie cutter. I actually did mine freehand so it is doable but not advisable. Why not make some cake pops with the left over cake (if you can stop yourself taste testing that is)?
Now for the chocolate cake. Beat the sugar, butter and eggs as you did previously then add your chocolate extract (if you’re using it) as you did the vanilla previously. Now sift the cocoa powder in at the same time as the flour and baking powder and fold in as before. The mixture can be quite dry so I like to add a dash of milk at this stage.
Re-line your loaf tin with baking paper. Add about a third of the chocolate cake mix into the tin. Now line up your heart shaped cake pieces and push them into the chocolate mixture so they are almost touching the very bottom of the cake tin. It’s important that the hearts are tight together and that there is a small gap left on either end of the cake tin. Then simply add the rest of your chocolate cake mixture around the hearts until it’s all in the tin and the hearts are completely covered. Bake again but this time for slightly less time since the middle is effectively already cooked. About 35-40 minutes should do. Then leave to cool in its tin before transferring to your wire rack again.
While your cake is in the oven you can make a chocolate ganache to top it. Simply melt the three ingredients gently over a saucepan of simmering water. Once combined and looking lovely and glossy, allow to cool stirring occasionally while you wait for your cake to also cool. Spoon over your cake once cooled then decorate to your liking.