My husband has a habit of accusing me of always making the cakes I want to make and never making the ones he would have chosen. He does have a fair point, but then again, some partners don’t get any cake at all! He’s one of the lucky ones.
Even though he may have a case, I decided that with Valentines day coming up I really should design his ideal cake. After all, he is my Valentine. He loves chocolate and he loves chocolate buttercream and chocolate ganache. He also likes strawberries. He does not like me to add dried fruit, apples or marzipan to cakes, but luckily those ingredients are not my first choice for Valentines day either.
If you are wondering where the strawberries are, I will admit that there are no real strawberries in this cake, just strawberry flavouring in the heart shaped layer. However, if I was making it again I would be tempted to coat some strawberries in chocolate and place them around the bottom of the cake. I would also be tempted to add a layer of strawberry jam and vanilla buttercream in the middle of the strawberry heart cake.
Maybe I shouldn’t have said that as my lovely husband thought this cake was fantastic. I don’t want him to think it wasn’t as good as it could have been. I also have to think about the future. As I get better at making cakes, he may start to expect more, I might then have to try even harder. I may never be able to get away with making a plain chocolate cake ever again.
Ingredients – Serves 10-12
350g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
250g softened butter or margarine
210g caster sugar
2tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp strawberry flavouring
For the dark chocolate ganache
150g dark chocolate chips
180ml double cream
For the white chocolate ganache
100g white chocolate chips
120ml double cream
For the chocolate flavour buttercream
120g icing sugar
1 tbsp cocoa
How to Make Chocolate and Strawberry Valentines Heart Cake
1. Sift the baking powder and flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar, butter and eggs. Mix and beat together with a wooden spoon.
2. Take out about 1/3 of the mixture. Add the strawberry flavouring to this third and beat in with the wooden spoon. Spoon the mixture into a small 15cm cake tin, greased and lined with baking paper.
3. Add a spoonful of hot water to the cocoa powder and mix to form a paste. Add this to the remaining cake mixture and beat in. Spoon this mixture into a slightly larger cake tin that has also been greased and lined. I used an 18cm tin.
4. Bake the cakes in the oven at 160C for about 50 minutes. Check they are done by inserting a skewer into the centre of the cakes. It should come out clean.
5. Cool the cakes in the tins for about 5-10 minutes and then turn them out to cool completely on wire racks.
6. When the cakes have cooled, use a bread knife to slice off the top part of the cake as they will have risen in the middle. Turn the cakes upside down so they have a smoother top.
7. Make the buttercream by beating together the butter and icing sugar. Then add the cocoa powder, dissolved in a little water, as above.
8. Slice the chocolate cake in half horzontally. Before you separate the halves, put a little blob of buttercream on the side so that when you put the cake back together you can see exactly where to put the top layer. This stops the cake looking wonky if it hasn’t been sliced evenly. Spread the buttercream over the bottom layer and then put the other layer back on top.
9. Make the ganaches one at a time by putting the cream and chocolate in the microwave together. Heat for a minute. Stir and then keep heating for 20 seconds at a time then stirring. Stop as soon as the chocolate has melted and forms a smooth ganache. Leave to cool and thicken.
10. When the ganache has cooled to a thick pouring consistency, pour over the cake and spread down the sides using a palette knife. Put the chocolate ganache on the round chocolate cake and the white chocolate ganache on the heart-shaped strawberry cake. Keep the cakes on the wire racks while you do this so any extra ganache drops below the cake and doesn’t pool around the bottom. Leave to set.
11. Pour some of the leftover chocolate ganache onto a baking tray lined with clingfilm. Put it in the fridge to set.
12. Put the heart shaped cake on top of the round one. Cut out a heart shape from the chocolate ganache and place it in the middle of the heart cake.
I am linking this to Love Cake at JibberJabberUK and Alphabakes, hosted this month by Caroline Makes and on alternate months by The More Than Occasional Baker. This is also my Recipe of the Week at A Mummy Too.