Thursday, 9 February 2012

As long as you're mine: Valentines Chocolate cakes

A little while back the people from Baking Mad asked me if I'd be interested in making their Valentines Chocolate Heart cakes for St Valentine's day. In this house we don't celebrate St Valentine's as such, we celebrate St Dwynwen's day (the Welsh equivalent) instead, and that's the 25th January.

However, I was still in hospital then, so this year we've been a bit betwixt and between with me not being well (still) and M working ridiculously long hours. So, I thought I'd make these Valentines chocolate heart cakes as a little something to make him smile.

The recipe is super duper easy, if you have a heart shaped muffin tin, or cake tin that's terrific. If not, then do as I did and bake in any cake tin you have and use a heart shaped cookie cutter to shape the cakes. I've got another post lined up for what to do with the offcuts - some Valentines cake pops! Which is a first from the Pantry.

If you have children that you want to get involved, this is a really easy recipe for them to help with. I would melt the chocolate in the microwave (in 30 second bursts to stop it burning), and let them go wild with the decorations! Most supermarkets (although Sainsbury's especially) have really fantastic baking sections these days, and if you can't go mad at Valentines, when can you? Snow Days, Easter, Christmas, Birthdays... Or is that just me looking for any excuse?

Valentines Hearts Cakes

125g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
3tbsp milk
150g softened butter
150g caster sugar
3 eggs
200g plain flour
1tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Butter and dust your tins with cocoa (if you use flour, you end up with a white dust on your cakes, cocoa eliminates this)
Melt the chocolate with the milk in a bain marie (bowl over a saucepan of simmering water). Once melted together, remove from the heat and let cool slightly while you start on the other ingredients
Beat the butter until it's pale in colour
Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy
Add the melted chocolate (it needs to have cooled to stop it scrambling the eggs in the next step)
Add in the eggs, one at a time  with a spoonful of flour with each egg to prevent it curdling
Sift in the rest of the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and bicarb
Fold in gently with a metal spoon
Scrape and pour the mixture into your tin or moulds
Cook in a preheated oven for 25 minutes for individual moulds, and for an hour for one big cake

Allow to cool completely, if cutting out heart shapes, remember your primary maths lessons on tesselation and work out how many you can fit in. Slice each in half with a sharp bread knife so that you double your heart shapes

Now make a White chocolate buttercream to fill your hearts with:

100g white chocolate
140g butter
140g Icing sugar

Beat the ingredients together (lay a damp teatowel over your mixing bowl to avoid the icing sugar dust going everywhere!) for a good 5-10 minutes until it's all combined. Check the taste, I found I preferred a little vanilla extract in there to round out the overall flavour. Using a really lovely white chocolate like Green and Blacks would eliminate the need for this.

The only thing you need to do now is decorate your hearts anyway you like. I used mini chocolate fingers stuck on around the edges. Did I mention M has an insanely sweet tooth? These are going to hit the spot perfectly with him. White chocolate frosted chocolate Valentine's Heart cakes... Well they say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach...

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Miss Whiplash said...

Am I being dim? What did you do with the melted chocolate?

Penny Aylwin said...

Nope, you're not. I just shouldn't write with a migraine and try to rely on my memory nto my notes!

Thanks for pointing it out. Added in now.

Miss Whiplash said...

Splendid - I shall make them asap :-)

Kate@whatkatebaked said...

We too celebrate 'both' Valentine's Day - any excuse for a little treat or two! Hope you are feeling lots better

Penny Aylwin said...

My birthday is the 15th so we don't 'really' do Valentine's on the 14th. That said, M now has cake and of course a little something will find it's way into his workbag!

Choclette said...

I made these too. Love the way you've decorated them.


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