Chocolate Valentine Cake

As chocolate is so often associated with love, this delicious cake is chocolate through and through.  The cake itself is a light whisked chocolate sponge.  The covering is a rich chocolate buttercream and the decorations are made from dark and white chocolate.  Make as a gift to your loved one or better still cuddle up together and share it.

To make the sponge
4 medium eggs
6 oz (175g) caster sugar
1 tablespoon glycerine
2.5 oz (75g) flour (sifted)
0.75 oz (25g) cocoa powder (sifted)
8″ heart shaped tin, greased and floured

Set oven to 200 deg C or Gas Mark 6.

Using an electric mixer, whisk together the eggs and caster sugar until mixture is light and creamy and leaves a trail when you take the whisk out of the mixture.  Gently Fold in the glycerine and then the sifted flour and cocoa.  Stir just enough to mix in the flour and cocoa as mixing too much will ‘knock’ the air out and the sponge will not be light.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for approx 15 minutes until the cake is firm to the touch and appears to be shrinking from the edges.  Remove from the oven and leave in the tin for 5 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To decorate

4oz (115g) butter (room temperature)
8oz (228g) icing sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
50 grams dark chocolate
50 grams white chocolate
Baking Parchment
Heart shaped cutters in three sizes (Available £1 for set of 3 in Morrisons)

Cut two pieces of baking parchment and tape to chopping boards.
Melt the dark chocolate and white chocolate in two separate bowls in the microwave or over a pan of hot water.  Spread the melted chocolate onto the pieces of baking parchment and spread out to approx 1cm thick.  Leave to set completely.

When the chocolate is set, take the large heart shape cutter and place on the white chocolate.  Press down hard and evenly.  Lift up the cutter (the shape will still be inside) and very gently ease the shape out.  Repeat with the small cutter.  Then use middle size cutter to cut out a dark chocolate heart.  Cut two more small hearts in both dark and white chocolate.

If the shapes break and/or you run out of chocolate.  Simply remelt and start again.  Do not worry if the white chocolate appears grainy when remelted.  The texture can change on the surface but the underside will be smooth.

To cover the cake

Beat the butter until soft and creamy and then beat in the icing sugar and cocoa powder until thouroughly mixed.  If the mixture is too firm add a little cold water.

Using a round bladed knife, spread the buttercream over the top and sides of the cake to give a fairly smooth surface.  Using a fork and starting at the top centre outside edge of the cake, press the prongs into the buttercream and follow the shape of the cake round to the point and repeat the other side.  Continue this process until the top of the cake is filled with the design.

Turn all the hearts over so you have a smooth surface.  Take the large white chocolate heart and gently press onto the cake at the bottom point.  Spread a little blob of buttercream onto this heart and apply the dark chocolate heart so that it is raised at the top edge.  Repeat with the small white heart.  You can place the hearts in the centre of each other, at the top of each other as I have or place all the points together (see picture above).

Finally take one each of the small white and dark hearts and place together into the icing at the top left hand side of the cake.  Repeat with the right hand side.

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