Hidden heart cake

  • Total Time

    2h 30m
    • Prep Time

      1h 0m
    • Bake Time

      1h 30m
  • Serves

    8
  • Skill Level

    Advanced
  • Dietary Needs

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Have a go at baking this lovely romantic loaf cake, which has a surprise centre when cut - perfect for a valentine’s gift!

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (fan 160°C, gas mark 40. Line and grease a 2lb loaf tin.

  2. First make the pink sponge. Cream together the sugar and softened butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten eggs, adding a tablespoon of the flour after each addition if it looks like the mixture is starting to curdle.

  3. Mix in the vanilla extract. Sift together the baking powder and flour before folding into the mixture.

  4. Add the pink food colour until you get to your desired shade. Note: a concentrated, artificial colour will give a stronger shade and not lose its colour in the oven as some natural colours may.

  5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 40-45 minutes or until well risen, firm and a skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

  6. Once cooled cut the cake carefully into 3cm slices and stamp out a heart shape from each slice using a heart cutter, which is approximately 5cm/2in diameter. Tip: use your pink cake off cuts to make cake pops – you could even freeze to do this at a later date.

  7. For the chocolate sponge: Cream together the sugar and softened butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten eggs, adding a tablespoon of the flour after each addition if it looks like the mixture is starting to curdle. Mix in the chocolate extract. Sift together the baking powder, flour and cocoa powder before folding into the mixture with the milk.

  8. Grease and line the 2lb tin again. Add a small amount of the chocolate mixture to the tin until it is approximately 3cm deep – try to keep the thickness the same all the way along the bottom.

  9. Pack the heart shaped cut outs together tightly in a row and gently place in the centre of the loaf tin, leaving a gap of approximately 2cm at each end. Be careful not to push the cut outs right to the bottom of the tin. Spoon over the remaining cake mixture, ensuring the top of the hearts are covered.

  10. Bake for approximately 45-50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes before removing onto a wire rack.

  11. To make the buttercream: melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water before leaving to cool slightly. Beat the icing sugar into the softened butter and add the vanilla. Mix in the melted chocolate, adding the milk if required.

  12. Decorate your cake once cooled with the buttercream and chocolate sprinkles.

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