Wednesday 20 February 2013

Chocolate Heart Cakes - Valentines

   As you all know by now, I cheat. I prefer box mixes to making my own because it never seems to go my way if I need a big cake. It usually burns on the top and stays runny in the middle, and if it does cook right through it won't come out of the pan, and if it does come out, it's usually in pieces. I thought it would be the same with box mixes, but actually the best cakes I've ever made have come from a box.
   This Valentine's day, I returned to my favourite box mix because a) it's delicious, and b) I could rely on it co-operating in a big tin.

   I'm rather proud of how they came out. I used the same Betty Crocker cake mix that I did with my dinosaur fossil bed cake, but in a slightly bigger tin to make a thinner cake. That didn't actually happen, though, it still came out quite thick, so once it cooled I sliced the cake through the middle.
   Once that was done, I took a heart cookie cutter - I used 4cm for the most part - and went to town on the sponge. There was a lot left over because I wasn't very economical with the heart cutting, so I put that all to one side. Well, most of it anyway. There are certain benefits to being the baker.
   I then took the same yummy chocolate icing that I used on my dinosaur cake, also from Betty Crocker, and put a layer over the hearts. This was quite difficult given their size. The sponge is gorgeously soft, but the icing is quite thick, so I had to hold the cake firmly enough that spreading the icing wouldn't break the cake, and gently enough that I didn't crush it.
   Once I'd done all this, I moved onto the chocolate. I'd never used chocolate transfer sheets before, and with my experience, I expected it to go wrong, but I thought I'd take the risk. The chocolate could always be remelted.
   Well, this part actually went very well. Chocolate transfer sheets are thin sheets of plastic with patterns printed onto them, made from cocoa powder and colouring. They come in a whole range of images, patterns and colours. I went for a nice subtle one. I had intended to buy a gold one that I'd seen several times before, but I couldn't find it when I wanted to buy it, but this scrolling one suited me fine.

   Here's a little tutorial I put together on how to use chocolate transfer sheets, but for the sake of consolidating information:
   I melted the chocolate in a double burner (saucepan filled with water, boiling on a hob, with a heatproof bowl sat on top with the chocolate in it) and then spread it thin over the transfer sheets. I had worried that by dolloping the chocolate on and then spreading it across I would smudge the pattern, but nothing of the sort happened. It seems to be Kim-proof, so it's certainly fool-proof.
   I put the chocolate in the freezer to hurry it along, and then I took a 3cm heart cutter and cut hearts out of the chocolate. Once again, I wasn't as economical as I could have been, so there were a lot of scraps left. I put them to one side again. I actually made far too many hearts, I probably could also have gotten away with only melting one chocolate bar rather than two, but nevermind. I froze the chocolate for a little longer and after twenty minutes was able to break all of the hearts out. I positioned them on the icing and that was that.

    The scraps didn't go to waste, either. We had them for dessert a few nights later. Cake scraps, chocolate scraps, a few left over raspberries that didn't get added to a smoothie, a couple of left over chocolate hearts, and some whipped cream. It was gorgeous, actually.

1 comment:

  1. Your blog is making me droooool! I'm gonna have to go to the supermarket and get some of this stuff up in my face ;) yum yum!


I do read every single comment, and I will try to respond where I can. If you have an important question about my blog or my shop, however, then you might be better off contacting me directly by email. Thanks so much for reading my blog!