Heart-shaped Chocolate Box Cake
It may seem ambitious but this cake and chocolate combination is easier than you might think. It makes an impressive Valentine’s Day gift where you can show off both your chocolate and baking skills. The idea is to use the cake as a chocolate box to showcase your home-made truffles.
- 125g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing the tins
- 50g cocoa powder
- 75ml boiling water
- 50ml full-fat milk
- 115g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 150g golden caster sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- For the raspberry buttercream:
- 50g fresh raspberries
- 125g unsalted butter, softened
- 250g icing sugar, sifted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp milk
- To decorate:
- 600g dark chocolate, chopped, or callets
- Acetate sheets
- 2 x 25cm heart-shaped cake tins
- Baking paper
- Cling film
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Grease and line the cake tins with baking paper.
Put the cocoa powder in a heatproof bowl. Pour the boiling water into the cocoa and stir until smooth. Leave to cool slightly before adding the milk. Stir to combine.
In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt together. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, cream the 125g butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the sugar and beat for another 5 minutes. Mix in the vanilla extract.
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for 1 minute between each addition.
Gently add half the flour and mix in until just combined, then add half the cocoa mixture. Repeat with the remaining flour and cocoa mixture, then pour evenly into the prepared heart-shaped tins.
Bake for 30 minutes or until a cocktail stick inserted into the centre of one of the cakes comes out clean.
Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
FOR THE BUTTERCREAM
Use a fork to mash the raspberries, then set aside.Beat the butter until smooth and creamy, then add the sugar gradually and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla. Add the mashed raspberries and beat until combined. Beat in the milk.
Level the cooled cakes with a palette knife. Place one of the cakes on a cake board or stand to form the bottom layer, and spread a thick layer of buttercream over it. Top with the second cake, then spread a thin layer of buttercream over the top and then the sides of the whole cake, covering it completely. This is your crumb coat to be covered in chocolate.
Line one of the now empty cake tins with cling film.
Melt and temper the chocolate (Click here for Molly’s guide to melting and tempering chocolate). Pour a third of the melted chocolate evenly into the prepared tin, then tap the tin on a flat surface to remove any air bubbles. Set aside for the chocolate to set.
Once set, carefully remove the chocolate from the tin and place over the top of the layer cake.
For the sides of the cake, cut 2 strips of acetate, each the length of one side of the heart (from the top centre point to the bottom centre point) and about 5cm deeper than the crumb-coated cake. You can use baking paper as a template by tracing round the cake.
Using a palette knife, spread a thick layer of chocolate on one of the strips of acetate, covering the entire surface. Working quickly and with the chocolate facing the cake, position the strip around one side of the cake – from the bottom centre point to the top centre point. Use your hands to smooth it in place. Leave to set, and repeat with the second strip of acetate for the other side of the cake.
Once the chocolate has set, gently peel away the strips of acetate.
You will now have a beautiful chocolate box cake to fill with your home-made truffles or filled chocolates of your choice. This method can also be used for a square or round cake if preferred.