Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Chocolate Cake

Despite all odds, love prevails! Well at least, when love is in the form of a cake it is guaranteed to do so.
I've spent the past few days with my Nanna in Maryborough.  We've been speaking chinese (badly, on my behalf), eating, gardening and shopping.  Today, on St Valentine's Day, I made the journey back home.  As soon as I hopped off the cramped train, I was off to the supermarket to get my cake ingredients.  Yes despite my tiredness, I felt compelled to get my "baking" fix as soon as possible, as well as satisfy my desire to make a "Valetine's Day" themed cake. A few hours later, I had my cake in the oven and sugar covered pink petals in hand.  But then trobule struck.  My sugar had gotten clumpy because of humidity.  Worse, still, the top layer of my cake crumbled when I went assemble it.  But as I said - love prevails when it comes to baking - so I quickly cut the bottom layer again into 2; filled it with strawberries and cream, and topped it with chocolate and sugar petals.  Valetine's Day success guaranteed.


Ingredients for Cake
185g unsalted butter
330g caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs, room temperature
75g self-raising flour
225g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
90g unsweetened cocoa powder
280mL buttermilk (or half greek yoghurt/half milk)
+ love heart shaped tin

Ingredients for Icing
1 1/2 cup icing sugar
2/3 cup quality cocoa
2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp butter, soft

Ingredients for Filling
125mL thickened cream, whipped
8 strawberries, halved and hulled

Ingredients for Sugar Petals
12-14 pink petals, non toxic
1 egg white
1/4 cup caster sugar
+ tray

Method for Cake, Icing and Assemblage
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (fan-forced) and grease and line a love heart shaped tin.  In a bowl, beat together the butter and sugar.  Beat in the vanilla.  Add the eggs one at a time, beat well after each addition.  Sift flour, bicarb soda, cocoa powder over this egg/butter mixture.  Don't stir yet.  Pour in the buttermilk; now stir all with a metal spoon or electric mixer.  Spoon smooth mixture into tin.  Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes.  Leave cake in tin for 5 - 10 minutes.  Carefully lift out.  Once completely cool, cut the cake in half to form 2 separate cakes.  Meanwhile, make icing (method below) and whip the cream.

To make the icing, beat together all ingredients until smooth.

To whip the cream, beat with cold mixer and cold bowl until thickened.  Approx 5 min.

To assemble, lay one of the chocolate sponge on a plate.  Top this with whipped cream.  Lay the halved strawberries on top of the cream; ensure some strawberries can be seen from the edge.  Now place next chocolate sponge layer on top.  Smooth the chocolate icing on top of this layer.  Top with pink sugar petals (method below).

Method for Sugar Petals
Lay a small baking tray out and cover with baking paper.  Get 12 - 14 pink petals and brush each one with egg white; both side.  Sprinkle with caster sugar until completely covered; tap excess off.  Lay on tray for a few hours (or overnight) in a dry, warm place.  Petals should harden.  Top chocolate layer cake with pink petals. 

Would you like a corner piece? Cream? Strawberry? The lot?
Happy Valentine's Day to my dear readers!

27 comments:

  1. That's a lovely Valentine Cake. Happy Valentine's Day, Brittany! You must have enjoyed your visit with your Nanna. Would love to hear you speak some Chinese! :)

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  2. Love the sugared petals!! I need to decorate like that a little more often-- I'm so concerned that the inside is good, that I never worry about the outside!

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  3. What a lovely, rich-looking Valentines Day cake! Bravo for being so creative and turning a potential disaster into a sweet success. :)

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  4. pretty! happy valentine's day to you!

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  5. I knew that you would have that oven fired up for Valentine's Day! I am preparing red velvet woopie pies with cream cheese and pecan fillings for my little sweethearts.

    Joyeuse St Valentin!
    Genie

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  6. With a beautiful cake like that, it's hard to believe you had any problems. I love the sugar petals!

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  7. Superbe gâteau pour la St-Valentin. Il a l'air trop bon!

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  8. I love the sugared roses on top of the dark chocolate. They are actually delicious too! Have you tried sugaring mint leaves? They are like a mint candy just a little stronger, but tasty.

    Glad you could save the cake. I hate when that happens, but a delicious filling is a wonderful idea. Not that I couldn't eat just plain cake, but filling and frosting are delightful!

    Have a wonderful Valentine's Day (oh, and to be able to speak Chinese, how wonderful. My family wants to learn that as my husband has started traveling to China to import for his business.)

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  9. Your cake looks wonderful, I'd never guess you had any mishaps. I'm tired of the humidity too. love the idea of sugared petals, I've never tried using real flowers.
    Happy Valentines Day!

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  10. Yes please - I'd love some!!!

    Happy Valentine's Day.

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  11. sugar petals look so pretty and I love the combination of dark chocolate with the strawbs and cream... delightful!

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  12. Ton gâteau est très beau et c'est à mon tour de saliver devant mon écran. Tu as un talent fou ma belle amie! Caro xxx Bonne St-Valentin!

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  13. This cake look gorgeous, it doesn't seem like you had any problems with it, but well done for persisting, I don't think anyone's going to complain about the addition of strawberries and cream ;)

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  14. what a perfect valentine's day treat! looks scrumptuous : )

    happy <3 day

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  15. Can't beat strawberries and cream ... unless it has chocolate in the mix too ;0)
    Looks great despite the hurdles!!

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  16. As my Mom usually says, when it's home made, it's always good, and as I usually say, when it's done with love, it's always good! And your cake just looks full of love and good products! Happy Valentine's day!

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  17. I love that cake ! I wish I had one like that tonight ! ;o)
    Hélène

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  18. To me your cake loos perfect -- please come and cook for me! x

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  19. Brittany, it's lovely to meet you! I live in Brisbane but most of the time my heart's in Paris...and beyond. Planning my next trip in a few montsh.

    Your recipes are finger-lickin' awesome. I can't wait to try some.

    Are you studying French at the Alliance Francaise? I studied in Brisbane for a year before my last trip and am afraid I've forgotten so much. I need to get back and immerse myself again.

    I have a blog totally devoted to Paris/France. You may like to visit:

    Pichets in Paris

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  20. Happy Valentine's Day! Your cake is gorgeous. It looks so beautiful with the yummy chocolate frosting and sugary flower petals:) I wish I had a piece right now.

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  21. We can always count on you to be savvy in the kitchen...clever save Brittany.
    Your cake is so sweet and cuddly.

    I'm so happy you had quality time with your Nanna...my Nonna and I used to do alot of that also...great, cherished memories ;o)

    Big hug to you my dear friend,
    Claudia

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  22. What a gorgeous cake! I am loving the scrumptious filling and the pretty rose petals - the whole lot for me please! Happy Valentine's!

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  23. So pretty with the sugared petals on top! :) It sounds delicious too, with the strawberry and cream filling. Yum! :)

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  24. Happy Valentine's day to you too!

    The cake looks very pretty indeed - anything filled with strawberries and cream sounds good to me.

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  25. This looks like the perfect Valentine's cake. Thank you for stopping by to visit, it is always a pleasure. I'll be posting even more interesting things on Paris!
    Hope you had a good day,
    Mimi

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  26. This is beautiful, just beautiful. Sounds like the perfect Valentine's Day dessert, especially since it's chocolate. Thanks for linking this up to Sweets for a Saturday.

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