Let's just say I never pass up an opportunity to make cake. There's a charity bake sale at work tomorrow so I have dutifully churned out nearly 20 of these little cakes.
Aren't they cute? You know they are. And surprisingly easy to make. You may in fact recognise some of this recipe from my raspberry and chocolate entremets, which I made for French patisserie week of the Great British Bake Off. Bake smart, not hard.
I ended up with a lot of raspberry mousse left over - it is lovely by itself or with the remaining cake bits after you've cut out your heart-shaped sponges.
You will need:
For the sponge:
250g softened butter
250g caster sugar
4 medium eggs
200g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
A splash of milk, if needed
2 shallow rectangular baking trays, lined
small heart-shaped biscuit cutter
For the mousse:
1 sachet gelatine or vege-gel
500ml double cream
70g icing sugar
1 piping bag or cone of greaseproof paper
handful of raspberries
icing sugar, to dust
1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Cream together the butter and caster sugar with a wooden spoon.
2. Weigh out the cocoa, flour and mix together with the baking powder. Begin beating the eggs in one at a time, adding a tablespoon of dry ingredients with each egg to stop the mixture from curdling.
3. Fold in the remaining flour and if the mixture is slightly stiff (it should ribbon off the spatula or spoon) beat in a little milk to loosen the mixture.
4. Split the batter across the two baking trays and spread it evenly with a spatula or palette knife. The mixture will look thin but don't panic - we want that.
5. Bake the sponge for 8-10 minutes until risen and cooked through (check the middle particularly carefully) and leave to cool.
6. While the sponge is cooling, mix together the raspberries, gelling agent and icing sugar for the mousse together in a own and leave to simmer for 10 minutes over a medium heat.
7. When the mixture has simmered down to a fruity red liquid, force it through a sieve to remove all the pips.
8. Meanwhile, whip the cream for the mousse to soft peaks.
9. Once the raspberry mixture is lukewarm, fold it into the cream until fully combined.
10. By now the sponge should be cold. Use the biscuit cutter to cut heart shaped sponge layers out of it.
11. Place the biscuit cutter on top of a sponge heart and use the piping bag or greaseproof paper to fill the space with mousse, then smooth it down with the back of a teaspoon and carefully lift off the cutter. Repeat until half the sponge hearts are topped with mousse.
12. Put the remaining sponge hearts on top of the mousse layers on the other sponge hearts, forming sandwiches with mousse as the filling. Scatter around some raspberries on the serving plate and dust with icing sugar.
There you have it. A perfect romantic treat and if you're single, all that means is there's no one to judge you when you scoff three in a row.
As this recipe contains fresh cream, remember to refrigerate your cakes if you're not eating them straight away and eat within a couple of days. If they hang around that long.
Happy Valentine's Day,