Since I enjoy baking (who would have guessed that?!), I decided that whether we are going out on Valentine’s Day or having dinner in our pajamas on the couch, dessert would be at home. I want to make something that takes a little bit of time to create and looks beautiful. Chocolate Raspberry Hearts are perfect for this. A light chocolate sponge cake is cut into hearts, filled with lightly sweetened cream cheese ,whipping cream and fresh raspberries, and topped off with chocolate ganache. The recipe makes four small, layered cakes, perfect for two people to enjoy on the 14th and the 15th. Here’s how to put them together:
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line the bottom of a 13x9-inch baking pan with parchment paper; set aside.
Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine 3/4 cup sugar, room temperature eggs and vanilla. Having your eggs at room temperature is important because when you beat them, they’ll become fluffier than if you beat them right from the refrigerator.
Beat at high speed for about five minutes or until the mixture is fluffy, thick and pale yellow in color.
Stir in the melted butter and then gently stir the flour mixture into the fluffy eggs until just combined. It’s best to do this by hand. Don’t overmix – as soon as it’s combined, set down your spoon!
Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 11-13 minutes. You’ll know the cake is done if the center springs back when touched. Run a knife around the edges to loosen the sides, and allow it to cool.
While the cake is cooling, make the filling and ganache. For the filling, combine 1/4 cup of sugar, softened cream cheese and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in a bowl; beat until creamy. Add in 1/2 cup whipping cream and continue to beat until soft peaks form.
Ganache is so simple (and delicious by the spoonful, by the way). Place 1/4 cup whipping cream into a small saucepan; cook over low heat until bubbles form around the edge, but do not boil.
Add dark chocolate chips and stir until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and – ta-da! Ganache!
Now for the assembly.
Flip the cake onto a cutting board and cut out 8 heart shapes using a medium-sized cookie cutter.
Spread two tablespoons of filling onto four of the hearts.
Place five raspberries onto each and gently press them into the filling.
Spread one tablespoon filling onto each of the remaining four hearts, and place them on top of the raspberries, filling-side down.
For the final touch, spread ganache over the top. Allow it to drip over the sides, but without completely covering them.
Don’t these Chocolate Raspberry Hearts look tempting? You and your sweetheart will enjoy this decadent dessert for Valentine’s Day.