Valentine’s Day Chocolate Cake!

Valentine's Day Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Cream | Photo by Zoë François

This Valentine’s Day chocolate cake was designed by my 9-year old son (who is now 18). He even instructed me on how I should put it together. His plan was to bake a sheet of cake and cut the layers with a heart shaped cookie cutter. Then stack them together with raspberry cream and pour a glossy chocolate ganache over the top. I know I’m biased, but I think he is brilliant.

Happy Valentine’s to my two sons, Henri and Charlie, and my husband Graham. My 3 muses.

Here is Henri’s vision, I must say this Valentine’s Day chocolate cake is as delicious as it is pretty.

Valentine’s Day Chocolate Cake Filled with Raspberry Cream

Devil’s Food Cake:

1 1/2 cups (320g) sugar

1 1/2 cups (215g) all-purpose flour

1/2 cup (50g) cocoa powder (either natural or Dutch processed)

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1 yolk

3/4 cup buttermilk (3/4 cup milk, plus 1 teaspoon lemon if you don’t have buttermilk)

1/3 cup oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (make your own)

1/2 cup coffee

1/8 cup rum (use more coffee if you don’t want the booze)

To make the cake:

Preheat oven to 350°F

Grease and line a 11×16″ Baking Sheet with parchment.

Whisk together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Sift the cocoa and baking soda if they are lumpy.

Whisk in the liquid ingredients, until smooth. Pour into prepared pan and spread evenly with an offset spatula.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until just set or a tester comes out with moist crumb.

Raspberry cream:

You can use either whipping cream or make a batch of buttercream for something a little more decadent.

1 batch buttercream

or

2 cups heavy whipping cream

plus

1/3 cup raspberry preserves

Ganache topping:

1 pound bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

2 cups heavy cream

Cutting hearts out of a chocolate sheet cake with a heart-shaped cookie cutter | Photo by Zoë François

Cut the devil’s food cake with a Heart Cookie Cutter. Depending on the size of your cutter this will get you about 12 2-layer cakes per sheet.

Filling the chocolate heart-shaped cakes with raspberry cream

to make the cream: whip the heavy cream until soft peaks, add the raspberry preserves and continue whipping until stiff peaks. Fill a Pastry Bag, fitted with a round pastry tip and pipe the cream on half of the heart shaped cakes.

Valentine's Day Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Cream | Photo by Zoë François

Top the cream with another layer of cake. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you make the ganache.

Make the ganache: Heat cream until just to simmer. Remove from heat. Dump in all of the chopped chocolate, swirl the pot to make sure the chocolate is completely covered by the cream. Let sit for about 3 minutes and then gently whisk until smooth. Allow to cool slightly to thicken enough to cling to the cakes.

Valentine's Day Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Cream, covered in ganache | Photo by Zoë François

To pour the ganache on the cakes you will need to set them on a cooling rack that is over a sheet pan lined with parchment. You want to do this to catch all of the dripping chocolate.

Slowly pour the ganache over the cake, starting in the middle and working outward. Be sure to check all the sides as you go. As you can see there will be a lot pooled up on the parchment, but you will scrape that up and be able to remelt and use again.

If your ganache starts to get too thick, return the pot to the stove and heat on very low heat, just for a moment.

Valentine's Day Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Cream | Photo by Zoë François

Allow the cakes to set at room temperature for about 20 minutes. If you need to refrigerate them, they will lose their shine. Once you return them to room temperature the shine will come back.

Valentine's Day Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Cream | Photo by Zoë François

Valentine's Day Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Cream | Photo by Zoë François