Valentine’s Day Chocolate Cake!

This Valentine’s Day chocolate cake was designed by my 9-year old son (who is now almost 20). 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. You can watch me make the cake in my Instagram video.

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

Watch me put the cakes together in my instagram video.

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.

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.

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.

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. See my instagram video to make sure it is the right consistency.

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.

Leave simple or add some red pearls.

Or sprinkle with Raspberry Dust!

 

61 thoughts to “Valentine’s Day Chocolate Cake!”

  1. Henri, you are destined to become a most brilliant chef/dessert chef – this is a lovely dessert that melds so many wonderful flavors – chocolate, whipped cream, raspberry, blackberry. Here’s one dessert I’ll have to make !

  2. Henri…you are talented in so many ways…and this is just one of the many reasons you are my special, special friend! Happy Valentines to all the Francois…xoxo

  3. Gorgeous, lady! Aaron came home talking about eating them at your house – I had to check in and see what all the stir was about! Lucky little devil!

    Way to go Henri – you rock!!

    Z – the pictures are awesome…you rock too! 😉

    XO J

  4. Thank you all for the fabulous comments. I will have Henri come and read them, he will be so proud that you liked his idea! 🙂

    Happy Valentine’s Day to you all!

    Zoë

    ps Jen, I meant to send them home with A. Aaaargh!

  5. Oh, my lord! Henri has inherited his mother’s gifts. What a beautiful idea.

    Zoë, do you do your own food styling for your pictures. The cake with the petals and then the bud atop is just stunning to me. Your talents have no end. (And I hope you don’t think me impertinent for asking!)

    -Bubbles

  6. Thanks Bubbles!

    Yes, I do my own styling and photography. It turns out that you can buy bags of rose petals at your local florist!

    Cheers! Zoë

  7. Someone is following in Mama’s footsteps! I love that he even had an opinion about Valentine’s Day! You’ve got to teach those boys early! (I have two of my own.)

  8. This is one of most beautiful things I have seen for Valentine. Your son is so gifted !! I will try to make them for my family. Thanks for sharing it !!

  9. Those are amazing, I showed my 10 year old daughter the pictures and she wants to make them over the weekend to share with friends. Please tell Henri I said thank you for the wonderful idea!
    Jane

  10. Henri, you’re brilliant!this is a perfect Valentine’s cake, you can be proud of you 😉
    I have a 9-year old girl but she never had a Valentine’s vision.. although she dreams alot of chocolate cakes!!

  11. My 9yro is my creative muse as well! He makes my heart smile. I’m going to make these with soy, if you have any tips for using soymilk before doing this please let me know! Happy Valentines Day to you and yours.

  12. Hi Glaucia,

    He mentioned it at dinner. It took me about 45 minutes to make the cake (baking included and you can do ahead!), 15 to make the ganache and another 5 to whip the cream. Depending on how quickly your ganache sets up it will take about an hour to assemble and let them set up. I give yourself a couple of hours, but there is plenty of down time to do other things during that time!

    Have fun! Zoë

  13. Zoe, you have a real foodie on your hands! Henri has the right idea! I love how petite and cute these little bits of chocolate heaven are!

    Happy Vday to your lovely family and you.

  14. Yes, Esi you are exactly right! I used to have something on the menu like it when I worked with Andrew Zimmern and he called them “Kick A– Ho Hos!” I had forgotten about that! LOL.

    Zoë

  15. Hi Aran,

    I actually think he will be the food critic and Charlie will be the chef! I live with men that have very strong opinions about food. But, they’ll try just about anything and I love it!!! 😉

    Zoë

  16. Zoe- your son is brilliant 🙂 He actually sounds like my son- who gives similar advice about recipes as well as photo set-up ideas. They’re so sweet, aren’t they?

    These look delicious. I did choc. dipped brownies and cookies (both heart shaped) for Val. Day this year. Never thought to do cakes. Next year will be cakes!

  17. How wonderful that Henri is so in tune with food and chocolate! He’ll have no problem get a nice Valentine when the time comes, if it did not happen already with this creation! A family of food critics and chef …yeah!

    1. Hi Jay,

      I rarely do public events other than for my books, so I was just updating the bread site event page. I will do both from now on, thanks for the reminder.

      Zoë

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