For the heart cake:
125g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
200g plain flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
Bright Red Gel Food Colour
For the chocolate cake:
115g caster sugar
2 medium eggs, beaten
1tsp Vanilla Extract
100g plain flour
25g cocoa powder
5ml Baking Powder
To decorate – Chocolate Buttercream:
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
250g icing sugar
50g dark chocolate, melted
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 7cm deep, 450g loaf tin. To make the heart centre; Put the butter in a bowl with the caster sugar and eggs. Sieve the flour and Baking Powder on top. Carefully mix all the ingredients together then whisk for a few seconds until well blended.
Mix in sufficient Red Gel Food Colour to make a vibrant shade and spoon into the loaf tin. Smooth the top and bake for about 1 hour until risen and firm to the touch. Cool for 5 minutes, before turning on to a wire rack to cool completely.
Put the cold loaf cake on a board and slice off both crusty ends. Cut the loaf into 7 slices. Using a 7.5cm wide heart shaped cutter, cut out 1 heart from each slice. Place on a tray lined with baking parchment and freeze the hearts for 30 minutes.
For the chocolate cake, wash out the loaf tin and grease it again. Put the butter in a bowl with the caster sugar, eggs and Vanilla. Sieve the flour, cocoa and Baking Powder on top. Carefully mix all the ingredients together then whisk for a few seconds until well blended.
Thickly spread some of the cake mixture over the bottom and sides of the tin, making sure it is completely covered. Arrange the sponge hearts, upright, down the length of the tin, closely together so that they support each other.
Carefully spoon the remaining cake mixture on top of the hearts, gently tapping the tin on the work surface to help the mixture settle round the hearts. Make sure the hearts are well covered in cake mixture to help create the surprise.
Put the tin on a baking tray and bake in the oven for about 50 minutes until risen and firm to the touch. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from the tin, and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
To decorate: In a large mixing bowl, use an electric hand whisk to beat together the butter until pale and soft. Add half the icing sugar and beat on a low setting at first, so the icing sugar doesn’t puff up and out of your bowl. Beat on a higher setting until smooth, then repeat with the rest of the icing sugar. Continue to beat for 1-2 minutes, until pale and fluffy.
To melt the chocolate to add to your buttercream, place a pan of water over a low heat. Bring to a gentle simmer and place a heatproof bowl over the top, making sure it doesn’t touch the water – the heat should come from the steam only.Break up the chocolate, add to the bowl and let it slowly melt. Stir gently. You don’t want the chocolate to burn, so when nearly all the chocolate has melted, remove from the heat and stir constantly until completely melted. Let cool slightly then add to the buttercream and mix until combined and smooth.
Put the loaf cake on the wire rack over a tray. Spoon over the buttercream on the top of the loaf. Leave to stand in a cool place for several minutes to allow the buttercream to set before transferring to a serving plate. I added some red sprinkle and vanilla heart biscuits. Your cake is ready to slice and surprise!
Inside the cake