Sunday, May 19, 2013

Secret heart cake ― World Baking Day, May 19, 2013

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May 19th is World Baking Day.  The theme is 'Bake brave' or, in other words, try something you haven't tried before.

A week or so ago Vitam, one of the official sponsors, sent me this package with the encouragement to ‘bake brave‘.

To be honest, by the time I've baked the day's cupcakes for the café I don't exactly  have a lot of time or energy left to make something that stretches me to my limits. Having said that, for some time now I've seen pictures circulating on the internet of cakes with  a ‘surprise‘ inside.

I thought it would be kind of cool to give it a go since I haven't done it before. I'm always looking for recipes which are nice for encouraging the kids to get into baking, and something like this, which isn't really difficult but is exciting, is perfect.

The basic trick here is that you first bake a flat cake which has been tinted with colouring or fruit  (I used blueberry jam to tint my cake since I'm not that into artificial colour, although I'm pretty sure you'd get a far brighter contrast if you did use food colouring, such as red, and a nice sharp cutter. My heart cutter was a rather cheap one and the edges weren't as clear-cut as I'd have liked. My metal ones were all too big for the job) in a swiss roll tin/jellyroll pan. When the tray cake is cool, you take your cutter and cut out the heart shapes. Try not to over-bake the tray cake because it is, after all, going to get baked again.

Once your hearts are ready, prepare your cake tin. I used a ring-shaped tin, greased,  but I think a loaf shape would also be really good. There are many such pictures on the net. Make your favourite white cake recipe and put about one third of the batter into the tin. Then place your hearts curvy side down into the pan and top up with the rest of the batter tapping the tin gently to make sure that the cake batter goes all around. Bake as directed.

When you turn it out onto your plate or cake stand and it's cool, cover with some lovely ganache!

I used this basic white cake recipe but you can use any of your favourite recipes. Below is the recipe for the white part only. If you want to use the same recipe for your coloured part of the cake, make an extra half batch for that. 


Wet ingredients
1 cup of milk (room temperature)
6 egg whites (room temperature)
3 tsp vanilla extract

Dry ingredients
2¼ cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1¾ sugar

250g Vitam or butter (soft but not melted)


Mix together the egg whites, milk and extracts until just combined. Set aside.
Mix together the dry ingredients in your mixer. Add the vitam or butter and again mix until just combined.
Slowly add the wet ingredients and mix on medium until nicely combined but don't over beat.
Bake at 160°C for 25 to 30 minutes or until springy to  the touch.

Alternative ideas: You could just go the black-and-white route for contrast. Chocolate cake with white hearts or vice-versa. You could also use other cutters easily; I think that a ginger bread man shape would be quite cute, maybe stars, polka dots? If you fancied being more adventurous you could even make multi coloured polka dots...

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