On Valentine's Day pour your soul into a DIY gift.
Bake your love.
Here's her suggestion for Valentine's Day:
Chocolate Valentine‘s Cakes
Forget the usual chocolates and roses for Valentine’s Day; instead, say “I Love You” with these chocolate heart-shaped cakes coated with dark chocolate ganache and topped with sugar paste roses.
Ready-made flowers are available from specialty stores and online, but making your own roses is really very simple, just make them 24 hours before topping the cakes to allow them to dry.
1⅓ sticks unsalted butter,
softened,plus 1 tablespoon,melted
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
7oz (200g) plain chocolate, chopped
3/4cup superfine sugar
4 medium eggs, separated
1 cup ground almonds
2 tablespoons freeze-dried raspberry crispies (optional)
pinch of salt
sugar paste roses, to decorate
fresh berries, to decorate
CHOCOLATE GANACHE :
7oz (200g) dark chocolate (72% cacoa solids)
⅔stick unsalted butter
2 tablespoons heavy cream
You will need 6 x 4in. (10cm) heart-shaped cake pans with a depth of 11/4in. (3cm).
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Brush the insides of the pans with the melted butter and dustwith 1 tablespoon of the all-purpose flour, tapping out any excess.
Melt the chopped chocolate either in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, or in a microwave on a low setting. Stir until smooth and set aside to cool slightly.
Cream the butter and sugar until pale, light, and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and stir until combined. Add the cooled melted chocolate and stir again.
Mix the remaining 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour with the ground almonds, freeze-dried raspberies, if using, and salt. Add to the chocolate mixture and mix thoroughly.
In a clean bowl,whisk the eggwhites until they reach stiff peaks. Stir one quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to loosen and then, using a large metal spoon, fold in the remainder.
Line the bottom of the cake pans with parchment paper and divide the mixture between them all, then arrange on a baking sheet and bake on the middle rack of the preheated oven for 20 minutes, until risen and firm to the touch. Leave to cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then carefully run a small palette knife around the edges and turn the cakes onto a cooling rack and leave until cold.
To make the ganache, melt together the chocolate, butter, and heavy cream either in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water or in amicrowave on a lowsetting. Stir until smooth and combined.
Set aside to cool and thicken slightly. Using a palette knife, spread the ganache over the top of each cake and leave to set before decorating with sugar paste roses or fresh berries.
Stored in an airtight container or cake tin, these will keep for about 4 days.
(* Recipe from Gifts from the Kitchen by Annie Rigg reproduced courtesy of Kyle Books, Photos by Catherine Gratwicke, all rights reserved)