Moist chocolate cake, rich butter cream, a secret little surprise hidden within. Could there be any better baked representation of love? Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. I love the romance, the flowers, the cards. I know it’s irrational, but I still want it. Unfortunately my boyfriend isn’t so keen. Perhaps these cute little cupcakes will give satisfy my need for hearts and flowers and take the pressure off him this year!
I’ve seen lots of these cakes popping up over the internet, with their secret hearts hidden in the middle. I really wanted to give them a try. I love the notion of that heart hidden in the middle, they’re like little chocolatey metaphors about the love and feelings we tuck away. There was more than a little guess work that went into these, and a not insignificant amount of trial and error. I’m so pleased with the way they turned out, and although they take a little time, they’re actually a lot easier than they look. My first attempt had hearts that were too big, they came up above the top of the cooked cupcake and when they were cut into, they took up too much space and lost their lovely heart shape. For the next attempt, I made the hearts smaller and this worked perfectly. They’re a delightful little treat for someone you love, or to just delight in yourself!
Secret Heart Cupcakes
(makes 8 cakes)
6oz self raising flour
6oz caster sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
1tsp pink food colouring
Cream together the butter and sugar until very pale and creamy. In stages, add in the eggs and flour and beat until well combined. Add the vanilla essence and beat in.
Separate about a third of the mixture into another bowl. Add about a teaspoon of food colouring and mix until the colour is even. I’ve used pink, but you can use any colour you like.
Spread the mixture into a small tin and bake until just cooked. Cool completely.
Once it’s cool, transfer the cake onto a chopping board. Use a small heart shaped cutter to cut 8 heart shapes from the cake. To get the right size measure your cutter against your cases, you want the heart to come to about the top of the case. You can cut them out using a sharp knife if you don’t have a cutter the right size. Put them onto a tray and pop them in the freezer for about 20 minutes, this will help stop them over baking when you put them back in the oven.
Meanwhile, mix the cocoa powder into the remaining mixture. Line a cupcake tray, and put a small spoon of the mixture into the bottom of each case. Stand a heart into each case and carefully spoon more cake mixture around, and over, each heart.
Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes.
Cool and decorate with Butter Cream and Valentines hearts.