With the annual gushy-lovey day approaching and a spare rainy Sunday I decided to attempt a recipe I have been thinking about for a while, trying to work out how to get a secret little cake within a cake (inspired by The Great British Bake Off, and also that well known baker of cake Lauren Conrad!)
Have to admit, my man and I do enjoy an excuse to go out for a nice meal and some time together but we don’t really ever celebrate on the day itself. I’m a bit of a miser with money and hate the inflated for one day only prices and also gushing love really does put me off my meal when I am surrounded by couples declaring their undying forevers to each other whilst I’m tucking into something utterly delicious… bleurgh.
Anyways, on with the recipe and not my ranting!
So here they are in all their glory.
I was rather chuffed with the outcome and hope yours will turn out the same.
The recipe I used for the batter mix was from another post I made The best Vanilla sponge recipe ever!
1. Prepare sponge batter mix as per the recipe in the link above till no. 8 in the method.
2. Divide the batter mix. I separated a third of the mixture in to a separate bowl, and the other two thirds I put to one side (even in the fridge if your kitchen is quite warm)
3. Then add red food colouring. The density of the colour is up to you, but I definitely think the more you dare, they more you are rewarded as the stark difference in colour of the sponges really adds to the secret heart in the cupcake!
4. Prepare and line a baketray (one that you would use for making flapjacks or brownies)
5. Pour the red batter mixture in to the baketray, smoothing the batter down. The aim is to have batter mixture of about half an inch or less.
6. Pop in the pre-heated oven at 180c for 15/20 mins, keep checking on it as it will cook a lot quicker than you think! (it will be slightly under cooked so will feel quite ‘wet’ but make sure it is cooked through by using a clean cocktail stick or a skewer in the middle of the tray
7. Bring the red sponge out the oven and place on a cooling rack to cool completely
8. Once this has cooled completely, you can either buy a mini heart shaped cutter or you can use a knife and cut out round a heart template you can cut out from paper/card
9. Cut out 12 hearts and place to one side
10. Get the plain sponge batter you have set aside
11. Set out your cases in a cupcake tray and spoon 1 spoonful of the plain mixture in each case
12. Place your red heart sponges in the middle of each cupcake case, standing up to attention rather than flat down with the pointy bit of the heart at the bottom. Press the sponge carefully down into the batter mixture. It should hopefully hold in the middle as the wet batter will hold it in place
13. Once you have placed all 12 of the hearts in the centre of the cupcake cases, divide the rest of the mixture around the all 12 of the hearts in the cases
14. Put the cupcakes back in the over and bake at the same 180 for another 20 mins. This was a little tricky as I left mine in for about 5/10 mins longer after I checked them, but use a skewer/cocktail stick to check after the initial 20mins first.
15. Once they are fully baked, place on a cooling tray. The top of the hearts may be peeping out the top of the cupcake but that is ok
16. Prepare a buttercream made up of icing sugar and unsalted butter, I don’t really have a recipe for this as I just whip room temperature/soft (not too soft!) butter and then add icing sugar till I like the taste!
17. I used flat room temperature champagne and added it very slowly so I wouldn’t ‘curdle’ the buttercream. I used about 3 ‘generous’ tablespoons! 😉
18. Once mixed together use a teaspoon to decorate the top of the cupcake, I used just enough on each one so they covered the little peeping hearts in the cupcakes.
19. Chill for half an hour so the buttercream sets, then enjoy these little surprises or give them as gifts to your Valentines ( there are 12 so I am not judging anyone on how many people they give one to!)