It’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow, and although I’m not into the whole commercialised idea of spending heaps of money on flowers and chocolates and fuzzy teddy bears, I do like to cook something special for the family. (Okay, I admit it. If someone bought me flowers and chocolates I wouldn’t say no, as long as it was good chocolate. And fuzzy teddy bears are pretty cute too.)
Anyway, this year I came up with this recipe for dense, fudgey chocolate heart cakes, and just for fun I decorated them with a dairy free chocolate ganache spread, coconut cream, and raspberry coulis. (There’s a little video clip below showing how I did the raspberry swirl heart at the bottom of this post.) Of course, we already ate them all because I had to get this blog post done before Valentine’s Day. And then I didn’t get time to do it til now… oops! So by the time you read this it may be too late to make these for Valentine’s Day, but hey, if you love someone you shouldn’t need to wait for a certain date on a calendar to show it… so just go make these anyway!
P.S. These cakes are gluten free, grain free, and dairy free. If you can’t have nuts you can use flour instead. If you can’t have eggs you can probably substitute for those too, I just haven’t had a chance to try it.
I make these in little heart shaped flan tins – you could use heart shaped muffin tins too, or just make them in regular muffin tins and decorate with a raspberry swirl heart on top. Or you could use a regular cake tin, but you’ll need to cook it for a little longer.
* I didn’t have time to try these cakes with an egg replacement, but apple sauce or chia gel are both great replacements. If you use apple sauce, cut down on the amount of dates. Not sure of amounts – will test when I can!
This is a recipe I developed as a dairy free, nut free substitute for Nutella, and I found it also works perfectly for a chocolate sauce when hot. You can pour it over a cake like ganache and it will set all firm and glossy in the fridge. Or spread it on toast when it’s cold. It’s a kind of multi-purpose ganache-spread-topping… for now and then of course.
If there’s any ganache spread left, pour it into jar and keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. (Tastes lovely swirled with sunflower seed butter or nut butter on toast or crepes, and topped with slices of banana!)
* Note: I found it was easiest to make the raspberry-coconut cream swirl hearts on top of the cakes if the chocolate ganache was set and firm. The first batch I made while the chocolate was still warm and runny, and although it looked pretty, it was difficult to keep in a heart shape as it tended to run off the edges. (See photo below) So it’s up to you – if you want a more freeform swirly heart, go ahead and do it while the chocolate is warm, then put it straight into the freezer to set.
These cakes are best served within an hour, once the heart swirls are made, as the raspberry coulis eventually will sink into the cream if it’s in the fridge for too long. So make the cakes with the chocolate topping on them and keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to finish them off. They can stay in the fridge for days, and actually taste best cold from the fridge.
Happy Valentine’s Day!