Cakewalk: Be Mine, Valentine!
The best kind of love is like a candy heart: it’s crunchy at first, and then it melts in your mouth and sweetens your soul. The thing we’re most looking forward to this Valentine’s Day is the treat we’re cooking up to celebrate it: heart-shaped mini red-velvet cakes that are like an edible wink to our cutest purse ever.
Those patent pastel Be Mine purses is the perfect V-Day gift-to-self, if you haven’t already got one in every colour (a nice pair of sexy women’s dress boots will do as well). Après fashion-fix desert? Introducing mini heart-shaped red velvet cakes, bursting with chocolaty flavour and decorated like candy hearts, topped with any message you want. We promise whoever you indulging this with (bestie or significant other); will melt a little more with every bite!
The recipe is as easy as pie (or, well, cake), where it gets ‘crafty’ is the decorating. So get your tools ready. You’ll need a very sharp carving knife, an icing knife, an icing piper and food colouring.
Heart-shaped mini red velvet cakes
To make 8, you’ll need:
2 ½ cups of flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cocoa
1 ½ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ cup canola oil
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp natural vanilla essence
1 cup butter milk
For the frosting:
¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ½ cups of cream cheese
5 cups icing sugar
1 tsp natural vanilla essence
Heat your oven to 350º F and grease two 9-inch round cake tins.
Start by getting three bowls. In the first, sift together the flour, baking soda and cocoa together. In another, a large one, beat together the sugar and eggs. The use the third bowl to mix together the oil, vinegar, vanilla and half a bottle of red food colouring, to give the red velvet cake its name.
Take the bowl with the sugar and egg mixture, and slowly combine into it the contents of the oils and vinegar mix. Beat well until combined. Adjust the red hue until it’s as red as you like. Now begin adding in the flour mixture to the wet mixture, in small doses alternating with the buttermilk. Mix well after each addition.
Pour the batter into your pans. Tap them on the table to level out the batter and release any air bubbles. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Let your cakes cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before turning it out of the pan. Cool completely – and we mean completely – before the next step.
Put your cooled cakes onto a cutting board or counter and cut each, carefully, into quarters. Now comes the heart part: Use the right angle or each piece as the point of your heart, and, using a very sharp carving knife, cut the top of your heart shape out of the round side of each quarter. Don’t worry, you won’t waste the trimmings – try mixing them with vanilla ice cream for the treat of the century! Once you’ve got 8, beautifully tailored cake hearts, it’s time for the icing on the cake(s).
To make the icing:
Let the butter and the cream cheese soften to room temperature. Cream them together until fully integrated and smooth. Add the icing sugar and beat until mixed, but not so much that the frosting becomes loose. Add the vanilla essence.
Divide the master batch of frosting into as many smaller bowls as you want colours of cake. We suggest four: a baby blue batch, a sweet pink batch, a soft yellow batch, and a brilliant red batch for the writing.
In each pastel bowl, add food colouring, a couple of drops at a time, until you get just the right hue. The brilliant red batch will require a LOT of colouring.
Spread the icing – colour of your choice – evenly on each mini-cake with the use of your icing knife. Make sure you cover every inch! Then, fill your icing pipe with the red icing and write your message on each mini-cake.