Our wedding day was fabulous (of course!). We were lucky enough to share it with all our friends and family and had beautiful weather and surroundings. The same cannot be said about the weather today!
This is a very easy cake to make (sorry – what I should say is that it is very very tricky and that I have slaved over it for hours and hours!) and uses my favourite tried-and-tested cake mix. It never fails to surprise people when I tell them it is gluten-free and dairy-free. Of course if you can tolerate dairy then use butter instead of margarine.
The chocolate cream and ganache that I have used on this particular cake is not dairy-free but if you are looking for a dairy-free alternative then use my ‘butter’ icing recipe.
Oh, and I am pleased to say that despite making all these goodies I still fit into my wedding dress! I tried it on at the weekend and it made me feel like a princess again!
A Heart-Shaped Cake
- For the cake:
- 140 g gluten-free self-raising flour I use my wholegrain flour blend
- 170 g dairy-free margarine or butter softened
- 170 g granulated sugar
- 3 medium eggs free-range if possible
- 30 g cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp finely ground flax seeds grind them in a coffee grinder or similar and store the 'flour' in the freezer to retain the nutrients
- 1/4 tsp xanthan gum not necessary with my wholegrain flour blend
- For the sugar syrup:
- 50 g granulated sugar
- 35 ml water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- For the chocolate cream:
- 200 ml double cream whipped until leaving trails
- 100 g dark chocolate 70%, or milk if you like it sweeter, broken into small pieces
- For the chocolate ganache:
- 100 ml double cream
- 60 g dark chocolate 70%, or milk if you like it sweeter, broken into small pieces
- Grease a heart-shaped tin (you could make this in round sandwich tins too!) that is approx. 20cm from top to bottom.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees (160 degrees for a fan oven).
- Cream the margarine or butter with the sugar, using an electric whisk for about 1 minute until pale in colour.
- Add the flax and mix again for a further 30 seconds or so.
- Add the eggs and whisk again for about 1 minute. Don't worry if it looks like the mixture is separating, it doesn't matter!
- Add the remaining dry ingredients and whisk until just combined.
- Dollop the mixture into the tin and distribute evenly leaving the top flat.
- Place in the pre-heated oven for approx. 40 minutes (if you are using two sandwich tins, divide the mixture between the two and bake for approx. 20 minutes) until a skewer comes out clean and the top springs back when you touch it.
- While the cake is cooking make the chocolate cream and ganache for decorating.
- To make the chocolate cream:
- Whisk the cream with an electric whisk until thick trails are left (don't over whisk or it will be too hard).
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave. This will take between 1 minute and 11/2 minutes...stir frequently to prevent burning.
- Mix the melted chocolate into the whipped cream and put to one side.
- To make the ganache:
- Heat the unwhipped cream in the microwave for 30 seconds.
- Place the chocolate into the hot cream and stir.
- Set aside until ready to use. If it hardens then heat for a few seconds in the microwave until soft enough to spread.
- To make the sugar syrup:
- Combine the sugar, water and vanilla extract in a small saucepan and heat over a low heat until the sugar dissolves. Turn up the heat and boil for 1 minute.
- To compile the cake:
- Remove the cake from the oven once cooked and spike it all over with a fork or skewer.
- Slowly pour the warm syrup over the cake allowing the liquid to absorb each time before adding more.
- Once cool, split the cake in the middle to create 2 heart-shaped cakes.
- Spread the chocolate cream on one cake then place the other cake on the top.
- Finish with the chocolate ganache on the top.