MY HEART'S DESIRE
Happy Valentine’s Day! Sweets for the Sweet. What is Valentine’s Day without chocolate? Little pink hearts and cupids tushies, angel wings and lover’s arrows; but for many a girl, love is best declared in chocolate.
I made my darling husband’s and son’s favorite Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake in my wonderful heart-shaped springform pan, and now I have decided what to bake using my new heart-shaped muffin tin. New recipes always make me a bit nervous; one never knows how it will turn out, but this looked adorable: individual chocolate cakes frosted with creamy ricotta cocoa icing. Perfect for this most sweetest of days.
I changed the recipe slightly, adding a teaspoon of instant coffee powder to the cake batter. I also decided to make the frosting using mascarpone instead of ricotta cheese, since there was some complaining that my ricotta Cannoli filling was too “cheesy”.
INDIVIDUAL HEART CAKES WITH COCOA MASCARPONE FROSTING
Adapted from Sesame Street Parents Magazine February 1997
Mini Heart Cakes :
1/3 cup flour
3 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp instant coffee or espresso powder
2 large eggs at room temperature
1 egg white at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour the heart-shaped muffin tins (6 hearts) or use a regular large-muffin (2 1/2”) muffin pan instead.
In a medium bowl, blend the flour, cocoa powder and coffee together and set aside.
Beat the 2 eggs and 1 egg white together with an electrix mixer on medium speed for 1 minute, until the eggs are frothy.
Slowly beat in the sugar and then the salt, continuing to beat until light and thick, about 3 minutes. Mix in the vanilla.
Add the cocoa mixture in 3 steps, beating after each addition just until blended.
Spoon the batter into the 6 muffin cups.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the cakes are set in the center.
Cool the cakes in the tins on a wire rack for about 5 minutes, then carefully loosen them with a knife and ease them out of the molds. Let the cool completely on the wire rack.
Cocoa Mascarpone Frosting :
1 ¼ cups (300 g) mascarpone cheese at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
4 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
4 Tbs confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
Put the mascarpone in a medium-sized bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until creamy.
Add the vanilla, cocoa and powdered sugar and continue beating until well blended and creamy. If the frosting is still cold and too stiff to easily blend and spread, just allow it to sit at room temperature for a while until softened up and then beat again.
For the first cake, I trimmed the excess cake that had baked over the edges of the muffin cups so the cake was even. I then spread the sides and then the top with the frosting. The other cakes I left as is and frosted only the top. I sprinkled the cakes with adorable pink and white sugar hearts.
Result? The cakes are so adorable to look at, perfect to present to a lover or a loved one. The frosting was rich and creamy, a bit strange and cocoa-y tasted on its own, but dynamite with a delicate chocolate cake. This cake recipe, although the boys really liked it and asked for more, I found rather strange. It was somewhat spongy, somewhat chewy, like Cotton Candy after it has been sitting for a while. But the flavor was gorgeous, rather light and the perfect foil for the richer, more flavorful frosting.
Simon and his friends ate them all up! Thank heavens for little boys!