Growing up, my access to sweets and junk food was limited. We were excited to have a box of Honey Nut Cheerios in the pantry because raisin bran and plain shredded wheat were usually the only options. Since my sugary treats were always rationed, I may have gone overboard as an adult with my tiny obsession with baking :). The one sweet that I always wanted to get from the grocery store were Hostess cream filled chocolate cupcakes. These Cream Filled Mini-Chocolate Hearts are my homemade version of the cupcakes I always wanted as a child.
I made these cakes using a silicone heart mold. It was actually my first time using a silicone pan, and I loved it. I quickly learned that there are a few key points to keep in mind when using a silicone mold. First and foremost, grease that mold thoroughly with cooking spray! Make sure to slip the mold onto a sheet pan for easy in and out of the oven, and finally, cool the cakes thoroughly before removing them from the pan.
Since I over-filled some of the heart cavities, I had to trim the tops until they were flat. Once the cakes were completely cooled, I used a serrated knife to flatten each cake.
Once they were nicely trimmed, I filled these cakes with a fluffy vanilla frosting. To fill these Cream Filled Mini-Chocolate Heart Cakes, I fitted a piping bag with a large round piping tip, and all I did was stick the tip into the back of the cake and squeeze the filling into the cake. There’s no need to cut a hole into the cake for the filling. Simply pierce the bottom of the cake with your piping tip and squeeze!
The best part of making these cakes was pouring the chocolate over these mini-cakes. I cheated by mixing the chocolate with a bit of shortening to ensure a soft and glossy chocolate coating. I melted the chocolate and shortening in a two-cup glass measuring cup. I lined the cakes up on a cooling rack fitted into a half-sheet baking pan. I lined the pan with parchment paper to catch all the dripping chocolate, and I poured the chocolate right over the cakes.
Once the chocolate was set, I piped “love” onto the top of each cake. You could add any message you’d like to the cakes, but in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I thought, why not “love”? Of course I added a jumbo heart sprinkle just to drive home the Valentine’s Day feel. Of course, my girls’ favorite part of the entire treat was the sprinkle. Who can blame them?
By the way, unlike me, my girls are surrounded by sweets. The sweets that I make. And guess what? They don’t like desserts. They prefer fruit to cake. Yup. Who would’ve thought…
- For the Cakes: 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup cocoa
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup oil
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup strong coffee, warm
- 4 tbs milk (anything but skim)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- For the Glaze:
- 11 ounces of dark chocolate (Use a chocolate with 60% cocoa or more)
- 1 heaping tablespoon of vegetable shortening (I use a non-hydrogenated shortening)
- For the frosting:
- ½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- a pinch of salt
- ¼ tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp whole milk or heavy cream
- Extra Decorations:
- large heart spinkles
- For the Cakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
- Spray a 6 cavity, silicone heart cupcake mold with cooking spray. Lay the pan on a baking sheet for ease of transferring in and out of the oven.
- In a medium bowl, sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
- In a larger bowl, add the oil. Then add the sugar. Whisk until completely combined.
- Add the egg. Mix until completely combined.
- In a measuring cup, mix the milk, coffee, and vanilla.
- Add the four mixture and the coffee mixture in 3 batches, starting and ending with the flour mixture.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
- Bake for 22 to 25 minutes. You will know the cakes are finished when the centers spring back when lightly pressed.
- Completely cool the cakes in the pan. Remove only when the cakes are completely cooled.
- While the cakes cool, make the vanilla cream.
- Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the salt, vanilla, and milk. Beat until fluffy.
- Set the frosting aside.
- Once the cakes are completely cool, trim the tops of the cakes to that they are flat.
- Place the vanilla cream in a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Pierce the bottom of each cake with the piping tip, and squeeze filling into each cake.
- Next, chop the chocolate.
- In a large glass measuring cup, melt the chocolate and the shortening.
- Place a cooling rack on top of a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Place the cooled cakes on the rack.
- Pour the glaze over the cakes. Use an offset spatula to smooth the glaze.
- Allow the glaze to cool completely.
- Once the glaze is set, switch the tip on your piping bag to a smaller circle tip - one that is conducive to writing.
- Pip whatever you'd like the cakes to say. Add an extra dab of cream where you'd like to place a large sprinkle heart.
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