This Heart Cake is a chocolate lover’s dream come true! It starts with a moist chocolate cake that is filled with a chocolate whipped cream and then covered with a layer of chocolate ganache. Make it in a heart shape for a romantic occasion, or make it as a round cake to enjoy any time!
This beast of a dessert starts with a moist chocolate cake made with both cocoa powder and melted chocolate. I have filled the cake with a chocolate whipped cream, made with unsweetened cocoa powder, which I think pairs very nicely with the lightness of the cake. A chocolate ganache is the finishing touch and if you have any leftover ganache you could make a few chocolate truffles. You can decorate the top of the cake with the truffles or even some fresh raspberries or strawberries. And I often serve this cake with either a Raspberry or Strawberry Sauce. The great thing is that you can assemble this dessert a day or even two before serving.
For the Chocolate cake
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate
8 oz butter, at room temperature
4 eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup powdered sugar
2 cups milk, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
Chocolate Whipped Cream
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup cold heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
Preheat the oven to 350. Line two 8-inch heart-shaped cake pans with parchment paper, and spray the pans with nonstick cooking spray.
In a microwave-safe bowl, add the semi-sweet chocolate and heat in 30-second increments, stirring after every 30 seconds until melt and smooth. Set aside to cool to lukewarm.
In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt to combine.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars on medium-high speed about 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add the vanilla extract and the cooled melted chocolate. Mix on low speed until the batter smooths.
Alternately add flour mixture and milk into the batter and mix on low just until blended.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for about 35 – 40 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
To Make Chocolate Whipped Cream
In a large mixing bowl combine all the ingredients. Then beat the mixture until stiff peaks form.
To assemble the cake
Place your first heart cake layer on a flat surface. Top this layer with the chocolate whipped cream, then add the final cake layer on top, gently pressing to compact. Transfer the cake to a wire rack set over a baking sheet, then make the chocolate glaze.
In a medium sized heatproof bowl, place the finely chopped chocolate and set aside.
To Make The Ganache
Add the cream and butter into a small saucepan and heat it until it comes to a simmer. Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow it to sit for one minute to soften the chocolate. After a minute, whisk the chocolate and cream together until the mixture is shiny and smooth. Let cool for about 10 minutes.
Place the cake on a wire rack to catch any drips. Pour the ganache over the cake, taking care that it goes down the sides evenly and that all of the cake is covered.
Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to start setting and then gently transfer the cake to your serving platter and place the cake in the refrigerator until serving time.
Top the cake with the chocolate truffles or fresh raspberries or strawberries, if desired.
This cake can be made a day or two before serving.