We had our first Melbourne Cake Club meeting for this year on Tuesday night, and our theme was Made With Love.
That left plenty of scope for what I could have made. However, my instant thought was to make a Hidden Heart Cake - something I had wanted to do forever, but just never got around to. On one level, I could not believe that the cake baked for the shapes would not dry out when baked again inside the cake.
I was also a little scared about whether there would be a "shape" when I cut into the cake.
I'll leave you in suspense while I explain how I made this cake. First, I made a red velvet sheet cake in a slice pan using a half recipe of my favourite red velvet cake by Libbie Summers, from Sweet and Vicious. (Libbie hasn't shared the recipe online, so I won't either.) I then cut out heart shapes from the cake using a heart shaped cookie cutter, and froze then until it was time to assemble the cake:
I then whipped up a half recipe of my favourite chocolate cake, the Dinosaur Rock Cupcake recipe from the Crabapple Bakery Cupcake Cookbook (so sad that the bakery itself folded). I spooned a fifth of the batter into the bottom of a greased and lined loaf pan, then placed the frozen hearts upside down and close together on top of the batter. I finally spooned the remainder of the chocolate cake batter into the pan, covering over the hearts, then baked the whole thing (it took over an hour). And the end result before decorating was this rather plain looking cake:
I left the cake upside down so that the hearts would be right side up when I cut into the cake. Next, I whipped up a batch of Dorie's ganache, and poured it over the cake. Finally, I decorated the cake with sugar hearts from Coles and one big heart made by placing the heart cutter into the wet ganache and filling the cavity with crumbled red velvet cake left over from cutting out the hearts:
At the Melbourne Cake Club, it seemed that great minds think alike, as all three cake bakers baked hidden heart cakes, made in different flavours and using slightly different techniques.
Karen made a butter cake with a strawberry heart and strawberry frosting:
Her technique was similar to mine, but she did not freeze her hearts, and "glued them in place before baking with apricot jam.
Dalya made a Lemon hidden heart cake with chocolate hearts on top:
Her heart was made by digging out a cone in the bottom layer of her cake and a tube in the top half (using her finger as a guide), then filling the cavities with crumbled chocolate cake before joining the cakes together with lemon curd.
Here you can see the surprise hearts:
Here's a close up of my heart inside the cake:
We also enjoyed some lovely cocktails and mocktails at our host venue, The Ugly Ducking in Richmond:
I hope you enjoyed these cakes, Made With Love!
If you live in Melbourne and would like to join The Melbourne Cake Club, you can find us here on Facebook. Meetings are 8pm to 9.30pm on a weeknight, with meetings held in the Melbourne CBD or in the southeast.