Thursday, February 3 2022
Grab your oven mitts and get baking with this sweet romantic loaf cake, which has a surprise heart centre when cut. Perfect for sharing and serving this Valentine’s Day!
Ingredients: Red Sponge Cake
- Caster sugar: 175g (6oz)
- Soft margarine: 175g (6oz)
- Beaten eggs: 3
- Self-raising flour: 175g (6oz), sieved
- SK Professional Liquid Food Colour: Poinsettia (Xmas Red)
Ingredients: Plain Sponge Cake
- Caster sugar: 225g (8oz)
- Soft margarine: 225g (8oz)
- Beaten eggs: 4
- Self-raising flour: 225g (8oz), sieved
- Vanilla extract
- SK Sugar Florist Paste (SFP): 25g (1oz) Poinsettia (Christmas Red)
- Unsalted butter: 125g (4½oz), at room temperature
- Icing sugar: 125g (4½oz)
- Vanilla extract
- Loaf tin: 1kg (2lb 3¼oz)
- Electric mixer
- Baking paper
- Palette knife
- Heart cutters: 2cm (¾”) and 3cm (1⅛”)
- Large piping bag
- Open star piping nozzle: large or medium
- Non-stick rolling pin
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan/350°F/Gas Mark 4).
- Grease and line the loaf tin with some margarine and baking paper.
- Using an electric mixer, cream the sugar and margarine together until light and fluffy.
- Gradually add the beaten eggs to the mixture, then fold in the sieved flour with a metal spoon.
- Add enough of the Poinsettia (Xmas Red) liquid food colour to turn the mixture red. Make sure the colour is distributed evenly throughout the mixture.
- Spoon the sponge mixture evenly into the loaf tin.
- Place in the oven to bake for 25–30 minutes, or until well-risen and firm to the touch. Leave in the tin to cool.
- When cold, cut the cake into slices that are as thick as the depth of the 3cm (1⅛”) Heart cutter. Cut out heart shapes from the slices using the 3cm (1⅛”) Heart cutter (A).
- Allow the sponge hearts to firm a little whilst you make up the mixture for the plain sponge.
- Follow steps 1–5 to make up the plain sponge mixture in the same way as the red sponge. However, when you get to step 5 do not add any red food colouring, but flavour with vanilla extract instead.
- Grease and line the loaf tin again. Place enough plain mixture into the tin to cover the base with a layer of mixture that is 3cm (1⅛”) deep. Try to keep the sponge an even thickness along the bottom of the tin (B).
- Place the red sponge hearts along the centre of the tin on top of the plain sponge mixture. Pack the hearts tightly together but avoid pushing them right down into the plain mixture. Leave a 2cm (¾”) gap at each end of the tin (C).
- Fill the tin with the remainder of the plain cake mixture, carefully covering the row of sponge hearts (D, E).
- Bake for approximately 35–40 minutes, or until the cake is firm to the touch.
- Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin. Turn out the loaf cake when cool.
- To decorate, roll out some Poinsettia (Christmas Red) SFP until very thin and cut out five or six hearts using the 2cm (¾”) Heart cutter. Allow to dry.
- To make the buttercream, beat the butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract together in an electric mixer until very light and fluffy.
- Spread a thin layer of buttercream over the top of the cake, then place the remainder of the buttercream into a large piping bag fitted with a large or medium Open Star nozzle. Pipe rosettes or swirls of buttercream across the top of the cake until it is covered. Add a row of SFP hearts along the buttercream (F, G).