Monday, July 20, 2015

Surprise Hearts in Chocolate Sponge Cake with Ganache

My bro whatsapp me on Thu: ‘Sis, can I order a cake from you? Small small ok le. =)’

Me: ‘Can, What cake you want? Need décor? For what occasion?’

Bro: ‘Jolene (his gf) birthday. If is just chocolate cake will it be abit dull huh?’

Me: ‘She cannot eat strawberries right?’

Bro: ‘Cannot, Kiwi also cannot.’

Me: ‘Raspberry?’

Bro: ‘She never eat before.’

Me: ‘ok.. think better not.. like same family with strawberry.. I see what I can do ba..’

I usually fill and decorate chocolate cake with strawberries & raspberries because they taste so good together and the red is so pretty on chocolate. But his gf is allergic to strawberries, so I have to think of something else.

Me: When you need the cake?

Bro: ‘This Sunday..’

Faint.. my bro didn’t give me much time to work with. My bro gf is a very sweet girl and always come and help me babysit so I really wanted to do a nice cake for her. And suddenly a wonderful idea came into my mind. How about baking a cake with has hearts in the center? Hm… sound intriguing.. but I don’t have the special mould.. So I went on Google and found a tutorial that teaches how to do it manually. I decided to take a huge risk in trying it out.

When I handed the cake to my bro on Sunday afternoon, I told him that if when his gf cut open the cake and it didn’t show a nice heart shape, don’t tell her gf it’s meant to be a heart shaped.. hahha…

And then I waited the whole day till finally he sent me the photos late at night. It’s a success! I am super happy that the risk paid off!

Not only is the hearts in the cake a beautiful surprise, the cake also received rave feedback from his gf family.

:: Surprise hearts embedded inside the cake ::

And so another pretty recipe to archive here!

This Surprise Hearts in Center Chocolate Cake require me to bake two cakes and have a lot of patience. I personally find the difficulty level is pretty high as I don’t have 100% success rate at baking cake.

First, I had to bake a cake for the pink hearts. The recipe that I used is the Golden Sponge Cake recipe from Nasi Lemak Lover’s blog.

Golden Sponge Cake Recipe
(6 inch removable base cake pan)


50g butter (I used non-salted)
50g cake flour (sifted)
6g corn starch (sieved together with cake flour)
3 large egg yolks (my egg size is approx 70g with shell)
55g milk + a few drops of vanilla extract & pink color coloring (or any other colors of your choice)

3 large egg whites (my egg size is approx 70g with shell)
50g caster sugar

How to do:

1. Melt the butter in a saucepan till it starts to have small bubbles and remove from heat.
2. Add in the sifted flour and stir till combined and transfer to a clean mixing bowl.
3. Add in the milk and mix till well combined.
4. Add in the yolk one by one and mix well with each addition.
5. In another clean, dry and grease-free bowl, beat the egg whites till till foamy and add the sugar in
5. Continue to beat till the meringue mixture becomes white, shiny and attain firm peak.
6. Mix in 1/3 of the meringue to the yolk mixture to thin the mixture.
7. Fold in the remaining 2/3 meringue gently in 2 installments.
8. Pour into the cake pan at one position slowly and shake the pan gently when done to level the cake batter.
9. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 145 degree* (on oven thermometer, oven dial shows 120 degree) for 50 min or till the skewer comes out clean.
10. Invert the cake pan and let it completely cool before remove from pan.

*As each oven is different, adjust the temperature according to your oven.  Using this temperature, I get a nice tall cake but it still has cracks at the top. 

 After the cake is removed from the pan, chilled the cake in the fridge for a while as it will make the texture a bit firmer, easier for cutting.

:: My pinkie sponge cake ::

Next is to prepare the hearts to be embedded into the chocolate cake. The original tutorial is shared by Karmarie from Cake Central

Preparing the Hearts

1. Slice the cake into 12 equal portions (see drawings below)
:: Top view of how the cake should be sliced ::
:: The texture of the cake is very fine ::

:: Side view of the cake slice ::

:: The heart shape cut out ::

2. Take one slice and lay it flat and use a cookier cutter to cut out the heart shape.
3.To ensure that the heart shape is cut in the same position of each slice, cut out a tracing paper to be same size of the cake slice, position the cookie cutter onto the tracing paper, trace out the outline and cut out the heart shape hole in the tracing paper.
4. Continue to cut out the heart shape for every slice, using the tracing paper as guideline so that you know where to cut.
5. Arrange the cut out hearts into circular shape with the pointed side on top as tight as possible so that there are no gaps in between. (see photo below) I arrange as I cut each piece so that I won’t mixed up the position of the hearts.
:: Circular arrangement of the hearts cut out ::

Next step is to prepare the chocolate cake. The chocolate cake recipe is modified from the Golden Sponge Cake above and the method is the same.

Chocolate Sponge Cake Recipe
(6 inch removable base cake pan)


50g butter (I used non-salted)
40g cake flour (sifted)
10g non-sweeten cocoa powder (sieved together with cake flour)
6g corn starch (sieved together with cake flour)
3 large egg yolks (my egg size is approx 70g with shell)
55g chocolate milk (I used HL chocolate milk)

3 large egg whites (my egg size is approx 70g with shell)
40g caster sugar

Putting the Hearts into the Cake
1. Once the cake batter is ready as per the method above, gently pour some of the cake batter into the cake pan and gently shake the pan so that the batter is leveled.
2. Gently pick up the pre-arranged hearts, keeping their arrangement together while transferring and place and place into the cake pan onto of the batter.
3. Use a ladle and scoop some of the batter and gently fill the cake pan in the outer circumference of the round of hearts first, use 1 hand to hold the hearts to keep them from shifting.
4. Scoop some batter and gently fill into the inner circumference of the round of hearts.
5. Continued this process till all the batter is used up and the hearts are already fully submerged in the batter.
6. Gently tap the bottom of the pan and bake in the pre-heated oven at 145 degree for 50min or till the skewer comes out clean.
7. Invert the cake pan and let it completely cool before remove from pan.

*The cake is meant to served inverted when it is out of the cake pan, meaning the bottom part should be at the top so that the heart shape will appear up right. If the cake has domed, shaved off the dome to get a flat surface.
:: It looks ordinary but the surprise is inside ::

Covering the Cake with Ganache

1/2 cup whip cream
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

How to do:
1. Heat up the whip cream in a sauce pan with low heat till it starts to bubble.
2. Pour over the chocolate chips and keep stirring till all the chocolate melts.
3. Let it stand for a while and stir occasionally.
4. The ganache is ready for use once it is slightly cooled and thicken
5. Place the cake on a wire rack with a bigger tray behind so that the ganache can drip down.
6. Pour ganache on top of the cake*, and gently swirl the cake in circular motion so that the ganache will flow and cover the whole cake. Continue the process till the whole cake is full coated with ganache

*To get a smoother finish, frost the cake with whip cream and chill in the fridge before applying the ganache. As seen from the photo, the top of my cake is smoother as I only frost the top of the cake, the side is without the whip cream layer.

I worked on the cake for 2 days that I was so tired at the end of it. So I went for minimalist look, just decor with some jelly beans and birthday girl's name in white chocolate.

Nothing complicated but I am loving this look ~ simple, clean and very modern!

:: Chocolate Ganache Cake with Surprise Hearts inside::

:: Surprise Heart Reveals! Photo courtesy of the Birthday Gal ::

Happy Birthday, Jolene! Thank you for loving the cake!

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