Chocolate ganache heart cakes are the perfect dessert to show your Valentines how much you love them. These mini chocolate cakes may look and sound fancy, but anyone can make them and everyone will love them!
Chocolate Ganache Heart Cakes
Hey! I'm Trish from Spoonful Of Butter. Once in a while, I share sweet and savory recipes here at Kaleidoscope Living. It's truly a great honor for me to do a guest post for Tasha, and I'm hoping that these easy, homemade recipes are helping you create the home and life you love. :)
As we all know, February is the month of hearts, chocolates, and flowers. So I thought of sharing a treat that we all can make to celebrate Valentine's day… Ganache Hearts! Moist chocolate cake wrapped in dark chocolate ganache. The cake is quite on the rich and dense side so it's perfect to serve them in smaller portions…but it has to be in a heart shape, of course. =)
I already have a lot of baking pans in my kitchen and I don't want to buy another pan which I would only use occasionally. What I did was I baked the cake in an 8×8 inch square pan and just bought a heart-shaped cookie cutter which cost me less than two dollars. Aside from being cheaper than a baking pan it also occupies a small space in my kitchen drawers. I also know that I'll be able to use it for many other things like shaping pastries, pie doughs, fondant, and pancakes!
What is Chocolate Ganache?
Ganache is a smooth and shiny mixture of chocolate and cream used in cakes, desserts, and pastries. I usually use 60-70% dark chocolate but milk chocolate, white chocolate, or a combination of milk and dark are okay too.
I added a bit of corn syrup to balance the bitterness from the dark chocolate and to add some shine. Alternatively, you can add about one and a half teaspoon of sugar in the cream.
About Broken/ Split/ Oily Ganache…
For this recipe what we want to achieve is a smooth and shiny ganache which is ideal for covering the chocolate cake. My ganache didn't turn out quite well (it split and was oily!) the first try but thankfully I was able to save it.
Ganache has only two main ingredients but different things may go wrong. So, here are some wee tips when making ganache:
– Do not let the cream boil. Bring it only to simmer. If the cream is too hot, it will overheat the fat in the chocolate causing it to split. I recommend heating the chocolate gently in a stovetop rather than in a microwave so you have more control.
– Do not let the chocolate overheat. Similar to the cream, overheating it will cause the fat to separate. Chop your chocolate into small pieces so it would be easier to melt in the hot cream.
– If your ganache still breaks, here's the fix that I did: Simmer about 1/4 cup of milk. In a separate saucepan, place the ganache and put it on the stove at the lowest heat setting. Pour a bit of the milk while constantly whisking with a balloon whisk. Slowly add more milk (in small quantities) until the ganache becomes smooth again.
Prettify your Ganache Hearts
The last step involves making your hearts extra pretty. There are many ways to decorate these ganache hearts. I'm thinking edible flower petals, shavings of white chocolate, st0re-bought gumpaste flowers, or an “I love you” message written on top. I used sprinkles in shades of red, pink, and white. Sprinkle them in any way you like. Honestly, I like the cake as it is, but my daughter insists that there should be sprinkles. That tiny hand in the photo was hers. =)
Without further ado, here's the recipe for these decadent Ganache Hearts:
Chocolate Ganache Hearts
Yield 4 hearts
Chocolate ganache hearts are the perfect dessert to show your Valentines how much you love them! These mini chocolate cakes may look and sound fancy, but anyone can make this easy recipe! Add your special decorations and they are the perfect gift.
For the Chocolate Cake:
- 1/2 cup or 1 stick unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons dutch-processed cocoa
- 1 cup hot (boiled) water
- 1 cup + 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Ganache:
- 10.6 ounces dark chocolate 60-65% cocoa, chopped into small pieces
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- Sprinkles of your choice
Make the Chocolate Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8x8 inch square pan with parchment paper. Let the parchment paper hang on 2 opposite sides of the pan so you can easily lift the cake out of the pan later on.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk.
- Put the cocoa powder and hot (boiled) water in a medium heatproof bowl. Whisk until completely smooth then set aside to cool slightly.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 8 minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each addition is incorporated before adding the next. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula when necessary.
- Add the flour mixture in four parts, alternating with the cocoa mixture in three parts. Beat until each addition is incorporated before adding the next. Be careful not to overmix.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
- Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before removing from the pan.
Make the Ganache:
- Bring cream and corn syrup to a simmer over medium heat. Once simmering, remove from the heat. Add the chopped chocolate to the cream, lightly stir and leave to stand for 1 minute so that the chocolate can melt. Stir until smooth and glossy.
- Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut 4 hearts from the chocolate cake.
- Stand the heart cakes on a wire rack over a baking sheet. Beat the ganache briefly before pouring it over the cakes. Lightly smooth and spread the ganache over the top and sides of the cake with an offset spatula/ palette knife.
- Decorate the top with sprinkles then leave to stand at room temperature until set before serving.
Unsure what's medium speed, low speed, or high in your stand mixer? Here's my Stand Mixer Speed Control Guide for reference.
So there you go home baker, I hope you and your loved ones will enjoy this Valentine treat!
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Before you head out, be sure to check out my other easy and delicious recipe posts!