(This recipe appeared in the Winter 2020 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)
Sponsored by Ghirardelli
This heart-shaped dessert is designed to elicit a romantic swoon for Valentine’s Day or any other day of the year. It’s all about the magic of chocolate in its various guises: layers of a deep, dark devil’s food cake anchor a rich, raspberry-kissed chocolate ganache and a layer of light, whipped milk chocolate ganache. A sprinkling of chocolate crumble adds a little crunch to this creamy concoction, a dessert that’s guaranteed to make a heartfelt impression.
Yield: 12 servings
Devil’s Food Cake
- 352 g all-purpose flour
- 1 ¾ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 226 g unsalted butter, softened
- 333 g granulated sugar
- 152 g Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate & Cocoa Sweet Ground Powder
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 240 g freshly brewed coffee, hot
- 236 g water, hot
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease the bottom and sides of two 9” square cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper, cut to fit, and grease the paper. Dust the pans with flour and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Gradually add the sugar and beat at high speed until light, about 4 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add the cocoa powder 1 tablespoon at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as necessary and mixing until blended. Add the flour mixture in three additions, mixing until the mixture is crumbly. Add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla, mixing until the batter is doughy. Gradually add the hot coffee and water and mix until blended. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and, using a rubber spatula, blend the batter so that most of the lumps have disappeared (a few remaining lumps is fine). Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake the cake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans set on wire racks for 20 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the racks and cool completely.
Whipped Milk Chocolate Ganache
- 340 g Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate
- 464 g heavy cream
- Put the milk chocolate in the bowl of an electric mixer and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a gentle boil over medium heat. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let it stand for about a minute to melt the chocolate. Whisk the mixture until smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
- Using the whisk attachment, beat the ganache at medium-high speed until the whisk begins to leave a trail in it and it is the consistency of softly whipped cream (do not overbeat the ganache or it will become grainy). Use the whipped ganache immediately or refrigerate.
Chocolate Raspberry Ganache
- 174 g heavy cream
- 227 g Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate
- 1 Tbs (15 g) raspberry puree
- Place the cream in a small saucepan and bring to gentle boil. Pour hot cream mixture over chocolate and then add the puree; let stand for 1 minute. Emulsify.
- Let stand, loosely covered, until thick enough to pipe, about 2 hours.
- 38 g Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate & Cocoa Sweet Ground Powder
- 47 g all-purpose flour
- 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
- 56 g unsalted butter, softened
- Preheat oven to 375˚F. Line a half sheet pan with a silicone baking mat.
- Sift together the cocoa, flour and salt and whisk to combine.
- Place the butter and dry ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix at medium speed until mixture is combined and large crumbs form. Spread onto center of prepared sheet pan in a rough 11” x 7” rectangle, breaking up any large crumbs. Bake until crisp, about 12-15 minutes. Cool.
- Process in food processor until fine crumbs form.
- Raspberry sauce
- Heart-shaped chocolate garnish
- Gold leaf
- Cut top of cake so that it is level and, using a 3” heart-shaped cutter, cut out 6 heart shapes from each cake layer. Cut each heart in half horizontally to form 2 even layers.
- Put the Chocolate Raspberry Ganache in a pastry bag fitted with a small plain tip and pipe dollops over the top of a cake layer, covering it completely. Freeze the cake for about 10 minutes, until the ganache is firm.
- Top the ganache layer with another heart-shaped cake. Put the Whipped Milk Chocolate Ganache in a pastry bag fitted with a medium plain tip and pipe dollops around the edge of the cake, outlining the heart shape. Pipe dollops in the center to cover the top. Sprinkle some of the Chocolate Crumble on top and place a chocolate heart garnish in the center of the cake. Garnish the chocolate heart with a piece of gold leaf, and pipe a few dots of raspberry sauce on the plate.