Ah, Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to celebrate love! What could be more impressive than a heart-shaped cake decorated with fresh raspberries filling and white chocolate frosting! Hearts are my favorite shape, and I carry the motif in my jewelry, clothing, and home accessories. I bring out all my heart-decorated serving pieces to set my table for Valentine’s Day.
I have many go-to cake recipes depending on the size and type of cake I want to make. One of my favorites, this recipe is a tender, moist cake perfect for birthdays and special occasions, yet simple enough to use for regular cupcakes. I used my favorite, King Arthur Unbleached Cake Flour Blend, for this recipe, which results in a high rising cake with a moist, tender crumb.
2 3/4 cups King Arthur Cake Flour Blend
1 2/3 cups sugar; superfine sugar is best
1 Tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened, Cabot Creamery
4 large eggs whites plus 1 whole large egg*
1 cup full-fat vanilla yogurt or 1 cup whole milk*
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups fresh raspberries for decoration
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare two 9″ x 2″ heart-shaped pans. Trace the bottom of the pan, then cut inside your marking. Next, butter the pan. Place the cut parchment inside the cake pan. Butter the parchment, then flour the pan. Tap off extra flour.
In a stand mixer or a sturdy hand mixer, mix all dry ingredients slowly to blend. Add the soft butter and mix evenly crumbly, like fine damp sand. Depending on the butter’s temperature, how much it’s mixed, and the granulation of the sugar used, it may form a paste.
Add the egg whites one at a time, then the whole egg, beating well after each addition to begin building the cake’s structure. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl after each addition.
Whisk the yogurt (or milk) with vanilla and almond extracts in a small bowl. Add this mixture, 1/3 at a time, to the batter. Beat 1 to 2 minutes after each addition until fluffy. Be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans—Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. A toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center will clean when done. Remove from the oven, cool on a wire rack for ten minutes, then remove from the pan.
This delightful filling is simple to make and can be made in advance. In fact, I always make the day ahead to chill in the refrigerator before using it. Yield: 1 3/4 cups
4 cups raspberries
3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons water
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons raspberry liquor
In a saucepan, combine the raspberries, 3/4 cup of water, and the sugar. Bring to boil. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the raspberries have broken down. Remove the mixture from the heat and strain in a fine-mesh sieve. Return the strained mixture to the heat. Dissolve the cornstarch in the remaining 2 tablespoons of water. Whisk the slurry into the raspberry mixture. Bring the mixture back to a boil and simmer for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat, raspberry liquor, and cool completely.
White Chocolate Frosting
1 cup butter, softened (no subs), Cabot Creamery
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, Domino’s Sugar
6 ounces white chocolate or 6 ounces white baking bar, melted and cooled Ghiradelli Chocolate
3 -5 tablespoons whipping cream or 3 -5 tablespoons half-and-half
Beat the butter and confectioners sugar at low speed until fluffy in a large bowl.
Add in melted and cooled white chocolate and whipping cream (start with 3 tablespoons and add more to achieve desired consistency).
Beat on high speed for 3-4 minutes, scraping the bowl with a spatula.
To assemble the cake:
Spread a small dab of frosting in the center of the cake plate to anchor the cake, and set down one cake layer. Spread 1/2 cup frosting over the first layer. Carefully spread raspberry filling on top, then cover the second cake layer. Spread frosting over top and sides of assembled cake. Decorate with raspberries sprinkled with powder sugar.