Valentines Heart Cakes

Those yummy filled heart cakes are a Valentines staple.

Heather Smith with Orson Gygi shares how to make your own.
Perfect White Cake (adapted from America’s Test Kitchen)
2 1/2 cups cake flour, plus more for dusting the pans
1 cup milk, at room temperature
6 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 teaspoons almond extract
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 cake pan with nonstick cooking spray; and dust the pans with flour.

2. Pour milk, egg whites, and extracts into a bowl, and mix until blended. Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of electric mixer at low speed. Add butter; continue beating at slow speed until mixture resembles crumbs.

3. Add all but 1/2 cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed for 1 1/2 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 cup of milk mixture and beat 30 seconds more. Stop mixer and scrape sides of bowl. Return mixer to medium speed and beat 20 seconds longer.

4. Pour batter into pan. Bake until thin skewer or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 15-20 minutes. Let cake rest in pans for 3 minutes.

5. Loosen from sides pans with a knife, if necessary, and invert onto wire racks. Reinvert onto additional wire racks. Let cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours.

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons milk

1. Cream room temperature butter with a hand mixer, the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, or a wooden spoon until smooth and fluffy.

2. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar until fully incorporated. Beat in vanilla extract. Pour in milk and beat for an additional 3-4 minutes.

Chocolate Coating
4 cups of colored coating
Paramount Crystals, used to thin down.

1. Melt the chocolate until about 85-90% melted. Add a handful of paramount crystals and stir in until a pourable consistency- you may need to add more paramount crystals to get to the runny consistency. Just add a little at a time.

Assembling cakes:

1. Cut out your hearts from a cooled cake using a heart cookie cutter. Make sure you are ending up with an even amount. If your cake is really tall, you can slice each piece in half and fill each center. If your cake is baked not very tall, match up each heart with a pair and only frost the top of one. I liked to have a smoother heart so make sure the baked top part of the cake ends up on the top and bottom (the crumbly pieces on the inside of the heart). Fill each heart and put together. Place in freezer until hardened.

2. Once hard, melt your chocolate and dip the bottom of each heart cake and place on cookie sheet dipped side up. Once hardened, flip around and place dipped side onto a cooling rack. Continue to dip all heart bottoms and repeat until all are coated on the bottom.

3. Make sure your chocolate is still a good pouring consistency, then pour over the cakes and allow to drip down the sides, gently tapping pan to get the extra off.