When I saw Wilton’s Tasty Fill Heart Cake Set, I knew that I wanted to try making one of the lovely heart-centered cakes myself. A cake with a heart-shaped center is perfect Valentine’s Day. After I picked up the cake pan set, all I needed to do was decide what flavor cake I wanted to make. I decided to work backwards and, knowing that I wanted a pink heart at the center of the cake, I ended up opting for a very dark-colored chocolate cake for the cake itself.
The cake pans come in a pair and you get the heart center when the two cakes are stacked on top of each other. This cake recipe fits the pans perfectly, and it rose up just to the top of them, easily filling the cavities built-in to the pans which produce the heart shape. This is a recipe that I would ordinarily use to make two thick 8-inch cake layers. There is a whole cup of cocoa powder in the cake, so it has a really delicious chocolate flavor to it. It is very moist and tender, but is not too dense and is very easy to handle the cake (it isn’t too delicate or likely to crumble as you move the pieces around). There is coffee in the cake to emphasize some of the cocoa notes, but there is no coffee flavor to the finished cake – just a lot of chocolate.
While I knew from the start that I wanted a pink filling, the hardest part of making this cake was figuring out what that filling should be. Ice cream is a good option, but not great in the wintertime, and many of the suggestions that came with the pan included Cool Whip – which I didn’t want to use. I ended up making a very light raspberry mousse, held together with a little bit of plain gelatin to give it stability. It has a great raspberry flavor, a beautiful color (black raspberries will give you a more purple color, regular will be lighter pink; I used a mixture of both) and a very light, fluffy texture to it. I used a pasteurized egg white, beaten to soft peaks, to give this mousse a lot of volume. You can actually use meringue powder as a good substitution in this case if you can’t get pasteurized eggs, so I’ve made notes about the substitution below.
The finishing touch for this cake is the cream cheese frosting on top. The creamy frosting has a nice sweetness to it that goes well with the chocolate cake. It also blends nicely with the bright raspberry flavor of the mousse. You can use other berries for the filling – strawberries, blackberries, etc. – and you can use either fresh berries or frozen, defrosted berries.
This cake should be stored in the fridge to keep the mousse filling firm. That said, the cake must be stored in an airtight container to prevent the cake from becoming dry in the fridge.
This cake didn’t disappoint me in any way. It was delicious, with a great cake, a great combination of flavors and a finished product that looked just like the cake does on the box! This is definitely a great treat for Valentine’s Day, and I like the pan enough that I’m going to have to look for other excuses to have a cake with a heart-shaped center around, too.
Deep Chocolate Cake with a Raspberry Mousse Heart
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
1 cup coffee, room temperature
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour Wilton’s Tasty Fill Heart Cake Pans (cake can also be baked in two 8-inch round pans).
In a large bowl, sift together flour and cocoa powder. Whisk in sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In another large bowl, whisk together vegetable oil, eggs, vanilla extract, sour cream and coffee. Add to dry ingredients and stir until well combined and no streaks of flour remain visible.
Divide evenly into prepared pans. Batter should just cover the heart indents in each side of the Wilton pan; cake will rise quite a bit during baking.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Allow cakes to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then loosen the side with a butter knife and turn cakes out onto wire racks to cool completely.
Once cakes have cooled completely, prepare the raspberry mousse filling (recipe below). Place the bottom half of the cake on a serving plate. Spread the filling into the heart cavities of the cakes. Working quickly and carefully, turn the top half of the cake with filling over onto the bottom half of the cake, enclosing the layers of mousse inside the cake. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours to firm up mousse.
Once mousse has set, frost the cake with the cream cheese frosting (recipe below) and serve.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.
Raspberry Mousse Filling
1/2 cup raspberry puree, strained to remove seeds
2 tbsp water
1 1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin
2 large pasteurized egg whites, room temperature
(or 2 tbsp meringue powder made according to package directions)
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
To make raspberry puree, mash fresh raspberries or defrost and mash frozen berries and press through a strainer to remove seeds. 1 – 1 1/2 cups of berries will yield about 1/2 cup puree.
In a small saucepan, combine water and gelatin. Let stand for 2 minutes to soften gelatin. Add raspberry puree and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently to dissolve gelatin. When mixture just comes to a simmer, remove from heat and let cool to room temperature in a small bowl, about 15 minutes.
Beat egg whites to soft peaks in a medium bowl. Gradually add in the 1/4 cup sugar, continuing to beat the egg whites until they reach stiff peaks and all sugar has been dissolved. Give the raspberry mixture a stir to loosen it up if it is beginning to set, then drizzle it into the egg white mixture and beat until everything is well-blended.
In a small bowl, beat heavy cream to soft peaks. Fold whipped cream into the raspberry mixture.
The mousse can now be spread into the cake to make the filling. Mousse should be chilled well before serving.
Cream Cheese Frosting
8-oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3 tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 – 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
Combine cream cheese, butter, milk and vanilla in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Add in 2 cups confectioners’ sugar and beat until smooth and fluffy. If frosting is too thin to spread easily, add remaining confectioners’ sugar 2-3 tbsp at a time until desired consistency is reached.