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Deep Chocolate Cake with a Raspberry Mousse Heart

Deep Chocolate Cake with a Raspberry Mousse Heart

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.

A bite of Chocolate Cake with a Raspberry Mousse Heart

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.

Serves 12-14

Deep Chocolate Cake with a Raspberry Mousse Heart

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.

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  • Azleena
    February 10, 2010

    absolutely stunning!

  • Cindy
    February 10, 2010

    That looks so good! You could do a reverse next, using Culinary in the Desert’s raspberry cake recipe and filling it with chocolate mousse.

  • The Gypsy Chef
    February 11, 2010

    What a beautiful cake! You did such a nice job with it. I bet it tastes as good as it looks!

  • Sweets at Vicky's
    February 11, 2010

    You made my heart stop when I saw your amazing cake! Wilton is cool that way, making all these pans and stuff, creative and ingenius! And well done on the lovely mousse and the pretty colour. I’m petrified of making mousse so kudos to you!

  • Cookin' Canuck
    February 11, 2010

    Absolutely adorable! I love your decision to fill the chocolate cake with raspberry mousse – that’s one of my favorite flavor combinations.

  • Jacqueline
    February 11, 2010

    Your cake looks absolutely stunning and I love the colour combination, great job!

  • Susan
    February 12, 2010

    That’s pretty awesome! I love the contrast between the brown of the chocolate cake and the pink of your mousse. Now I’m really tempted to get this pan set. It’d be such a surprise for guests to cut into a cake and find a heart center.

  • Kate
    February 12, 2010

    Your cake turned out adorable! What a great surprise for your guests when you cut into it.

  • jessica
    February 22, 2010

    Looks adorable! the checkerboard plates make it though. Do you remember where you got those?

  • Nicole
    February 22, 2010

    Jessica – Thanks! I don’t remember exactly where I got them. Probably on sale at some kitchen or home goods store would be my best guess!

  • PastryPrincess
    March 6, 2010

    this looks SO sweet! what a great idea – and would be perfect for my lil sis’ upcoming birthday. shes a chocoholic with a love for raspberries and as shes my one true love this would be cute surprise! maybe i can integrate the heart-shaped filling into other cakes to, will have to give it a try and will let you know!
    if you like the berry-choc-combo i can recommend the raspberry cream creem cheese brownies i mad for my own brithday recently: a triple delight and so scrumptious! i blogged about it, too… check it out!

  • jdm
    March 24, 2010

    wow the heart make’s this very creative, and look unique.

  • Lindsey
    July 16, 2010

    I tried the raspberry mousse filling and I must say…. absolutely amazing! Thanks for sharing.

  • SAba
    February 27, 2011

    hey plzzzz help me out, which side of the pan should be filled and baked…i dont understand how this heart will be formed inside a circular pan….i shall b really thankful if someone help me out

  • Sumaya
    March 19, 2011

    Hi Nicole, I stumbled on this by chance, I had never heard about your blog before, but I have to say.. I love it!! The photos are very pretty and you’re very generous with all the instructions and details. Anyway, I got excited and purchased this pan, I didn’t have raspberries so I filled it with strawberries but otherwise followed your recipe for the mousse. I think it might’ve needed more gelatin as it was a little runny, I had to chill it for an hour before I could invert the cake. But the result was incredible and tasty! And I loved seeing everybody’s surprise when the cake was cut, Thank you for all the compliments I got 🙂
    Saba, I understand where you’re coming from, when I opened the box I stared at the pans for a few minutes until I got it. in each pan there are 2 cavities, one big and one small. Pour the cake batter in the large cavities and bake (notice that “Wilton” on the bottom of the pan should be on the outside). After the cakes are baked, take them out of the pans and now fill the small cavities with your filling, and invert the shorter of the pans on top of the longer (with the fillings in the inside). It’s hard to imagine with the empty pans, but once you bake the cake it’s much easier, good luck 🙂

  • liz
    June 30, 2011

    I, too, stumbled upon this recipe trying to make sense of the Wilton pans. THIS RECIPE IS DIVINE!!! I made it for a group & they went crazy over it, devouring every crumb. Whoever you are who created this recipe, thank you soooo very much! I’m making it again this wkend for a friend’s birthday & can’t wait to surprise her!

    One thing, tho–I was not a fan of the gelatin raspberry or the idea of cream cheese frosting. So made up my own for the inside w/whipping cream, confectioner’s sugar & chopped cherries. For the outside, I got a creamy vanilla frosting recipe from “Recipes From the World-Famous Bakery & Magnolia’s Home Kitchen.”

  • kathy
    October 12, 2011

    can I substitute Gelatin with corn starch????

  • susan
    February 17, 2012

    I am very glad to have found your beautiful cake. I just picked up this pan on a whim at 50% off at Target, and was looking for tips from someone who had used it successfully. You certainly have! I had planned on my tried and true chocolate cake with Heavenly chocolate mousse filling from Allrecipes with a sweetened whipped cream frosting, drizzled with raspberry sauce – but that raspberry mousse is giving me pause.

  • Solomiyka
    June 12, 2012

    Can this raspberry mousse be kept in the freezer? I would like to use this raspberry mousse in another recipe (Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake at Pastry Pal) which calls for freezing the entire cake for 4 hours…

    Thank you! God bless!

  • Lise
    September 15, 2012

    This is a fantastic tasting cake. Thanks for the recipe! I made it into 6 smaller layers and put raspberry mousse between each & covered it in ganache. People told me it was the best cake they ever ate.

  • TGB
    September 19, 2012

    Great Recipe! Can you put a chocolate mousse in it with food colouring?? Will the chocolate mousse change colour or will the chocolate mousse be to strong?

  • Claudia
    April 24, 2013

    How many cups of mousse does your recipe make?? Thanks!

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