It’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow, and although I’m not into the whole commercialised idea of spending heaps of money on flowers and chocolates and fuzzy teddy bears, I do like to cook something special for the family. (Okay, I admit it. If someone bought me flowers and chocolates I wouldn’t say no, as long as it was good chocolate. And fuzzy teddy bears are pretty cute too.)
Anyway, this year I came up with this recipe for dense, fudgey chocolate heart cakes, and just for fun I decorated them with a dairy free chocolate ganache spread, coconut cream, and raspberry coulis. (There’s a little video clip below showing how I did the raspberry swirl heart at the bottom of this post.) Of course, we already ate them all because I had to get this blog post done before Valentine’s Day. And then I didn’t get time to do it til now… oops! So by the time you read this it may be too late to make these for Valentine’s Day, but hey, if you love someone you shouldn’t need to wait for a certain date on a calendar to show it… so just go make these anyway!
P.S. These cakes are gluten free, grain free, and dairy free. If you can’t have nuts you can use flour instead. If you can’t have eggs you can probably substitute for those too, I just haven’t had a chance to try it.
I make these in little heart shaped flan tins – you could use heart shaped muffin tins too, or just make them in regular muffin tins and decorate with a raspberry swirl heart on top. Or you could use a regular cake tin, but you’ll need to cook it for a little longer.
- 200g roughly chopped dark chocolate (I use a good quality, dairy free, naturally sweetened 65-70% cocoa chocolate like Valrhona or Rapunzel chocolate)
- 150g pitted dates
- 180g coconut oil (or butter or ghee)
- 70g walnuts (or you can use 50g of gluten free or regular plain flour if you can't have nuts)
- 1/4 tsp fine Himalayan or sea salt
- 3 large eggs*
- Preheat oven to 190C.
- Grind chocolate in Thermomix bowl for 10 seconds on speed 9.
- Add dates and chop for 10 seconds on speed 9.
- Add coconut oil and melt at 60C for 5 minutes on speed 2.
- Add walnuts, salt and eggs and mix on speed 8 for 10 seconds.
- Pour mixture into tins (greased with coconut oil or butter) and bake at 190C for approx. 20 minutes for small cakes or muffins, to 30 minutes for a cake. Skewer inserted into centre of cake should come out clean.
- Allow cakes to cool, then ice with chocolate ganache spread.
This is a recipe I developed as a dairy free, nut free substitute for Nutella, and I found it also works perfectly for a chocolate sauce when hot. You can pour it over a cake like ganache and it will set all firm and glossy in the fridge. Or spread it on toast when it’s cold. It’s a kind of multi-purpose ganache-spread-topping… for now and then of course.
- 100g dark dairy free chocolate scrape down bowl
- 30g coconut oil (or ghee or butter)
- 30g rice malt syrup (or honey)
- 200g thick coconut cream (or less if you like your chocolate darker)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Break up chocolate and grind in Thermomix for 10 seconds on sp 9.
- Weigh remaining ingredients into Thermomix bowl and cook for 2 minutes at 60C speed 2.
- Place in the fridge to cool a little, then when it's slightly less runny, spread over cake/s and place cakes in fridge to set.*
* Note: I found it was easiest to make the raspberry-coconut cream swirl hearts on top of the cakes if the chocolate ganache was set and firm. The first batch I made while the chocolate was still warm and runny, and although it looked pretty, it was difficult to keep in a heart shape as it tended to run off the edges. (See photo below) So it’s up to you – if you want a more freeform swirly heart, go ahead and do it while the chocolate is warm, then put it straight into the freezer to set.
These cakes are best served within an hour, once the heart swirls are made, as the raspberry coulis eventually will sink into the cream if it’s in the fridge for too long. So make the cakes with the chocolate topping on them and keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to finish them off. They can stay in the fridge for days, and actually taste best cold from the fridge.
- tin of smooth coconut cream (do not shake it up!)
- a batch of Raspberry Coulis.
- 200g raspberries
- 40g Rapadura (or preferred sweetener - see this list sugar alternatives)
- Cook raspberries and Rapadura (or preferred sweetener) in Thermomix for 4 minutes at 90C on speed 4. Strain through a fine seive to remove seeds. Set aside to cool.
- Don't shake up the tin of coconut cream! When you open the tin, scoop the thicker cream off the top into a small dish. Whisk cream with a fork until it's nice and smooth.
- Using a teaspoon, blob some cream onto the top of the chocolate covered heart cake in the shape of a heart, rounding edges with a butter knife to neaten.
- Drizzle on a few small blobs of raspberry coulis.
- Using a toothpick, swirl the cream and the coulis together - don't 'over-swirl' or it will all run together. Less is more.
Happy Valentine’s Day!