Archive for March 5th, 2011

I made these little cakes for a Valentine’s Day themed Family Funday at the church one Saturday in early February.  I had been fortuate to find some small heart shaped silicone cake moulds – 8 for £1 – in Poundland, so I took the risk and bought 2 packs.  I have read mixed reviews about silicone moulds and this is the first time I have used them and I had absolutely no problems, even though these were from the cheap end of the market.  The cakes unmoulded very easily.  I would not pay a large amount for a silicone mould as I am more than happy with my tins, but these served their purpose well.  The reason for this post is mainly to collect together ideas of fillings and toppings for small cakes.

I used the basic recipe for adaptable sponge cake using 3 eggs and kept filling cases until I had used all the mixture, making about 25, or so, cakes.  With these cakes I tried four different flavour combinations for the toppings/fillings: chocolate and cherry with drizzled rose syrup in the centre; banoffee with Dulce de Leche drizzled both on top and mixed with mashed banana as a filling; lemon curd (home made of course) topped with lemon icing and citrus jelly slices, and lastly, simple chocolate/coconut with a chunk of chocolate in the centre.  I have some other ideas for future batches of cakes: individual portion chocolates (Heroes or Celebrations) baked into the centre of the cakes (or half in the cake centre and half embedded in the iced topping), centres made from jam or marmalade or baked with fresh blackberries or raspberries.  (A full list of my thoughts are listed below.) Next time I would be a little less generous when filling the cases as one or two cakes lost their distinctive heart shape and ended up with ‘muffin tops’.  The Dulce de Leche was delicious but did not set so was rather sticky – not a topping I would use again apart from on a cake eaten as a dessert with a fork, perhaps. 

Mini Sweet Heart Cakes
(Use any shape of small cake or muffin tin with our without paper cake cases: tins and silicone moulds are available in a variety of shapes)

Basic Recipe: Adaptable Sponge Cake mixture
(This mixture can be flavoured by adding vanilla, cocoa powder, coffee or another flavoured essence, orange flower water or rose water, but obviously this will affect the entire batch.)

Suggested fillings:
Dulce de Leche
Fresh Fruit: Banana, Blackberries/Raspberries
Dried Fruit (including alcohol soaked fruit: ie. raisins soaked in rum)
Whole or halved individual chocolates
Mint chocolate
Chocolate chips – dark, milk or white
Soft fudge
Chunks of marzipan
Crystallised ginger
Dessicated coconut
Rose Syrup
Fresh whipped cream

Suggested toppings:
Chocolate – dark, milk or white
White or flavoured glace icing
Glace Cherries, sugar sprinkles, jelly fruit slices
Slices of fresh banana (must be eaten the same day)
Halved individual chocolates (other half inside)
Dessicated or shavings of coconut
Crystallised ginger
Chopped nuts/walnut halves/small brazil nuts

1.  Preheat oven to 180oC/350oF/Gas 4

2.  Make up the cake mixture and half fill each of the cake moulds.  If baking jam or chocolate into the centres the cases should initially be quarter filled.  Once the filling is put in (make sure this is centrally placed) top up to half full and make sure the filling is covered.

3.  Bake in an oven until risen and golden brown: 20 minutes cooking time at the most.  Remove from the tin or silicone cases (do not remove paper cases unless the cakes are going to be halved and spread with jam or similar).  Cool on a wire rack.

4.  When cooled the cakes can be finished.  Unless already filled carefully split in half and fill and add a topping of your choice.  Pipe icing if possible.

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