A heart cake for a Valentine's delight.
Valentines Day—that fun, romantic day filled with flowers, love poems and of course lots and lots of chocolate. Treats for Valentines come in all shapes, sizes, flavors, and colors—your favorite may be frosting sugar cookies or your favorite may be cutting into a thick slice of chocolate cake with creamy frosting. Whatever your preference may be, I wanted to create a healthy, yet simply delicious Valentines treat for all to enjoy!
I wanted to create something unique and special for this day of pink hearts and red roses—obviously chocolate had to be involved, so I came up with a mini chocolate cake made with hazelnut flour. This grain free, gluten free and refined sugar free hazelnut chocolate cake is rich in flavor due to the distinct taste of hazelnuts and pure cacao powder. But, when combined with fresh, sweet blackberries and warm ganache, each bite brings the perfect amount of sweetness.
Hazelnut flour is a grain free and gluten free flour alternative, similar to almond flour. If you are eating grain or gluten free, low carb or paleo, this is a great flour to use. I have been starting to bake with it recently and absolutely love the results! The flavor is much stronger than almond flour, but hazelnut and chocolate are the perfect pair.
Chocolates and sweets are always my favorite foods to create in my kitchen, and as can only eat a limited amount of sugars due to my health restrictions (read my story of overcoming diabetes here), I happily bake all my own desserts. I hope you enjoy these adorable layered cakes as much as we have been in our house :)
The dark chocolate cake is moist, buttery and rich—you want the centers to be slightly gooey when removing from the oven. I chose to keep the blackberry cream very fresh and pure rather than a typically sweet frosting, while the ganache provides a sweeter flavor. Each component of the layered cakes is unique on its own right, but not complete until you put all the layers together—I recommend eating the cake, cream and ganache together as the flavors are meant to be combined.
Finally, do not be frightened but the list of ingredients or steps to make these adorable layered cakes (I used this mini heart baking pan to bake). The process is quite simple and allows you to be creative in the kitchen. Just whisk, bake, drizzle and enjoy! When your fork cuts through the luscious layers of sweet blackberries and rich chocolate hazelnut, the flavor combines for a heavenly, healthy Valentines treat!
Whatever your Valentines may bring, its the perfect excuse to treat yourself to something sweet and delicious (oh and healthy)! Happy Valentines!
Chocolate Hazelnut Heart Cakes with Blackberry Cream and Chocolate Ganache
A heart shaped layered cake for Valentines day. Grain free, gluten free and refined sugar free chocolate cake.
makes 6 layered mini cakes
Chocolate Hazelnut Heart Cakes
- 1 1/2 cup hazelnut flour
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 6 tbsp cacao powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp coconut milk
- 8 tbsp butter, melted
Blackberry Mascarpone Cream
- 6 oz fresh blackberries
- 8 oz mascarpone*
- 2 tbsp raw honey
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks (70% cocoa is best)
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (or coconut milk)
- 2 tbsp Kahlua coffee liqueur
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease mini heart baking pans with butter.
- Purée the blackberries and honey. Use a spatula to fold in mascarpone cream. Blend thoroughly. Chill in refrigerator for 20 minutes or until time to assemble cakes.
- To make the cakes, whisk together eggs and coconut milk in a mixing bowl. Sift in dry ingredients. Pour in melted butter, stirring to form a smooth batter.
- Spoon into baking pans filling half way full.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes—cake can still be slightly gooey in the middle. Cool for about 5 minutes, running a knife around the edges to remove from pan.
- While the cakes are baking, make the chocolate ganache.
- Over low heat, slowly melt chocolate. Whisk in cream and Kahlua. Continue stirring until creamy and smooth. Allow to cool for for about 3-5 minutes to thicken.
To assemble heart layered cakes
- Play one mini cake on the bottom of plate. Scoop blackberry cream on top, using a spatula to gently smooth. Place second cake on top.
- Drizzle with warm chocolate ganache.
This & That
- The mini layer cakes are best served at room temperature with warm ganache.
- If you do not have a mini heart baking pans, you can easily make these using muffin tins.
- You can make the chocolate hazelnut cakes the night ahead and then simply assemble when you are ready to serve.
- The addition of Kahula liqueur gives a rich, coffee flavor to the ganache and pairs nicely with the sweet blackberries. This can be optional but I recommend using it for the best flavor!
- *If you cannot handle lactose, you can simply omit the mascarpone and have more of a fruit, jelly like filling.