How To Make A Love Hearts Valentine Cake
Happy Valentines Day my lovelies! I hope your paramours are treating you brilliantly, if not, ditch ‘em! Or if you’re single like me I hope you’re treating yourself well, cos you’re worth it babe! Treat yourself to a Lush bath bomb, binge watch The Gilmore Girls (Team Jess!) on Netflix and have no regrets when you eat all the cake.
I have to admit this is probably the hardest post I’ve written yet. I always do struggle with this part cos that little voice in my heads like no one cares how your weeks been talk about the cake already! But then you add Valentine’s Day to the mix? Nightmare. I mean, I dread this day most years but usually, I get to hide from it and this year I have to write about it. Ok, I didn’t have to I could have ignored it but come on, I’m a cake decorator. Skipping it would have been lame AF too. And then I’m reminded that last year I had the ‘Ultimate, Perfect, Valentine’s Day’. Genuinely. I was in Vegas with a guy I loved and we ate at the faux Eiffel Tower, went to the top to watch the Bellagio water show, took a gondola ride in Venice, rode a helicopter over the city, watched Cirque Du Soleil (the sexy one), he even wrote individual date cards like the kinds you find you on The Bachelor (which I love!). And this year? Well this year let’s just say will be less fabulous, no guy, no vacation, definitely no helicopter.
The craziest part is I’m actually happy single. It’s definitely the right thing for me at this point in my life. There’s no ‘one that got away’, no unrequited crush, no what ifs niggling away at me in the middle of the night. I know why I’m single and why it’s better that way. In fact, I’m more afraid of staying in the wrong relationship than ending up alone. But then Valentine’s Day appears and none of that matters. I don’t have a someone, therefore, I must be a loser. All my beliefs disappear faster than cake left out in my house. What is wrong with me?? Urgh can we just replace Valentine’s with Galentines and be done with it already? That one was way more fun. And way less likely to give someone the blues. And let’s face it, if you’re in a happy relationship you don’t need a day to celebrate it, that’s what every day is for but if you aren’t one of those people? Valentine’s comes along to clobber you. If you’re single you feel uncharacteristically lonely and if you’re in a bad relationship? Nothing is worse than Valentine’s day for making you put the flaws under a microscope. See, getting rid of it actually serves everyone. Can we get a petition started?
And how do you write about Valentines Day without being too something? Too cheesy, too bitter, too soppy, too desperate, too needy. It’s a minefield. I’m pretty sure this post has already covered 4 out 5 of those adjectives. There’s only cheesy left so I guess I should let the cake handle that one? Because when I do have a 'someone' I get super cheesy. Like annoyingly chipper. I'm thinking, just this once I’ll steer into it. Enter the LoveHeart sweets. They are cheesy but cute and instead of drumming up images of Cupid with a shady aim, all they make me think of is being a kid. Being super happy to be allowed sweets. And thinking I was beyond generous if I saved a particularly nice message to give to someone else.
Luckily for me, my huge family love fondant which means when I went fondant heavy on this cake there weren't any leftovers. But, I get that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Good news though because the design would work by substituting in cookies. Let me know if you do, I’d love to see it. One quick note before we get started, I coloured the frosting for this pink which worked in real life but in photos, it came out kinda weird so I’m recommending for your own, leave it white.
100g lilac fondant
100g green fondant
50g white fondant
500g pink fondant
100g yellow fondant
Splash of vodka
2 cakes (find my recipe here)
500g icing sugar
Splash of milk
6 tbsp raspberry jam
2 barbecue sticks
Bake the cakes in 6-inch cake pans for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. When cool, cut into two layers each cake, wrap in cling film and place in the freezer
Cut a heart template from parchment paper and roll out the pink fondant. It should be roughly a ¼ inch thick. Use the template to cut a heart from pink fondant
Place the heart on a lined baking tray and brush with vodka. Gently press two barbecue skewers in halfway deep. Depending on the length of the skewers you may need to snip some from the bottom, make sure to do this before attaching to the fondant, otherwise you might break the decoration
Cut a second heart in pink fondant and place it over the first, smoothing out the top. It should still be sticky from the vodka before but if not, brush on a little more
Roll a long thin rope from pink fondant and use this to create the outline and ‘Be Mine’ inside the heart, attaching with some vodka. Looking at the sweets the message is pressed in the original colour and then painted on top in red to make it stand-out, so I thought I'd better stay true. Once the outline and ‘Be Mine’ are firmly stuck down, mix a drop of vodka with red food gel and paint on top to make the message pop. Leave this to dry overnight.
While the main heart’s drying we can make a start on the little ones. Cut another two templates in parchment paper. Roll out the yellow, lilac and green fondant. Cut out 3 small and 1 medium in yellow, 4 small and 1 medium in lilac and finally, 4 small in green. Stick on the toothpicks with some vodka and then cover with a small patch of fondant on the back. Leave to dry overnight
The following day, remove the cakes from the freezer 2-3 hours before you’re ready to decorate.
Beat together 250g of butter, 500g of icing sugar and 1tsp of vanilla extract. At this point, I coloured my buttercream pale pink which was great. To begin with, but then it darkened throughout the day and by the time I came to take the pictures it was way too dark and didn’t at all match. Moral of the story? I’d say add the tiniest drop of purple to make the yellow of the buttercream white and leave it there.
When ready, build up the cake in layers with jam and buttercream between. Cover the entire cake with a layer of buttercream to pick up the crumbs and place the cake in the fridge.
After 30 minutes, apply another layer of buttercream to the entire cake, smoothing the sides and top. Return to the fridge for another 30 minutes.
While the cake is chilling, split the remaining pink fondant into 2 parts, colour one until it’s slightly darker shade and add a small piece of the other to 50g of white fondant until you have a paler pink. We’ll use these to make the streamers.
Roll the 3 differing shades of pink fondant into thin ropes that taper at either end. Place these on top of the cake, twisting and curling them as you go. If you have any trouble with the fondant sticking to the buttercream, mist the cake with vodka.
Finally, push in the fondant hearts from earlier. Be super gentle though cos they can be pretty fickle.
Another one done! Happy Valentines from me to you!
Come back next week, I’m finally attempting to cake Harry Potter and I have no idea if I’m gonna be able to manage the ambitious design my brain cooked up.