There were years in my life when I felt Valentine’s Day was overrated…even in those days, there was always something sweet to eat.
Broken Heart Cake
2 3⁄4 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 3⁄4 cups vanilla sugar* (can substitute regular sugar)
3⁄4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
12 tablespoons butter, at room temperature, plus 2 tablespoons for the pans
5 large egg whites, at room temperature
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting tinted a light copper color (recipe to follow)
1 cup crushed Valentine heart candies (I used a zip-top bag and a rolling pin to break)
Preheat oven to 350º F. Butter two 8-inch round baking pans. Set aside.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and vanilla sugar and mix just until combined. Add the milk, butter and vanilla and mix until combined (mixture will be very thick). Add the egg whites and mix until batter is light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Divide batter between the two baking pans and smooth the top. Bake until lightly golden and baked through (about 20-25 minutes). Set aside to cool. When cakes are cool, remove from pans, apply crumb coat of frosting, refrigerate for 30 minutes and apply final coat of frosting. Decorate with the broken heart candy.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
yields about 5 cups
2 cups (4 sticks) butter, room temperature
6 to 8 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla paste (can sub vanilla extract)
4 to 8 tablespoons milk
copper colored food coloring (or any color you like!)
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add 6 cups of the confectioner’s sugar. Add the salt, vanilla paste and 4 tablespoons of milk. Beat for 2 minutes. If the frosting is too thin, add more of the sugar (1/2 a cup at a time). If the frosting is too thick, add more of the milk (1 tablespoon at a time). Stir in a little food coloring at a time until you get your desired color. Refrigerate the frosting for a few minutes before using.
*Vanilla sugar is sugar that has been with a vanilla bean in a jar for a few weeks imparting a mild vanilla flavor
Libbie’s Food Styling Props: Fabric is from a fantastic shop in Montreal, Canada called Effiloché that I visited recently and fell in love with –this was just one of many yards I brought home with me. Variety of dessert plates come from all over the place. If I see one I love, I buy it for a prop or dinner party. Purple flatware from Re-think Design Studio.