Friday, 13 March 2015

Chocolate Heart Cake

Yep I guess I am a bit late for the whole Valentine's Day thing.  Mr Pickings and I have our wedding anniversary on the first of Feb so we tend to let the whole St Val thing slide.  So just think of this as a chocolate cake, and forget that it is heart-shaped.  I have been making this cake for years, so when we came home from Melbourne recently with a jar of Burch & Purchese chocolate, hazelnut and caramel spread, I figured it  would be super delish in the middle of this cake. This recipe is really easy and quick, but tends to the dry side so I always add something like Nutella, and lashings of whipped cream and a sprinkle of liqueur to liven it up.  The recipe calls for chopped raisins but not being a raisin fan, I include sultanas instead (plus it means you don't have to chop them up).  And of course I splash in Frangelico rather than rum 'cos we want that hazelnut flavour going right through it.  Normally I would add hazelnuts but as my cupboard is hazelnut-free at the moment (my mistake), I have added pecans - my next fave nut.  Well, apart from Brazil nuts and macadamia nuts and cashew nuts...
I think I got my raisin phobia from my mum, who used to use sultanas most of the time.  Funny how these things get carried down the family!  So here it is - a hearty (pun intended) and delicious chocolate cake with all the trimmings.  (I think this is most likely an old Women's Weekly idea originally.  I have upped the ante on this recipe, with several changes to add moistness and flavour.


1/2 cup sultanas (or chopped raisins if you fancy)
3/4 cup boiling water
185g. melted butter
1/4 to 1/3 cup of Frangelico or your fave liqueur
1 large egg
1+ 1/2 cups of plain flour
1 tsp bicarb soda
1/4 cup Dutch cocoa
1 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts or pecans
1 healthy tbs of Frangelico + 2 more tbs
1/2 cup Nutella or similar spread

for the choc cream:
100g, dark chocolate
200 mls whipping cream
1 tbs icing sugar
1 tbs liqueur

3 tbs caramelised cocoa nibs  (or chopped chocolate or nuts)


Grease your cake tin (heart shaped or a regular 20 cm tin) with butter, and dust with cornflour
Place sultanas, boiling water, melted butter, liqueur and the egg into a medium to large mixing bowl
Give it a good whisking
Sift in the flour, bicarb, cocoa and sugar and mix well
Stir in the nuts
Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake for around 45-50 minutes at 180C
It will be done when a skewer comes out clean
Cool in the tin for 5 minutes
Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of liqueur over the warm cake
Allow to cool on a wire rack
Split the cake into halves
Sprinkle 1 tbs extra liqueur on each half - I may have sprinkled even more:)
Spread the Nutella over the bottom layer of the cake
Melt the dark chocolate (do it the easy way in the microwave for about 60 seconds)
Whip the cream with the icing sugar and liqueur till you have thick peaks
Add the slightly cooled melted chocolate to the cream and stir it in
Spread 1/3 of it over the bottom layer of the cake
Place the top half of the cake on the cream-filled layer
Happily spread the rest of the choc cream over the top and sides of the cake
Throw the cocoa nibs (or chopped chocolate or extra nuts) over the top

melt the butter

gather your ingredients 

chop the nuts

stir the mixture together

sift in the dry ingredients

make sure your tin is greased and floured

stir in the nuts

pour into the baking tin 

cut the cake in half  when baked and cooled 

smear on that spread 

melt the chocolate 

whip the cream - old school cos the electric beaters just threw cream all over me! 

stirring the chocolate into the cream 

top layer about to go on cream-filled bottom layer:) 

cake done and dusted (well, decorated anyway!)  


  1. I love chocolate cake! I really like those chocolate nibs on top.

  2. Mr Pickings and staff rather enjoyed the afternoon tea from Mrs Pickings! The benefits of working for a food blogger's hubbie!

  3. Cant beat chocolate cake and you certainly couldn't beat it with that amazing chocolate spread from Melbourne

    1. hi tania
      yep it is pretty amazing. not much of it left!

  4. I love the plate your cake is on. My husband won't eat sultanas because he grew up with a mother who threw them into anything and everything. I do love the look of your heart-shaped cake xx

    1. thanks charlie. i bought that plate at an antique shop yonks ago. i really love it. there are 2 other smaller ones also. there is something about a heart shaped cake isnt there? :)

  5. Pecans and chocolate! Yep, that will win my heart every time :) YUM!!!

    1. hi stella
      for sure- you can't beat nuts and chocolate!

  6. Yum! Chocolate cake in any shape is always a winner!

    1. Hi Jem
      Too true but especially good with loads of cream and booze:)


I would love to hear from you. Please leave your comment and I will reply as soon as I can. If you have problems commenting, please try without your WordPress profile. You can try Anonymous (add your name in the text) or your Google account if you have one.