This Valentine’s Day heart cake is fantastic on its own. It really pops when you serve it on a pool of raspberry-Ancho chile sauce. This cake doesn’t use flour, so it’s gluten-free. The cake is somewhat soft on the inside and delicately crisp on the outside. The sauce can be quite spicy, so you could serve the sauce in a bowl on the side. This Valentine’s Day heart cake seems complicated, but once you’ve made it, you find it’s not difficult at all. You’ll want to try shapes and variations for other holidays and occasions.
Making a cake stencil
For the powdered-sugar design on the top, I found a heart stencil clip art online and used PowerPoint to create a file. Paste the clip art photo in the document and increase the size so it completely covers the page. That’s about the size of the heart cake pan. After running a few test prints on my printer to get the right size and shape, I printed it on a piece of card stock to make the stencil a bit stiffer. I used a fine-point exacto knife to cut out the design. If you wanted to make more than one of these, you could make the stencil on a sheet of thin, stiff plastic so it could be washed and re-used.
Using the cake stencil
The top of the cake is fairly uneven rather than very flat. I used a pastry brush to just moisten the top of the cake so the paper stencil would stick to the cake. That makes the edges of the design come out distinctly. Use powdered sugar in a shaker for best results, covering the top of the cake evenly. Try practicing on a piece of colored paper, if you’re uncertain of your skills, before doing it on the cake.