Chocolate Heart Cake

If you love someone and they love chocolate –  THIS is the cake to bake for them – Chocolate Heart Cake.

Chocolate Heart Cake the perfect way to show someone you love them www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Heart Cake the perfect way to show someone you love them www.feastingisfun.com

So my hubby’s birthday was at the start of the year AND I didn’t make him a birthday cake.

I Know!!!!

We still had nearly a whole Christmas cake left and we had chocolate, in all it’s delicious forms, everywhere. Hubby wanted a chocolate cake for his birthday, I was struggling with the remnants of Christmas past that were, increasingly, threatening to take over every cupboard and side table in the house.

Breath……in……..and…..out.

Phew I was in danger of being over dramatic there?

What a difference a week makes.

3 teenagers and hubby had made significant inroads, on the chocolate abundance. Time to bake cake. Chocolate cake!

It was late.   Delayed.   Belated.   Not on time.

There was no getting away from it, I needed to pull out all the stops and come up with an I Love You and I’m sorry it’s late, birthday cake.

Pretty sure I nailed it with this fudgy, moist, rich, Chocolate Heart Cake.

Chocolate Heart Cake an expression of true love in cake form. www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Heart Cake an expression of true love in cake form. www.feastingisfun.com

Too near Christmas and this cake would have been too much. Deeply chocolatey and slathered in a smooth, yet decadent chocolate ganache, accented with little white chocolate hearts. This Chocolate Heart Cake is perfect for all true chocolate lovers.

Chocolate Heart Cake happiness was easy to find in a single bite of this cake! www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Heart Cake happiness was easy to find in a single bite of this cake! www.feastingisfun.com

Very fortunately for me, my wonderful husband was happy to wait for his cake. Not only is he the one and only true love of my life, he is the kindest, most patient, loving man I have ever known.

Girls don’t settle for second best, or never give proper attention to the man you are with – in the hope that someone better will rock up. When you find someone who loves you, for you, with all their heart, hold on tight and never let go.

Just sayin’.

Back to all matters cake. I was going to wait until Valentine’s Day to post this recipe, then I remembered my heart tin, which I bought very cheaply, in the January sales last year.

So if you like this cake, want to make it and see a heart tin in the sales, grab that bargain!

Chocolate Heart Cake candles, singing and merriment. The ingredients of a successful birthday cake www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Heart Cake candles, singing and merriment. The ingredients of a successful birthday cake www.feastingisfun.com

Recipe: Makes 1 Chocolate Heart Cake – serves 10-12

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature, plus a little extra to grease the tin

225g/8oz Light Soft Brown Sugar

4 Large Eggs – I use free range

150ml/5fl oz Sour Cream

1tsp Vanilla Extract

125g/5oz Plain White Flour

75g/3oz Cocoa Powder – I use Callebaut

2tsp Baking Powder

1/4tsp Salt

75g/3oz Dark Chocolate

75g/3oz Milk Chocolate

150ml/5fl oz Double Cream

50g/2oz White Chocolate

Method: Preheat oven to 175C/160C fan

Grease the pan and line the base with baking parchment.
Grease the pan and line the base with baking parchment.

Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.

Crack the eggs into a jug, gently whisk to break up.

Add the sour cream and vanilla extract to the eggs and stir to combine – wet ingredients.

Place the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into a sieve  – dry ingredients.

Sift one third of the dry ingredients into the creamed sugar and butter.

Add half of the wet mixture to the bowl.

Mix gently until combined.

Repeat the addition of dry and wet ingredients.

Mix until combined and then slowly mix in the last of the dry ingredients.

 

Spoon the chocolate cake batter into the heart tin.
Spoon the chocolate cake batter into the heart tin.

Place the cake into the oven and bake for approx. an hour.

The Chocolate Heart Cake is baked when it springs back after being lightly pressed. www.feastingisfun.com
The Chocolate Heart Cake is baked when it springs back after being lightly pressed. www.feastingisfun.com

Don’t worry if there is a slight jiggle to the cake, as long as it springs back when pressed.

Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes.

Chocolate Heart Cake turn the slightly cooled cake out, bottom side up, onto a cooling rack.
Chocolate Heart Cake turn the slightly cooled cake out, bottom side up, onto a cooling rack.

Take care when turning this cake out, as it is very moist, with an almost ‘brownie like’ texture.

Allow the cake to cool completely before decorating.

Place the double cream, milk and dark chocolate into a heat proof bowl set over a double boiler see here for detailed photos.

Stir constantly, removing the bowl from the heat when the chocolate is two thirds melted.  Keep stirring until all the chocolate is melted into the cream.

Set aside until slightly cooled and thickened.

Place the Chocolate Heart Cake onto a board or cake stand.

Pour the slightly cooled, thickened, chocolate ganache onto the cake.
Pour the slightly cooled, thickened, chocolate ganache onto the cake.
Smooth the ganache over the top of the cake, allowing it to just edge over the sides.
Smooth the ganache over the top of the cake, allowing it to just edge over the sides.

I used the back of a spoon, however, a palette knife would have given a smoother finish. Note to self!!

Melt the white chocolate, in a small heatproof bowl, in the microwave, set to medium. Nuke in 20 second bursts, stirring after each one, until the chocolate is two thirds melted.  Remove from the microwave and continuously stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

Starting at the centre of the heart dip, drip, using a teaspoon, a small circle of white chocolate onto the cake. Approx. 1cm diameter.

Using a cocktail stick and starting just above the circle, drag the stick through the white chocolate to create a wispy heart accent.

Creating the wispy heart decoration.
Creating the wispy heart decoration.

Add as many heart accents as you like. The overall cake will look better if decorated in a symmetrical pattern.

Move the cake to a cool place to set.

Chocolate Heart Cake who will you make this cake for? www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Heart Cake who will you make this cake for? www.feastingisfun.com

My husband was thrilled with his birthday cake.

It not only looked fantastic, but tasted deeply chocolatey too!

Do you enjoy baking for loved ones and if so what do you like to bake?

If you like this Chocolate Heart Cake, here are some others you may enjoy:

Chocolate Sparkle Cake

Marbled Chocolate Bundt Cake

Malted Marbeled Chocolate Cake

I hope you have fun making and baking delicious cakes for all your loved ones.

Sammie xx

 

 

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Does Your Age Define You?

Hi. How are you? Does Your Age Define You? Does how old you feel match how old you are? In my head I will always be 22 years old – even though I’m in my mid forties. I’m determined that however old I become, my age will never define me. My body may limit me, but I will always search for ways to to live my life at its fullest.

Be inspired to not let your age define you.
Be inspired to not let your age define you.

 

Why should we limit ourselves, just because Society demands that once we reach a certain our hair should be cut to a certain length, permed and then have a blue rinse!!! I know that that is becoming less so these days, but do we /should we limit, or change the way we behave, dress, challenge ourselves just because we reach a certain age??

My mum is a huge inspiration to me. She recently passed her driving test – first time around, after taking lessons in her mid 60’s. She certainly didn’t let her age determine her ability to learn a new skill. I am so proud of her. Firstly for taking on the challenge of learning to drive and secondly, her determination to succeed and pass her test.

Anything is possible if you set your mind to succeed.
Anything is possible if you set your mind to succeed.

 

Our eldest daughter is sitting her GCSE’s this summer and there is huge pressure from her school, teachers, peers and society to ‘do well’.  Whilst encouragement is good, the sheer amount of pressure ‘to do well as the results will affect her choices for the rest of her life’  is rubbish!!

I have friends who have trained to be social workers, teachers and counsellors in their 40’s and 50’s. They worked, married, had children and decided to embark on a new career. I applaud and respect them so much. They truly are evidence that their age did not define them.

Make the most of ever opportunity, it may not pass by you again.
Make the most of ever opportunity, it may not pass by you again.

 

There are some amazingly talented children who master playing a musical instrument at a very young age. Beethoven wrote his first symphony age 5. He didn’t allow others to define his ability, nor should you! I started this blog in my mid 40’s knowing nothing AT ALL about how to go about setting up a website, widgets, thumbnails, plugins, code (half of which I still don’t understand, but I’m learning). I follow all different kinds of bloggers, including – beauty and fashion, lifestyle, photography, food and drink!!!

I quite often wear my hair up, sometimes in a ponytail. I was once asked “At what age do you think a ponytail would be unsuitable?”. I was astounded. Partly because it had never occurred to me that it might become ‘unsuitable’ and partly because I was surprised that someone would even think that way (I am kinda naive!!).

Do you feel confined or restricted by your age? Do you think it’s appropriate, as people grow older that they dress and present themselves at the age they are? Do you prefer to live outside of the box, seeing age as no hindrance to the life you intend to live? Have you accomplished something later in life, that you never dared to believe you could in your younger days?

How does this make you feel?
How does this make you feel?                       Does Your Age Define You? 

I would love to read your comments.

Sammie

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Valentines Day – what Love means to me.

Hello, how are you today?  I’d like to share a few thoughts about tomorrow – Valetines Day.

Pretty swirly heart design.
Pretty swirly heart design.

Valentines Day, for me, is not about cards, flowers and all the other little love touches that surround the day – as pretty, appreciated and adorable as they are.  For me Valentines Day is a gentle reminder, to show all the people in my life that I am blessed to love, that I DO indeed love and appreciate them.

A beautiful rose, blooming in the rain!
A beautiful rose, blooming in the rain!

My hubby and I have always taught our, not so lil children, that love is a doing word.  For me a cup of tea in bed, a thank you for an every day task, 5 minutes just snuggling with my homework laden babies, fills my love tank.  There are literally thousands of ways they show us, as parents, that they love us – and I love that!!

Don't worry, I've got your back x x x
Don’t worry, I’ve got your back x x x

As a family we watch out for each other.  Making time in our fast paced 24/7 world says, you are important to me.  We aren’t perfect, but we are trying.  Recently during our eldest daughter’s exams, her younger sister bought her a little something (usually chocolate – the universal language of love with teenage girls, in fact most girls!!) for everyday she had an exam.  She was showing her big sis love, telling her how proud she was of her and recognising how hard she had worked.  That no matter what, she would always be there for her.  As a mum my heart melted.

Taking time to paint/decorate someone's nails is FUN and shows you love them!!
Taking time to paint/decorate someone’s nails is FUN and shows you love them!!

Our lil man gets up before everyone else at the weekend and feeds our cat and dog.  A small act of love that means we get a lay-in!  My gorgeous hubby brings me a cup of tea, in bed each morning through the work week, I feel loved.  When I have a rotten migraine he holds back my hair, if I’m being sick, I KNOW I am loved.

I married my best friend x x x
I married my best friend x x

I have said before that I enjoy cooking for other people, especially as a way of showing them that they are loved, appreciated, valued and important in my life.  This is not restricted to our immediate family of 5, but our parents, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews and honorary family members.  It’s nice to feel special but it’s AMAZING to make someone feel loved.

One of my favourite ways to show love!
One of my favourite ways to show love!

So I guess what I’m saying is that, true love is in the giving and receiving.  When God created Adam, He said “It is not good for man to be alone” and created Eve, from Adam as his helpmate/partner/wife/friend. He gave Adam a person to love – not just God himself.

Heart tree
Heart tree X

So while I love the opportunity to whip up a batch of heart shaped shortbread for family and loved ones on Valentines Day and cook a special dinner for us as a family, really I see Valentines Day as a reminder, to me, to be more loving, show more affection (I’m not really the most ‘cuddly person’) but others are, so I’m working on that. I prefer to do the giving rather than receiving, but others want to show me their love too!  Love is not fixed. It’s adapting to others needs whilst still retaining a sense of who you are – cos that’s why you’re loved!!

So Happy Valentines Day to you all.
So Happy Valentines Day to you all.

I wish everyone of you a Happy Valentines Day, where, no matter how hard you try, you are loved more than you love.  May your Valentines Day be showered by little hearts of love, may you KNOW the truest love of all – Jesus. Let your heart be filled with His Love, Mercy, Forgiveness, Grace and Life, that you too can say, for sure “I am loved, just as I am”.

Love Sammie xx

 

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Showing Sharing Loving Caring

Hi everyone how are you? I hope you are enjoying the start to 2015.  My theme and aim for this year is Showing Sharing Loving Caring. It’s really the essence of why I set up this blog. Showing Love through Sharing, Caring enough to spend time, whether it’s family, friends, neighbours or someone new.

I know for some however, that  Christmas, the New Year and Winter in general can be a really tough time. So wherever you are I’m sending you a big, warm hug. Life can be very tough and it’s during these tough times that we need to show love and be shown love more than ever.

Now I can’t physically visit every single person and sit, listen and spend time with them. But we can all take time to show love to one person, outside of our family and friendship group.

Am I freaking you out or scaring you yet? Yes. Good!!! We can all get comfortable in our own lives, which I  do understand are busier than ever. Even though we have time saving gadgets galore, we still live in a ‘time pressed’ society.

It is still our choice though how we spend our time, what we prioritise as important and those things that are less important. For me my life has no meaning if I don’t show love. That can mean spending time listening whilst someone unburdens their heart. Or no words, just a big warm hug. I also love to cook or bake for people.

Sharing is central to who I am. Once I made a very simple Victoria Sponge Cake for an elderly couple, one of whom had just spent time in hospital. Their faces broke into huge smiles at this surprise gift, but more importantly they felt loved and cared for.

Reach out, you may be surprised by the results!
Reach out, you may be surprised by the results!

I’m most definitely not trying to portray myself as some perfect Saint. I am a pretty normal, fun loving, individual – just like so many other people. So I really want to encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone and reach out to just one person, who you wouldn’t normally interact with.

A cup of tea, cookie and natter can become a feast. A feast of time! There is no greater gift, than the gift of love. As a Christian I have the gift of love inside me. God’s love. He has shown me limitless love through His Son JESUS. I am completely accepted and loved for who I am and because of that great love, I want to share love.

We can all have the love of Jesus in our lives – see ‘Important Stuff!!!’ for more information and help, you can also leave a comment (I can reply and do not have to publish your comment if you preference privacy).

I am very blessed to have a wonderful, loving family, the best friends anyone could ever hope for and I love them all. One of my favourite things is a family get together, where we always have the best feasts! Not only do we feast on delicious food, but also on each other’s company. We laugh, smile, share and love.

Feasting does not have to be in large groups. Sharing a bowl of soup with a lonely neighbour, can itself be a feast. How about inviting someone who is on their own for Sunday lunch? Or, slicing up a cake that is left over from a celebration and popping a slice or two round to your neighbours?

Having fun making my pics look pretty!
Having fun making my pics look pretty!

The excitement and sense of fun, before delivering a meal or slice of cake is priceless. You can have all the money you need, but it will never bring you the happiness and peace that sharing caring and loving bring.

So I encourage both you and myself to be greater at sharing and showing love during 2015. Your life will be enriched as you start Showing Sharing Loving Caring and of course Feasting and having Fun.

Sammie x

 

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Fun!!

Hi there.  I hope that you are having a good day?  I’ve been pondering why, as people, we have fun? What makes popping bubble wrap feel sooo good and is so much fun to do?  Why, as fully grown adults, do we wrap up and run outside, in the middle of Winter, as soon as there’s a dusting of snow on the ground?  Then we rush to the top of the nearest hill, sit on a piece of plastic or metal and spend an entire day sliding down, walking up, sliding down, walking up –  you get the picture – and we thoroughly enjoy ourselves? Why do we need fun in our lives?

Great fun was had building this snowman!'n
Great fun was had building this snowman!’n

I can quite clearly remember the very first time our eldest daughter laughed. She laughed at something on the TV (not me or her Dad!!!!).  It was an amazing moment.  This beautiful baby girl finding fun and laughing.

Why do we laugh harder and longer at something when we are in the company of others who are laughing too?  Why do we find things funny in the first place?

Our cat was chasing his tail the other day. Every time he caught it, he gave it a lick, sat down, noticed his tail again, like it was something he had never, in his life seen before and then proceeded to turn round and round chasing it again!! It was hilarious. Our whole family were laughing at this silly, grey, pussy cat chasing his tail. I’m not sure if the cat was having fun, but we certainly were watching him!!

Our poor cat dressed up in Reindeer Antlers!!!
Our poor cat dressed up in Reindeer Antlers!!!

My hubby and I got together at a ‘Bad Taste’ fancy dress party.  He in the widest flared trousers I’d ever seen and me in red & black striped tights under some hideous hot pants!  You can imagine (or maybe you’d rather not – that’s fine) we weren’t looking our best. Yet we were having fun, looking silly!

Our lil man running with his kite - there was not a single breeze in the air - but he was having FUN!
Our lil man running with his kite – there was not a single breeze in the air – but he was having FUN!

I often look at butterflies, sunsets, twinkling stars in the night sky and wonder why I find such beauty in them? If I evolved, what purpose does beauty like this have? The same can be said of fun.  Why are we all different, finding beauty in different places and laughing at different things?

"Hey dudes, I'm totally rockin these shades!" Bud on 6 hour car journey. She's one cool cat - I mean dog!!
“Hey dudes, I’m totally rockin these shades!”
Bud on 6 hour car journey. She’s one cool cat – I mean dog!!

Jesus went for a boat ride with some of His mates, then gets out of the boat and walks on the water.  Whoa seriously fun!  I mean how much fun must that have been, not only that but one of His friends joined Him (there’s no mention of a body, surf or paddle board in the bible – just saying!).

So is this just some anomaly of Evolution?  Sitting on a trampoline whilst someone else bounces away and giggling so much that you beg them to stop, because it’s almost too much fun!! What, if we didn’t evolve – getting radical here – if we were designed, to have fun?

I know that I am a creation of God.  Designed on purpose, made with intent.  There is only one of me and trust me that’s enough!! I am unique.  My hubby and I have 3 gorgeous children who are all completely different.  Surely if we evolved then wouldn’t people be more alike?

God’s Word (the Bible) says that He “knitted us together in our mother’s womb”.  He made us and He made us all uniquely individual. When He made us, He gave us a sense of fun so that we can enjoy our lives.

So have a think about it?  Why do we like to have fun?  Why do we sometimes need to have a good old belly laugh (yes I know it releases endorphins, which in turn make us feel better)?  So yes having fun can be good for us, but it doesn’t explain the desire to have fun.

I hope that what I’ve written causes you to think and makes you smile!  During the coming week I hope that your eyes are opened to the outstanding beauty of this amazing world we live in and see the Creator in His Creation.

Sammie x

 

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