Guilt-less Desserts & Treats for your Family
What’s your favourite Love song? Is it totally cheesy and terrible? Does the film clip feature middle aged men in tight acid wash jeans and mullets? Or are you more of a classy music lover; choosing the epic movie ballads with the misty backdrops and longing looks?
I have pretty poor choice in music. My iTunes library is full of old Britney and a lot of 90’s pop bands, but my choice of love songs is a bit more classic. Our ‘couple song’ is ‘Always’ by Bon Jovi. Perhaps not a classic love song (although epically more positive than ‘Hazard’ by Richard Marx) but the sentiment is there. Our wedding song was ‘A Moment Like This’ by Kelly Clarkson; a ballad that allowed me to get all singy in my big white dress. Truth be told, the theme song from ‘Married with Children’ was my first choice but I was out voted.
My favourite love song of all time (ALL TIME EVER!) really shows how much I do not appreciate good music. It is ‘This is It’ by Danni Minogue. Before you scoff and write me off, just hum the song to yourself for a bit. (I understand that I may be only person in the world to still know the song so I have included a link to it here for you). It’s catchy, a bit fun and it had a fabulous film clip complete with Julian McMahon topless on the beach. They were actually dating/engaged at the time (she is wearing a giant rock). I mean who doesn’t love a hairy chested man in tight white jeans who can cartwheel up the beach for a pash?? I also wanted this as my wedding song but was outvoted again (obviously I married someone with much poorer music taste than I!) but happily it was played as the epic last song on the night and I danced like a crazy lady on top of a podium, rather than the elegant bride I was supposed to me.
Whilst my taste in music is bloody terrible my taste in cakes is much better!
This Mini Heart Twix Cake is so very cute…and of course very tasty! I wanted to make a petit four like dessert to make up for the Valentines dessert disaster that was this trifle. It wasn’t that the trifle was bad; the problem was the opposite and we ate so much that the Valentine’s Day romance ended at exactly 7:14pm when I had to swap into my stretchy pants. These Mini Heart Twix Cakes are big enough to fill you with romantic sentiments, but not too big to make you unromantic.
The Mini Heart Twix Cakes are made by baking a large sheet cake and using a cookie cutter to cut out as many heart shapes as you can. There’s a trick to this; don’t let the kids do it!! My kids always just plunge the cookie cutters where ever they see first (normally straight in the middle), and whilst when making cookies you can re-use the dough, the same cannot be done with left over cake. Start on the outsides and place the hearts as close together as you can. I’m sure you will find a use for the left over cake (there’s sure to be left over Caramel Sauce that must be eaten!)
If you’ve never made your own Caramel Sauce the you need to…NOW! I have two recipes for Carmel Sauce (a date based one and this maple syrup version) but I have chosen this version for my Mini Twix Heart Cakes as it’s one of my favourite things in the world. The process is simple enough; empty a can of coconut cream/milk (don’t worry about thickening it overnight in the fridge first) and add some maple syrup (I haven’t tried to make it with rice malt syrup to make a lower fructose version yet; if you do let me know how it goes). Bring it to the boil then leave on a medium heat for 20ish minutes until its thickened and golden. Add the vanilla and salt and then you’re done. Make sure you stir it regularly and if you feel that it’s bubbling too much turn the heat down from medium. If you cook the caramel sauce too long the coconut cream can start to separate and you end up with a thin layer of coconut like oil on top. If this happens whisk/blend the sauce together again. To help the caramel spread I have added an extra ¼ cup of thickened Coconut Cream before layering the cake.
If you are still in need of some Valentine’s Day inspiration have a look at this Strawberry Mousse Cake, this Black Forest Chia Tart (Vegan) and this decadent Triple Chocolate Mousse that I’ve shared over at Happy Tummies.
- 6 Eggs, separated (best at room temperature)
- 1/3 Cup Maple Syrup/Rice Malt Syrup
- 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
- 3/4 Cup plus 1 Tablespoon of Milk (of Choice)
- 3/4 Cup Coconut Flour
- 3 teaspoons Baking Powder
- (This will make more than you need...you're welcome!)
- 1 400ml can Coconut Milk/Cream
- 1/2 Cup Maple Syrup
- dash of Salt
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- Extra 1/4 Cup of thickened Coconut Cream
- 1/3 Cup Coconut Cream (can opened and in fridge overnight; spoon out thickened cream leaving behind watery contents)
- 1 tablespoons Coconut Oil
- 1 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 100 grams Chocolate (see below for recipe)
- (makes 100grams)
- 1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
- 1/4 Cup Cocoa
- 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
- Using a heart shape cookie cutter, cut out as many shapes as you can from the baked and cooled cakes. Take the time to make sure you cut the hearts out close together and close to the edges to minimise cake wasteage (although it's never really a waste as I'm sure you'll eat it right up with any left over sauces!)
- The hearts can be made 2 or 3 layers tall; arrange the layers of cake into piles.
- Place all the bottom layers of cake on a tray and spread a spoonful of caramel sauce on top,spreading it gently to the edges. Place the 2nd layer of cake on top and repeat. (if only making 2 layer Mini Twix Heart Cakes then omit this)
- Place the 3rd layer on cake on top of the 2nd layer of caramel sauce and top with chocolate ganache. The Ganache can be dripped down the sides or used to cover the entire top and sides of the cakes.
- The cakes can be served immediately ot placed in the fridge to allow the ganache to firm up.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/360F.
- Line and grease a 32cm x 27cm baking tray (a similar size will be fine) or 2 7 or 8 inch round cake tins. The size of your tin/s will depend on how many hearts can be cut and how thick each layer is. I was able to cut 18 hearts.
- Place the egg whites into the clean bowl of a kitchen stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk the egg whites on medium/high until soft peaks form.
- Slowly add the maple syrup, 1 tablespoon at a time, until large peaks have formed. Continue whisking on medium/high and add the vanilla extract. Add the egg yolks, one at a time. Only add the next yolk when the previous one has been fully incorporated.
- Whilst still whisking, pour the milk into the egg mixture.
- In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the coconut flour and baking powder together. Ensure that the coconut flour has no lumps in it.
- Turn the whisk to low and add the flour mixture. (If you keep it on high then you will most likely end up wearing the flour). Once incorporated, return the whisk speed to medium/high to fully mix all the ingredients.
- Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin/s and bake for 18-22 minutes, or until cooked through. The cooking time will depend on the size of the tin/s used.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool in the tray.
- Place the coconut cream, maple syrup and salt in a saucepan over medium/high heat. Bring the mixture to boil, then reduce to a medium heat.
- Allow the mixture to simmer until quite thick and dark golden in colour. Stir regularly to prevent burning. The mixture will halve in volume. This will take 15-30 minutes, depending on the quality of your coconut cream.
- Add vanilla and continue to cook on medium heat for another 3 minutes. The caramel will be dark golden in colour and delicious.
- When cooler, place into container and keep in fridge. The caramel will thicken as it refridgerates.
- When ready to use, whisk in the extra coconut cream. this will make it easier to spread.
- The caramel will need to be at room temperature (or warmer) to be able to be spread over the cakes.
- Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a heat proof bowl. Add coconut oil and vanilla extract.
- In a saucepan, over medium heat, bring the coconut cream to the boil.
- Pour boiling cream into the chocolate bowl and allow to sit for 5 min, before whisking to combine.
- Allow to cool slightly before using.
- If the ganache cools and hardens, place the heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.
- Whisk gently until the lumps have broken and the ganache is smooth.
- A ganached cake does not have to be kept in the fridge; however if the ambient temperature is too warm the ganache will soften. If you feel it's too warm or you notice the ganache becoming soft put it in the fridge.
- Over a very low heat, melt the coconut oil. Add the maple syrup and whisk until combined.
- Add the cocoa and whisk until combined and slightly thickened.
- Pour into a dish lined with baking paper and freeze until set (minimum 30 minutes)