Valentines Day Cake

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  • Ready in: 1 Hour 30 Mins
  • Serves: 6
  • Complexity: difficult
  • Origin: Desserts
Valentines Day Cake


  • 180g plain or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 180g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 60g ground almonds
  • 30g plain flour
  • pinch salt
  • pinch cream of tartar
  • For the chocolate marzipan:
  • 2 tblsp cocoa powder
  • 4-5 tblsp boiling water
  • 875g marzipan
  • For the decoration:
  • 3 tblsp apricot jam melted with 1 tblsp water and sieved (apricot glaze)
  • chocolate marzipan roses and leaves


  1. Grease and line a 20cm/8inch heart-shaped tin. Preheat the oven to gas 4/180ºC/350ºF (160ºC fan oven).
    Melt the chocolate and butter together and stir in the vanilla. Whisk the egg yolks with 90g of the sugar until pale and thick. Stir in the warm chocolate mixture, followed by the almonds, flour and salt. Beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until they form soft peaks. Add the remaining sugar and continue to beat until the whites are stiff. 
    Fold a large spoonful of the whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Carefully fold in the remaining whites. Put the mixture into the tin and bake for about 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave the cake in the tin on a wire rack to cool completely. Remove the cake from the tin and remove the paper.
    Blend the cocoa with enough boiling water to make a smooth, stiff paste. Allow to cool, then knead it into the marzipan. Wrap it in clingfilm if not using straight away.
    To assemble the cake
    Put the cake on a cake board and brush it all over with apricot glaze. Set aside one-third of the marzipan. Roll out the rest on a surface lightly dusted with cocoa to a circular shape about 26cm/10½inch across. Carefully pick up the marzipan over the rolling pin and lay it over the cake. Smooth it gently over the top and sides of the cake. Trim the edges. Make roses and leaves with the remaining marzipan.

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