whisk: sweetheart cake

It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with Biscoff Spread.  So obsessed that I’m embarrassed (NO I’M NOT) to admit that I’ve gone through six jars in four weeks.  So obsessed that I tell everyone who will listen about it.  Lucky for me, blabbing about my obsessions sometimes works in my favor.  So when one of my friends who had heard me rave about Biscoff Spread, came across this recipe on design sponge and she immediately sent it to me.

And my mouth immediately began to water.  Just looking at the recipe,  I knew it was a winner.   Especially given my recent Biscoff adventures failures, I knew I had to try it.  The first time I made this cake, I followed the recipe to a T.  As is often the case, it was great but my mind started to wander thinking of how it could be better.  Within seconds, I knew that the Devil’s Food cake was no match for my favorite, nine-ingredient chocolate cake.   That nine-ingredient, simple cake never fails me.  It’s a cinch to make, right out of the pantry plus it is so moist it tastes as though pudding is the key ingredient – almost more of a brownie than a cake.  So for the second time around, I married the two and the Sweetheart Cake was born.  Easy enough for everyday and impressive enough for a special occasion, so if you’re entertaining and looking to impress this Valentine’s Day, look no further than the Sweetheart Cake.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Nine-Ingredient Chocolate Cake
+ 1.5  c. all-purpose flour
+ 1 c. sugar
+ 1/4  c. unsweetened cocoa powder
+ 1 tsp. baking soda
+ 1/2  tsp. coarse salt
+ 6 T  vegetable oil
+ 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
+ 1 T white vinegar
+ 1 c. cold water

Biscoff Ganache
+ 4.5 oz. + Milk Chocolate, chopped
+ 4.5 oz. + Dark Chocolate, chopped
+ One 14 oz. jar of Biscoff Spread
+ 1 pint less 1/3 cup heavy cream

To make the cake:
+ Center the rack in your oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and line an 8 inch round pan with parchment.  Butter parchment and dust with cocoa powder.
+ Sift flour into prepared 8in round layer cake pan. If you don’t have a flour sifter, place the flour in the pan and stir with a whisk for a minute.  Add the sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.  Using a fork stir together until the dry ingredients are mixed together.

+ Using a tablespoon, make three different “wells” in the dry ingredients.  One large, one medium and one small.
+ Add the liquid ingredients to the wells as follows: Large = Oil; Medium = Vinegar; Small = Vanilla
+ Then pour one cup of cold water over the entire pan.
+ Using your fork, stir the batter so that it is mixed.  You should be stirring for about 2 minutes at most.  Make sure there are no pockets of dry ingredients in the corners and make sure you get everything off the bottom and skim the bottom to make sure that the parchment is still flat.  Keep in mind you want it to be mixed but by no means do you need to go for broke here, use your judgement.
+ Put the pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until when a toothpick or knife inserted in the center of the cake can be clean when removed.  Another hint is to gently push the top of the cake with your fingers.  If it springs back its ready.
+ Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a cooling rack and let it cool completely.

To make the Biscoff Ganache:
+Using a double broiler or your microwave melt the chopped chocolates until they are just smooth.  If using a microwave, heat in 30-second increments stirring between rounds. Should take about 3-4 minutes.  You don’t want to over heat this so make sure to go slow and stir.
+ Once melted, pour the chocolate into your mixer.  Add the entire jar of Biscoff Spread.  Whisk until just combined.

+ Add heavy cream straight from the fridge.  It needs to be cold so make sure you don’t leave it out.  Whisk slowly until the liquid is combined and then whip just until soft peaks form.

To assemble the cake:
You don’t have to make this a layer cake, it’s fantastic just frosted with the ganache but if you are feeling adventurous or have been wanting to attempt a layer cake, this is the one.  Both the cake and frosting are very forgiving so if you break a layer or your layers are uneven, the ganache will hide the crumbs + all manner of sins (see the picture below…the bottom layer broke… shhhh)

+If desired, cut the cake in half using a serrated knife.
+Using an ice cream scoop or spoon, scoop about a third of the ganache on the bottom layer.  Using a knife, spatula or offset spatula, spread the ganache from the center of the cake towards the edges.  Attempt to make the ganache as even as possible.
+ Place the second layer on the cake.  Scoop half of the remaining ganache on top.  Clean your utensil (knife, spatula or offset spatula) and then use it to evenly spread a thin layer of the ganache from the center towards the edges.  You want a majority of the frosting to spill over and frost the edges.  Use your utensil to spread around the edge of the cake.
+Scoop the remainder of the frosting evenly across the top of the cake.
+Using a potato peeler, cheese grater or microplane, shave additional chocolate on top.
+ Cover and chill for at least an hour so that the ganache sets.

Cut, serve and be prepared to swoon.  I know I say this every time, but this really is one of the best cakes I’ve made.  The combination of the dense, fudgy cake and ganache is outrageous.  The ginger/spice cookie flavor from the Biscoff Spread counterbalances the sweetness of the cake perfectly.     Let me know if you make it!



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