Valentine’s day, like any expression of love, has always been about feeding for me. Some people show it through grand gestures or physical love, for in my house it’s usually through a big plate of baked goods. This year will be my fourth Valentine’s with my boyfriend (!!!) and I’ve not yet been able to beat the heart/house/lobster shaped gingerbread I made for our first. I’m on a quest to do better.
So when Tala contacted me about a mini heart-shaped tin (springform), I jumped at the chance to get my hands on it. I’ve been a bit of a Tala fan since their cook’s measure saved me from a cake-less life when I was without digital scales. It meant maybe I could finally beat my personal best.
I have to admit, I was nervous at first, but only because I’m prone to moments of incredible idiocy when it comes to baking implements. I like to stick to shapes that can be easily lined, or, better yet, have corresponding ready-shaped liners.
But this time, I was pleasantly surprised – the smooth lines of the tin mean you can easily grease it without having to use your pinky fingers to get in nooks and crannies. Tala 1 – 0 Hannah.
Unfortunately, halfway through making the mixture for the cake, I realised the recipe explicitly said “do not bake in a loose-bottomed tin” as it would probably leak. Erm, oopsie. It was too late already, and on I went. Remarkably, the tin held up and despite my pretty major mishap only let two tiny blobs of mixture leak out of the bottom. Tala 2 – 0 Hannah.
When the cake was cooked, I left it to cool in the tin for five minutes before staging the smoothest cake-removal operation ever. It’s honestly idiot (me) proof.
Being so short of space, I wouldn’t usually condone buying novelty bakeware. But actually, the tin is so dinky that it takes up barely any room at all, and is easily suitable for other occasions like Mothers’ Day too.
Spiced Chocolate Cake
Recipe will make one 8 inch round cake, and is super easy – no creaming necessary! Adapted from Be-Ro recipe book.
100g self raising flour
110g caster sugar
12g cocoa powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 medium egg
3 tbsp milk
2 tbsp water
1) Preheat oven to 180C and line baking tin (ideally not loose bottomed!)
2) Combine flour, sugar, cocoa and spices, and rub in the margarine.
3) Stir in liquids, the egg, and a few drops of vanilla essence.
4) Bake in the centre of the oven for 30-35 minutes.
I topped it with simple milk chocolate icing, but it would also go well with a more robust chocolate frosting.