Valentine Cake

This superbly decorative Valentine Cake makes a delightful present for someone special on St. Valentine’s Day. The cake takes some time and effort to prepare, but the result is very rewarding.

1 Genoise Sponge, baked in an

8-inch heart-shaped cake tin and cooled

6 oz. strawberry jam

1 lb. Fondant, softened and kept hot

8 tablespoons sugar syrup, kept hot

½ teaspoon red food colouring

8 oz. icing sugar

2 TO 3 tablespoons water

Place the cake on a flat working surface and, using a long, sharp knife, slice it across in half. Using a table knife, spread the strawberry jam over one half of the cake. Replace the top half of the cake and set aside.

Place 4 ounces of the fondant on a wooden board and knead it for a few minutes, until it is smooth and pliable but still stiff.

Using a rolling pin, roll the fondant out until it is approximately

½ inch thick. Using a sharp-edged knife, or a small heart-shaped petit four cutter, cut out

3 heart shapes and some ribbon shapes. Set aside.

Place the remaining fondant in a medium-sized heatproof bowl. Place the bowl in a medium-sized saucepan half-filled with hot water and set the pan over low heat. When the fondant is very soft, gradually beat in the sugar syrup, a tablespoon at a time. When all the syrup has been added and the fondant is very smooth, stir in the red food colouring. The fondant should be a deep red, so add a little more food colouring if necessary.

Remove the pan from the heat and lift the bowl from the pan. Using a palette knife, spread the fondant over the cake to completely cover the top and sides. When the cake is completely covered, dip the palette knife in boiling water and quickly pass it over the fondant to make it smooth. Very carefully transfer the cake to a cake board or serving plate.

Make this pretty Valentine Cake your gift to someone special on St. Valentine’s Day.

Arrange the prepared hearts and ribbons decoratively on the top of the cake. Set aside.

Place the icing sugar in a small mixing bowl. Gradually add enough of the water, beating constantly with a wooden spoon, to make a stiff icing.

Fill a small forcing bag, fitted with a small star-shaped nozzle, with the icing and pipe star shapes around the top and bottom edges of the cake. The cake is now ready to serve.

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