If the way to a man's heart is truly through his stomach, then making him this cake for Valentine's Day is definitely a step in the right direction!
I saw an idea for a similar cake online at Christmas time, with a Christmas shape running through it, and thought that any other shape would work just as well. Valentines day seemed like a good excuse to try it out, using a love heart shape.
I'm more than a little pleased with how it turned out!
You will need to set aside a couple of hours to make this cake, although it isn't really all that labour intensive. A lot of the time is taken up with the cake baking in the oven so you can go ahead and do something else.
You could make this up using any loaf cake recipe, like a Madeira Cake, but I used my Lemon Loaf recipe, which is what I'm going to share with you here.
You need to make double the amount of mix that you would make for your usual loaf cake recipe, so if you are wanting to make just the one Lemon Loaf rather than the heart cake, then simply half the amounts below.
You will need:
8oz dairy free margarine
1 cup of soya milk (or other dairy free milk)
16oz Doves Farm Gluten Free Self Raising Flour
rind of a lemon
pink food colouring
for the topping:
juice of the lemon
3-4 tbsp sugar
you will also need a lined loaf tin and a heart shaped cutter.
~Beat the margarine and sugar well in a mixer, or with a hand held mixer, until it looks light and fluffy.
~ Meanwhile beat the eggs & the milk together then mix the flour & the lemon rind together.
~Add a little of the egg mix to the butter/sugar mix, beat well and then add a little of the flour mix, beating well again.
~Keep alternating a little of each of the two mixes until everything is mixed together.
~Take about half of the finished mix and add to another bowl.
~You now have two equal bowls of lemon loaf mix.
~To one of these bowls add the pink food colouring and mix well.
~ Pour your pink mix into your lined loaf tin and bake at about 190C for around an hour. You might want to check it after about 50 minutes though, depending on your oven. When it's ready, allow to cool on a wire rack for about half an hour or so.
~Once your pink mix is cooled enough to handle, slice it up as though you were going to serve it.
~Take your heart shaped cutter and cut a heart out of the middle of each slice.
~Re-line your loaf tin and add a small layer of the plain coloured loaf mix to the bottom.
~One by one, add the hearts, standing upright on their points, in a line until the tin is full.
~Use the rest of your plain mix and fill in the gaps down the side of the tin and then cover the top too.
~Put back in the oven, this time for about 30-40 minutes. It will be nice and golden on the top and a skewer stuck in the side (not in the middle because remember the middle bit is already cooked!) will come out clean.
~When you take the cake out of the oven, mix together the topping ingredients and drizzle over the top of the warm cake.
~Cool down again on a wire rack.
~Best served with a nice cup of tea and your true love!