As a young girl Valentines Day was met with a blatant disregard for romance. Cards??? Who cared?? We all shrugged our shoulders in our all-girls school as we secretly hoped for some monstrous card waiting for us when we got home with dubious looks from the parents. As a teenager the couples who were going out together publicised their commitment with giant, padded, pink cards in boxes covered in various SWALKS and naughty rhymes. To be honest I never got much in the line of teen romance and cheesy cards. I was unlucky enough to spend my five years in school standing in line beside a self-obsessed misery who proudly scratched his name into school furniture as OOLH
(owner of a lonely heart). For him, Valentines Day would be spent singing The Smiths loudly to himself as he proclaimed his affinity with fellow grump Morrissey. OOLH loved to torment me with how much I, or any other female, didn’t love him. At age twelve I this caused mush rolling of the eyes with me and stayed that way all through school.
Typically Valentine’s Day has become another cash fest and time for those loved or unconnected romantically to feel inadequate. Whose man was more giving than yours? Whose missus set up the pole-dancing pole in the kitchen and put on a show? It’s all competition if you ask me.
There’s nothing like a big dirty cake to share on Valentine’s Day. If you refuse to spend lots of money then spend some time to make this sticky feast. I happen to have heart-shaped cake tins, silicone ones that are a no-brainer for novice cooks. This cake contains an ingredient that I usually keep secret; mayonnaise!! Mayo is just made of eggs and oil so it’s no big deal really and makes for an incredibly moist cake that gats better over a few days and is really easy to put together. The icing is very rich and made with butter and good quality dark chocolate. I have adapted two recipes to come up with this combo which, of course can be made in a round tin too!
Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake (don’t tell anyone till after they’ve eaten it)
You will need 2 x heart shaped tins or round 24cm tins greased
Preheat oven to 180°C
For the cake
375g plain flour
75g cocoa powder
½ tsp baking powder
300g caster sugar
3 tbsp vanilla extract
300ml cold water
- Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar. Add the mayo and water and whisk on a low speed till smooth for about 3 mins.
- Pour into the prepared tins and bake for 4O mins
- Take out of the oven and cool on a wire rack in the tins as the cakes will be too delicate to handle.
You can make the cake the day before and store it until you make the icing; this is not necessary but makes for a more sturdy cake.
Chocolate fudge icing
175g dark chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa solids
250g butter softened – I usually microwave mine for 10 seconds
275g icing sugar sifted
1 tblsp vanilla extract
1. Break up the chocolate and melt it in the microwave, be careful not to burn it
2. In a large bowl beat the butter till it’s fluffy, add the sugar and beat again.
3. Slowly add the vanilla and melted chocolate and beat everything till it’s all fluffy and well combined.
Spread one third of the icing on one sponge and sandwich them together. Use the rest to cover the top and sides. The rustic look is in so you don’t need to be too precious.