Yay! It's that time of year again. Nope not Valentines Day (although I know this cake looks all valentinesy). It's the 6th anniversary of my daughter's heart transplant. If you follow the blog, you probably know we celebrate her special heart day almost like another birthday because it is like a birthday!
At 8 months old, she was diagnosed with a type of cardiomyopathy called non-compaction cardiomyopathy. This is a type of heart disease where the heart muscle is more spongy and does not form the proper contraction muscle your heart needs to function properly. Some can live with this type of cardiomyopathy but others, depending on how it impacts their heart function, may need a heart transplant, as in our case.
That said, she's been doing fantastic (knocking on wood) since and we celebrate her special heart day every January 16th. Since I've been blogging I've done a few heart day cakes for her, like this Reverse Rainbow Cake, Flying Heart Cupcakes, and an Au Natural Red Velvet Cake.
This year I wanted to try one of those "surprise inside" cakes that are all over the place these days. Amanda from I Am Baker really started this trend. She's done some amazing cakes and even has her first book due out in March (pre-order it here)! I've also seen some surprise cakes done by baking a loaf cake, cutting out some shapes, then baking those shapes into another loaf cake. That seemed relatively easy so I gave it a go.
For this I just used a boxed yellow cake mix. Mix up the batter as directed on the box but add an extra egg. Divide the batter in half and tint one half red with some food coloring. I use Americolor Super Red. Bake it in a loaf pan as directed on the box. When cooled cut out your shape (hearts of course!). Just make sure your shapes are small enough to fit inside your loaf pan with some room on the top/bottom.
To the other half of the batter I added some organic Taza Stone Ground Dark Chocolate and about 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa. Really Good Stuff! Melt about 2.5 ounces in the microwave and mix into the yellow cake batter. Definitely use good dark chocolate for this. I promise it's so worth it!
Add a little of the batter to the bottom of a loaf pan and then add your cut out shapes. I put mine upside down so I could use the flat side as the top of the cake. Then add the rest of the batter to the loaf pan and try to cover as much of the shapes as you can. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
Frost with your favorite buttercream and add some heart sprinkles!
I was a little nervous to cut into it, but it came out ok! Not exactly centered, but nothing is perfect - and the kids loved it giving the cake look and flavor rave reviews. Thank goodness since they are my worst critics these days! The dark chocolate added to the mix made the cake better than any chocolate cake mix I've had too.
And yay, I can cross surprise inside cake off my to do list.
Happy Heart Day to my little girlie girl. Love you lots Greta!
Also a very special thank you and virtual hug to all the donors and donor families out there. We don't know the circumstances around Greta's donor or the family, but we think of them every time we see our little peanut. And if you are not already, please think about registering to be an organ donor if you are not already. So much need, so little supply. Find out how or to make a monetary contribution here. Thanks so for much for reading and stopping by!
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