Apple Crumble and Valentine’s Chocolate Mandarin Heart

Apple Crumble for dessert today, with custard of course, and the Valentine’s Chocolate Mandarin Heart for, well, the clue is in the name. It’s also my birthday but I refuse to make my own birthday cake so this is a Valentine’s cake… 😉

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Crumble in various guises is a staple pudding favourite in my house. I use Jamie Oliver’s recipe from The Naked Chef which I tend to change according to the fruit available. As before, reduce the sugar by a third and it’s still enough. Today I stuck to the recipe (apart from the sugar, of course) because I wanted to try The Spicery‘s “Rumble in the Crumble” spice blend for crumbles. (Some very nice people gave me a curry subscription for Christmas and the blend was a free sample.) It’s cassia, ginger, allspice and nutmeg so perfect to go with an Apple Crumble. I didn’t use quite enough to really get a flavour but it was still a very nice pudding.

My Valentine’s Chocolate Mandarin Heart is basically the Strawberry Chocolate Valentine Gateau from the Chocolate Bible by Christine McFadden and Christine France. Now I don’t know where the authors live but here, strawberries in February are definitely not a good idea. So that needed substituting. I settled on marmalade instead of strawberry jam and mandarin oranges instead of strawberries. For the decoration, the recipe asks for chocolate fondant. I’ve never had it before but it didn’t sound appealing and makes the cake in the pictures look rather sleek which is so not me. So I used a Fudge Frosting (recipe in the same book) instead. I haven’t tried it before but the list of ingredients looked much better without the egg white and the liquid glucose… It has turned out rather nicely, if I may say so myself, and I do hope it’ll taste good too. It certainly smelled good!

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The sponge after baking. I had a swollen heart! And then it cracked… Not a good sign.

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At least cutting it into two wasn’t a problem this time.

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The bottom half covered in whipped cream with chopped mandarins.

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The sponge is sandwiched together.

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Chcolate, butter, vanilla bean paste and icing sugar are melted for the frosting.

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Finally, the cake is covered in the frosting.

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And then decorated.

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I present you: Valentine’s Chcolate Mandarin Heart.

You have noticed: There are lots of pictures today – I didn’t have to keep one eye on the kids, Mr Meike’s Kitchen was entertaining them… 🙂

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