The Thrifted Kitchen :: Hungarian Chocolate Hearts

Happy Friday, all! We're less than a week away from V-Day, and for those of you still looking for a special treat to whip up for your special someone, well...have I got the recipe for you!

This one comes from Volume 4 of the Family Circle Illustrated Guide to Cooking (circa 1972), and it's a recipe for Hungarian chocolate squares (or, in this case, hearts!). And let me tell you: If all Hungarian desserts taste like this, then I'm about to book a flight. These babies are rich and decadent, almost truffle-like (as my friend Allison put it...thank you, The Swan), and, served with a glass of Bailey's on the rocks, will have your date swooning over sweets skills.

Some things to note:

– Don't freak out if the cake part doesn't rise very much (as I did). And don't think it's too thin to slice in half crosswise, because it is. Just remember the thickness comes from the filling.

– Be sure and use decaf coffee, not caf, like I did. I had one that night I made them and didn't sleep well at all because my head was buzzing.

– When it says to spread the frosting quickly, that is no joke. Once the frosting starts to thicken, it doesn't stop, and if you go too slow, it'll get to a point where it won't spread anymore. So make sure the spatula work is speedy!

Hungarian Chocolate Hearts
Courtesy of the Family Circle Illustrated Guide to Cooking, Volume 4, 1972
Makes 8 two-inch heart sandwiches

For the cake:
3 squares unsweetened chocolate
4 eggs, separated
1/2 cup superfine sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter
2/3 cup sifted cake flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

For the filling:
10 ounces semisweet chocolate squares
2 cups whipping cream
2 tablespoons coffee liqueur (I used Bailey's)

For the frosting:
1 cup superfine sugar
1/2 cup hot coffee (make it decaf or your head will be buzzing in bed!)
6 squares semisweet chocolate
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons coffee liqueur

Make the cake:
Melt chocolate in top of a double boiler over hot water; cool to lukewarm.

Grease a 15x10x1-inch baking pan; line with wax paper; grease paper.

In a medium bowl, beat egg whites until foamy-white and double in volume. Beat in 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until meringue stands in soft peaks.

Beat butter in a large bowl; gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and continue beating until mixture is well-blended. Beat in egg yolks until smooth, then cooled chocolate. Sift flour and salt into chocolate mixture; stir to blend; add vanilla.

Stir 1/3 of the meringue mixture into chocolate mixture; fold in remaining meringue mixture until well-blended. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.

Bake in a 350-degree oven 15 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched with fingertip.

Cool in pan on wire rack for 5 minutes; loosen cake around edges of pan with a sharp knife; invert cake onto a large cookie sheet; peel off wax paper; invent cake onto a large cake rack; cool completely.

Make the filling:
Cut semisweet chocolate into small pieces. Combine with cream in a medium-size saucepan. Heat slowly, stirring constantly, until chocolate melts; remove from heat; stir in coffee liqueur. Pour into medium-size bowl and chill 1 1/2 hours or until mixture is completely cold.

Beat chilled chocolate-cream mixture until stiff and thick.

Cut cooled cake in half crosswise. Place one half on a small cookie sheet. Top with whipped chocolate cream, spreading to make a layer about 1 1/2 inches thick; top with second half of cake. Chill at least 1 hour, or until filling is firm.

Make frosting:
Heat sugar and coffee in a medium-size saucepan until sugar dissolves. Cut chocolate into small pieces; add to saucepan with corn syrup. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly; cook, at a slow boil, stirring constantly, 5 minutes. Remove from heat; add butter and coffee liqueur. Beat 5 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken. Quickly spread over cake layer about 1/4-inch thick. Chill at least 1 hour.

To serve, cut cake into heart shapes with cookie cutter and sprinkle with powdered sugar (optional).


  1. These look absolutely lovely! Oh, for the time to try making them.....

  2. this looks amazing! i want one :)


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