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.
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).