Recipe: Red Velvet Cake Hearts

These also look cute cut into miniature, almost bite-sized versions and 'dinky' ones would work well as petit-fours to serve with coffee. If you can't get hold of buttermilk just stir 1tbsp of lemon juice into 240ml of whole milk and let it stand for 5 minutes.For the sponge:3 tbsp good quality cocoa powder250g self raising flour250g caster sugar240ml buttermilk125g unsalted butter1 tsp white wine vinegar1 tsp baking powder1 tsp baking soda1 tsp red food colouring2 large eggs

For the frosting:250g cream cheese240 ml double cream100g desiccated coconut50g icing sugar1 tsp vanilla extract1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4 and line a 35 x 24cm rectangular baking tray or shallow roasting tin with greaseproof paper.2. Using a food processor or electric mixer cream together the butter and caster sugar then add the eggs one at a time, combining well after each addition. 3. Add the buttermilk and red food colouring and then sift together the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder and add this, mixing well. 4. Pour the vinegar into a small jug, add the baking soda and let it fizz for a minute then quickly add to the cake mixture and combine to form a smooth, thick batter.5. Pour the mixture into the baking tin and cook for about 20 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool on a wire rack then un-mould from the tin.6. To make the frosting sift the icing sugar and lightly whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. Beat together the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla extract then lightly fold in the cream and desiccated coconut.7. To assemble the cakes, cut out large or small heart shapes from the slab of sponge then carefully cut these in half horizontally. 8. Spread the frosting over each 'slice' then stack two or three on top of each other and finally top with a layer of frosting and a snowy sprinkle of coconut.