For the sponges
- Preheat the oven 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4 and have the Stork and eggs ready at room temperature.
- Bash the cardamom pods with a rolling pin to release the seeds. Put the seeds into a pestle and mortar and grind until fine.
- Sift all of the dry ingredients together, including the crushed cardamom seeds
- Grease the mini cake tins using a thin layer of Stork
- In a separate bowl use a mixer or mix by hand to cream together the sugar and Stork until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs into the creamed Stork and sugar one at a time and mix until it is completely absorbed into the mixture before adding the next one. The mixture will look light and fluffy once the eggs are mixed in.
- Fold in the dry ingredients using a large spoon, adding a dash of extra milk if necessary, this is to ensure a batter with a soft dropping consistency.
- Divide the mixture between the cake tins and spread with a spatula to ensure even cakes.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden-brown and springy to the touch or a knife comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
For the cream
- Pour the cream into a large bowl, scrape in the vanilla seeds and whisk until soft peaks have begun to form.
- Sift in icing sugar and gently fold cream.
For the tempered chocolate
- Chop three quarters of the chocolate (300g) on a chopping board, using a serrated knife.
- Finely chop the remaining quarter or process it with the blade knife attachment using a food processor.
Place the roughly chopped chocolate in a bowl. Fill a saucepan halfway with hot water, and put the bowl over it to create a bain-marie. Ensure that the bowl does not touch the bottom of the saucepan. Slowly heat the water, keeping a close eye that it does not boil. Stir regularly using a flexible spatula so that the chocolate melts smoothly.
- Check the temperature with a thermometer. When it reaches 55C-58C (131F-136F), remove the chocolate from the bain-marie.
- Set aside one-third of the melted chocolate in a bowl, in a warm place. Add the remaining finely chopped quarter of the chocolate into the remaining two-thirds of the melted chocolate, stirring constantly. Dark chocolate should reach a temperature of 28C-29C (82F-84F).
Then add the melted chocolate that you have set aside to increase the temperature. Dark chocolate should reach 31C-32C (88F-90F). Stir until the right temperature is reached.
Filling and decorating:
- Pour your tempered chocolate into x12 heart moulds and leave to set
- Once cooled, cut each cupcake in half and fill with a layer of jam and cream
- Once filled, replace the tops of each cupcake ahead of final decorating
- Carefully remove the chocolate decorations from the moulds, top each cake with a heart chocolate and dust lightly with icing sugar.