I love Valentine’s Day. Not for the romance or for the chocolate (I don’t need an excuse to eat chocolate ;). But I love Valentine’s Day for creative cookies, cakes, pies, and candies it inspires. I love the pink, red, and heart-shaped treats. As a nod to Valentine’s Day, I’ve created some Chocolate Filled Red Velvet Coffee Cakes.
Like a traditional red velvet cake, the coffee cake dough for these little cakes is made with a touch of cocoa. It’s amazing how much flavor just a bit of cocoa can add. And of course, there’s some red food color in there to create its signature color.
The dough for these Chocolate Filled Red Velvet Coffee Cakes is made with yeast. I know there are a lot of home bakers out there who fear yeast. But honestly, yeast is not difficult to work with at all. There is only one important aspect you have to keep in mind when working with yeast: temperature. You need your liquid (water, milk, and/or melted butter) to be warm enough to activate the dough, and it has to be cool enough not to kill the yeast. The easiest way to ensure your liquid is at the perfect temperature is to use a thermometer. I like my liquid to be between 105 and 110 degrees F.
The inside of these coffee cakes are filled with dark chocolate ganache. The cakes look fancy, but they’re actually very easy to shape. All I did was divide the dough into 8 pieces. Working with one piece of dough at a time, I simply rolled the dough on a lightly floured surface into an 8-inch by 10-inch rectangle. Then I covered the surface of the rectangle with a thin layer of ganache. After filling the dough, starting at the long side of the rectangle, I rolled the dough into a tight spiral. Then I used a pair of clean kitchen scissors to cut along through the top layers of dough. Finally I shaped the dough into a heart.
While the red velvet and chocolate are delicious on their own, the cream cheese frosting is such a welcome addition. The creamy, tangy, vanilla frosting is the perfect balance to the decadent ganache filling.