I remember the first time I saw a picture of a cake that was cut to reveal a heart inside – it was like magic!
Baffled by what I saw, I had to find out how the baker made the cake. I was surprised to find out just how easy it is. Since then I've done it myself many times. Up until today, I've only attempted this technique with sweets, but wanted to see if it was just as easy to make a loaf of cheese bread with a hidden treasure inside. I'm happy to report that it is!
This bread will be so much fun to share with loved ones. You can wrap up entire loaves, tie them with a bow, and give them out as gifts. The recipients will be totally surprised when they cut their first slice to reveal a bright pink heart (and more importantly, they'll know they are loved).
You can slice up the loaves and make toast on Valentine's Day morning, or serve it alongside a romantic dinner. You can even make sandwiches to send to school with your kids. I imagine being a child opening my lunch box and finding pink hearts on sandwich bread. I'm pretty sure that after letting out a little squeal of excitement, that I would proudly show it to everyone at the table before taking my first bite. (And finding this fun surprise would surely help make up for not getting a special Valentine's Day card from that boy I'd been crushing on all year!)
Plus, I love good bread. Even though it is often just a side note to a nice meal, it can be something special. This bread bakes up with a fluffy soft interior surrounded by a crunchy cheese crust. It's fantastic warm right out of the oven, great toasted with melted butter on top, and even better with meat sandwiched in between two slices. The best part is that it is so easy to make. Even with the addition of the heart pieces made to stuff inside, you'll have this bread in the oven in about 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Stir together the finely grated Parmesan cheese with the dry ingredients, then fold in the wet ingredients.
Grease 9 of the heart cavities in a silicone mold. Color one cup of the bread batter using Betty Crocker Neon Pink Food Coloring Gel. Equally divide the pink batter among the 9 hearts. Bake for 10 minutes.
Remove pink hearts from the oven and immediately cut the part of the bread that has puffed up. You want nice slices of heart shaped bread to use.
Grate the cheese on the large holes of a box grater. Spray loaf pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle half of the cheese over the bottom of the pan.
Spoon just enough bread batter into the pan to cover the bottom. Arrange the 9 hearts tip side down, in the middle of the loaf pan.
Spoon the remaining bread batter over the hearts. Sprinkle on the remaining cheese.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, until the top is really golden brown. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then invert pan, removing the bread. Turn it right side up and allow it to cool on the rack for 45 minutes.
Slice into the bread loaf to reveal the pink hearts hiding inside.
Grab some butter and enjoy!