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Roberta Heart

  • Servings: 14
Roberta Heart


  • Unsalted butter, for pan
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
  • 6 tablespoons hot water
  • 24 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 6 tablespoons dark rum
  • 9 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • Sweetened whipped cream, for garnish (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place a large roasting pan in the oven, and fill 1 inch with boiling water. Butter a 10-inch heart-shaped pan 2 inches deep. Line with parchment paper; set aside.

  2. In a small bowl, combine the espresso and water. Stir to dissolve. In a heatproof bowl, combine the chocolates, espresso mixture, and rum over a saucepan of simmer water. Stir until smooth. Remove, and set aside.

  3. Over the same saucepan of simmering water, combine the eggs and granulated sugar in a large heatproof bowl. Beat, using a handheld electric mixer, until thick, fluffy, and almost tripled in volume.

  4. Whip the cream in a chilled bowl until soft peaks form. Add the confectioners' sugar and vanilla.

  5. Fold the melted-chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Gently fold in the whipped cream. Transfer to prepared pan. Immediately set the pan in the roasting pan with hot water in the oven. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour.

  6. Remove from oven, and let cool in the water bath. When cool, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

  7. Just before serving, uncover the pan, and warm slightly in an inch of warm water to loosen from pan. Invert onto a platter. Pipe the sweetened whipped cream onto the chocolate heart with a decorative tip, if desired.

Reviews (4)

  • Tasis 17 Feb, 2011

    This came out wonderfully! A big hit at a party. Beautiful presentation. Friends likened it to eating a truffle, it was so rich! I only messed up by leaving the cooked egg on top of the hot water bath while I whipped the cream, and they continued to cook. Wasn't a big deal - but I'll probably whip the cream before cooking the eggs next time. Used a 9 1/2 inch circle pan, and had enough batter to bake a mini-cake to leave at home.

  • MattDiClemente 11 Feb, 2011

    This is a fantastic cake. Does anyone remember why it is called Roberta Heart?

  • AnnesCulinaryCommetary 5 Jul, 2010

    As addenda to my comment above, the original recipe for this cake [i.e., that developed by Julia Child] appears on pgs187-189 of "Julia Child

  • AnnesCulinaryCommetary 16 Jun, 2010

    This recipe should be renaimed "Julia's Heart"

    I was watching a re-run of Julia Child

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