Heart-Shaped Red Velvet Cake with Strawberry Filling

Cake Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter
1.5 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 TBSP cocoa
1.5 oz red food coloring
1 tsp salt
2.5 cups flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp soda
1 TBSP vinegar

Cake Preparation:
Cream butter and sugar together gradually.
Add eggs, one at a time; beat well after each addition.
Make paste of cocoa and food coloring, mix well; add to creamed mixture.
In separate bowl, add salt, flour and vanilla alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
Sprinkle baking soda over vinegar, then pour mixture over batter.
Stir until thoroughly mixed.
Bake in two 9-inch square greased & floured (or wax paper lined) pans for 30 minutes at 350°F.
Cool on wire rack completely.
Remove cakes from pans, wrap in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least three hours(cold cakes will be easier to cut and ice).

Wilton's Strawberry Filling:
Filling Ingredients:
1 pkg (16 ounces) thawed frozen sliced strawberries (or frozen raspberries or crushed canned pineapple)
1/3 cup sugar
3 TBSP cornstarch
1 tsp lemon juice
Makes: 2 cups of filling.

Filling Instructions:
Drain strawberries; reserving liquid.
Add enough water to liquid to equal 1 1/4 cups.
In large saucepan, combine strawberry liquid, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice; mix well.
Heat and stir until mixture boils and thickens. Turn heat off.
Cool completely.
Add in the strawberries to cooled liquid
Refrigerate until ready to use.

Assembly Instructions:
Take a piece of paper 9 inches square, fold down the middle on the diagonal. Sketch half a heart on the paper and then cut it out. Open it up and see if you like the proportions of your heart pattern. If not, try again with a new piece of paper.
Once cakes are cold, remove from refrigerator.
Using a long bladed, sharp knife slice off tops to make them flat
Next place the paper pattern on one cake, holding it in place with a few toothpicks, and slice the edges off your cake, following the edges of your pattern. Repeat with other cake.
Using a short and sharp knife and staying about inch away from the edges, hollow out a heart-shaped impression that goes only half an inch deep into each cake. This is where the filling will go.
Set one of the cakes on a platter and build up about half an inch of chocolate frosting along the edges.
Gently spread as much filling as you can into center.
Top with other cake, making sure its heart-shaped depression goes down facing the filling.
Frost outsides and top of cake with chocolate frosting.
Keep refrigerated at least over night before serving.

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