Valentines Chocolate Hearts

(and a flaming strawberry!)

A Valentines treat that’s definitely got some wow factor!

  There’s only one thing Mr C. loves more than cake and that’s ice cream so I’ve rustled up these Chocolate Valentines hearts especially.  The cake and icecream is simple to do, the flaming strawberry bit is a bit faffy so think about having a practice ‘flaming strawberry’ run in advance.  There’s lots of tips for this bit at the end of the post.  I am sure you will appreciate that I got myself well and truly sozzled for you folks on ‘Ginberries’ in the name of research for this idea!

You will need:

1 x silicone hearts cake mould

1 x Chocolate Traybake cake mixture (recipe here)

Ice cream – vanilla, chocolate or pick your favourite!

For assembly (and the flaming strawberry) you will need:

Softly whipped double cream

A little cocoa powder for dusting (optional)

Strawberries, room temp

Liqueur of your choice (must be 40% abv)

This project is great, it’s a make the elements in advance and assemble at the last minute, which is good because I’m away for Valentines, in Rwanda see here, Mr C will be left assembly instructions.  I do however doubt they will look quite the same…

To start we’ll make the icecream hearts for the middles of our pud.

Lightly grease the recesses of a silicone hearts mould with a little vegetable or sunflower oil.  Fashion squares of clingfilm and use to line each recess.  The greasing will help the clingfilm mould to the edges and not stick together in a messy ball.

Take your icecream and place a couple of spoons into each heart.  Press down to shape with the back of a teaspoon.

Fold in the clingfilm over the top of the icecream and gather together to seal.

Place the tray into the freezer and allow to firm up completely again.

Pop out the clingfilmed icecream hearts from the mould, and keep them in the freezer until Valentines dessert assembly time.

Preheat the oven to 160c (fan)/180c/Gas Mark 4.  Regrease the silicone mould,  if you don’t grease they won’t come out.

Mix up the cake mixture as per the instructions.

Fill each greased recess with cake mixture, 1/3rd full.  Some trays have six hearts some have eight so its difficult to say how much mixture you’ll have left over.  The remainder pour into the recesses of a greased silicone cupcake tin.  You get to use these as quality control – eat as you work!

Bake in the oven for 18 minutes.  Allow to cool fully in the tray before attempting to turn them out.  Once cooled they can be wrapped in clingfilm and frozen if you’re making well in advance or they can be stored in an airtight container for upto 3 days.

Now for assembly (and the flaming strawberry) you will need:

Softly whipped double cream

A little cocoa powder for dusting (optional)

Strawberries, room temp

Liqueur of your choice (must be 40% abv+)

Prepare the strawberries first, using a small sharp knife pare out the top so the strawberry forms a little cup.  If the knife goes through the side of the strawberry you’ll have to start again, no leaks allowed.

Set one chocolate cake heart onto a serving plate, trim off the domed top using a serrated knife.

Unwrap and position an ice cream heart and top with a second chocolate cake heart.  I’ve decorated the plate with some cute marshmallow hearts that I couldn’t resist!

Add a swirl of softly whipped double cream, dust with cocoa powder if you’d like and set the strawberry cup into the cream.

Add a small amount of your chosen liqueur to a a heatproof jug and microwave for 15-20 seconds until warm, alternatively you can heat it up in a pan.  Room temp liqueur won’t set alight easily so this bit is important for success! Carefully fill each strawberry cup with warmed liqueur.  The liqueur should be lit, at the table, with a cooks match (one of the long ones) or a utility/candle lighter.

Tips for flaming strawberries:

Try a dummy run for practice – you can place the strawberries into egg cups to hold them upright.

The blue flame will show best in a dimly (candle?) lit room and will burn for 30-45 seconds. (Fool note: I spent ages fighting to get them lit in the kitchen during daylight hours and I couldn’t get them to do it, turns out I just couldn’t see the darned flame – good job I didn’t set fire to anything)

Spirit or Liqueur of choice needs to be at least 40% abv.  e.g. Absolut Vodka 40%, Tanqueray Gin 47.3% etc, the likes of a Brandy at 38% and Smirnoff at 37.5% just won’t do it .

Room temp spirits won’t ignite easily they should be heated gently in a small pan or in a heatproof jug in the microwave.

Strawberries need to be at room temperature or they will cool the spirit too quickly and you won’t be able to ignite it.

Light the liqueur at the table, carefully using a long match or candle lighter.

Never ever attempt to eat whilst still alight (I know, but if I don’t say it…)

Don’t play with fire Pink Whiskers, please don’t set yourselves/the kitchen/the husband alight.

Valentines Chocolate Hearts (and a flaming strawberry)

Ruth Clemens, Baker Extraordinaire

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14 Responses to Valentines Chocolate Hearts

  1. Pingback: Ways to Use a Heart Silicone Mold

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