Monday, 12 February 2018

A Heart For Your Valentine!

Valentine's day is round the corner, but here is a delicious treat which can still be made in time. I speak of chocolate covered fondant hearts. Easy to make and easy to eat! Guaranteed!

Almost ready - just for the chocolate to finish setting
It was a while ago that I remembered fondant candy I had as a child and immediately thought of how to make something special for Lovers' Day. It took a while to find a suitable recipe which doesn't include corn syrup. I don't like the stuff and know that quite a few people react to it. So why use it?
The recipe I found is beautifully basic and allows one to add flavourings or colours of ones choice.
Since I didn't want to make a very large batch I adapted it, but you can find the original right here.

Ingredients I used:

60g unsalted butter at room temperature, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 80ml condensed milk, finely grated zest of 2 lemons, 1 tsp lemon extract and 3 cups of sifted icing sugar plus extra. 100g dark chocolate for melting (70% cocoa solids).

How to:

Put butter and condensed milk into a fairly large bowl. Sift the icing sugar into another bowl. Now stir butter and condensed milk until completely smooth then add the salt, vanilla, zest and lemon extract. Start stirring in the icing sugar a cup at a time. Depending on the weather and humidity you might need more icing sugar. When the mixture becomes too difficult to stir use hands to knead the dough until pliable, smooth, non-sticky and not too soft. If necessary add more sifted icing sugar a little at a time. When done wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge for some hours or overnight to mature and develop flavour.

Next sprinkle some icing sugar or cornflour lightly on a work surface, place the fondant on top, cover with clingfilm and using a rolling pin, roll out to a thickness of about 2.5cm (1 inch). Use a heart-shaped fondant cutter or small cookie cutter to cut as many shapes as possible. Remold leftover dough and roll out again until all is used up. You might end up rolling the last small amount into balls. Dip the cutter in cornflour to prevent sticking to the dough.

First few hearts

Place the shapes on a plate dusted with icing sugar or cornflour, again to prevent sticking, and put in the coldest part of the fridge for a couple of hours. Then break the chocolate into a heatproof bowl and place on top of a small pot of simmering water. The water must not touch the bottom of the bowl. Or use a double boiler if available.

The chocolate has melted and the
fondant is ready to be coated.
I used a small handmade dipping ladle to hold the fondant, just dip the bottom and then use a tablespoon to pour the chocolate over the top. How to make the dipping ladle will be in another post!

Completing the chocolate coating
I used a baking tray covered with clingfilm and placed a cooling rack on top to allow the excess chocolate to drip off without going to waste.

Dripping and drying
When all the candies are coated and dried, place them in little paper cups and store them in a container in the fridge until ready to serve.

Bon appetite
Tell me when you try it how it turned out. I'd love to hear from you!


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