Today we all have the license to act sappy, cheesy, and lovey-dovey. Do you plan your day according to social expectation or are you one of those who rebel against the commercial pressure? I personally don’t recall ever spending much money on Valentine’s Day. Homemade valentines to close friends and family is the norm for years and I proudly continue my tradition even though I am no longer a little school girl. This year I dusted off my long-neglected skill in tempering chocolate and made some dark and white chocolate hearts.
Oh these are not just any chocolate hearts! Nestle Crunch Bar has been a favourite of mine for years but I do not particularly enjoy cheap milk chocolate. Dark chocolate and white chocolate set my heart aflutter. Plain old Rice Krispie cereal is fine but caramelized Rice Krispie is better! Throw in dried tart cherries and a pinch of fleur de sel and I have the chocolate treat of my dream.
It would be pretty simple to make chocolate bark out of these ingredients. But that would not be
sappy festive enough. So I took three silicone heart baking moulds from storage to make two dozens chocolate hearts. Aren’t they the most adorable? I lined the bottom of each cavity with an even layer of caramelized Rice Krispies (which is my favourite component of BAKED’s Malted Crisp Tart) and plump dried cherries. I happened to have a pound of Equateur Origine couverture 76% dark chocolate at home and some white chocolate as well. It had been years since I last successfully tempered chocolate. Thankfully, it went smoothly and I did not have to fidget with the chocolate too much. I was absolutely delighted when my test strip of chocolate hardened and shined within a couple of minutes.
The tempered chocolate were poured into the moulds and I enthusiastically knocked the mould against the kitchen counter to untrap any air bubbles. Some of the hearts were topped with more caramelized Rice Krispies and a pinch of fleur de sel. When I woke up this morning, I easily unmoulded the chocolate onto a cutting board. I was so proud of the smooth shiny appearance of my chocolate hearts!
I could admire my own handiwork for days but that wouldn’t help with my plan to send my hearts out to my beloved. Unfortunately these Valentines were made on a whim at last minute (1:30am to 4am, to be precise) and I did not plan ahead with any special packaging material. I fit one into a perfect size cardboard box lined with colourful tissue paper and enclosed with matching pink ribbon. It looked a little like jewellery. I plan to give this one out to a close friend who isn’t keen on sweets (which begs the question, why is he buddy with a girl named ‘Candy’?!).
I got lazy with the remaining 23 hearts and packaged them simply. I placed one dark and one white chocolate heart on top of a piece of cut-to-size cardstock with pink paper lining. The whole sleeve fit inside a cellophane bag which I tied with pink satin ribbon. Next year, I swear to be a little more organized and actually prepare my homemade valentines before the big day.
Nah, not likely to happen. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Check out more Valentine’s Day appropriate treat from previous years: