Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Recipe: Chocolate and orange hearts

Dark chocolate and orange hearts

You might remember last year when I made some heart shaped refrigerator cakes in honour of Prince William's McVites refrigerator cake for the royal wedding (an inspired choice). These are an even tinier version and are actually more like proper chocolates, with fewer ingredients and a slightly less sweet combination of dark chocolate and orange. A very easy to make lovely gift for friends. the trick is to get yourself a nice set of little silicone moulds. I used heart shaped ones (of course) which measure 3cm x 3.5cm length and width (at the longest points). I found these at Bert's Home Store - my frequent lunchtime-impulse-buy store of choice - at just £2.99 for 12, I think this was quite a reasonable purchase.

To make chocolate and orange hearts, you will need:

200g high quality dark chocolate (75% cocoa solids)
1 - 2tbs finely chopped candied mixed peel
White writing icing
Gold and silver sugar pearls

12 little silicone heart moulds (3cm x 3.5cm)

How to:
Gently melt the dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl over simmering water. To avoid over-heating stir the chocolate at it melts and remove from the heat when it is almost completely melted, continuing to stir until all of the chocolate is liquid.

Throw in the mixed candied peel to taste and stir into the chocolate.

Carefully spoon the chocolate and candied peel mixture into the silicone cases, fill each one up evenly to the brim. Gently tap the sides of each case to make sure all of the air bubbles are removed.

The chocolate hearts ready to chill

Chill the little hearts in the fridge for at least two hours (until set) and then carefully peel off the silicone cases to reveal the chocolates.

The chilled and set chocolate hearts - ready to decorate

Pipe a tiny dot of writing icing on to the top of each heart and pop a little gold or silver sugar ball on top.

I love this recipe, as the syrupy-ness of the candied peel really flavours the dark chocolate creating a lovely decadent taste to savour.

This recipe can easily be varied up, try adding different flavours, different kinds of dried or candied fruits, stem ginger, chopped nuts and little sweets can all be used in the place of the candied peel.

If you want to make this recipe using milk or white chocolate, always check the proportioning of the ingredients. For milk chocolate, you'll want to use one with a high percentage of cocoa solids - the higher the cocoa solids the lower the sugar content- this will enable the chocolate to melt and reset quite easily. Be extra cautious if you want to use white chocolate - it's worth spending a little more here to ensure that the white chocolate has a high cocoa butter content. White chocolate always contains more sugar than milk or dark chocolate, some cheaper varieties are more likely to burn or crumble when heated instead of melting (I know - super gross!), so choose a high quality bar to ensure a higher quality (and tastier) end result.

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