Ann Reardon

Valentine’s Magic Heart Dessert

heart chocolate box ann reardon how to cook that

Desserts with a theatrical element are all the rage at the moment. So after dreaming up several different ideas I finally created this special one for Valentines Day. I know you’re going to love it.

As many of you already know, my valentine Dave is a writer and his first novel is close to being released. Books take a LOT longer to make than recipes … It’s been many months of hard work, with long hours of writing, editing and rewriting. I have actually already read it three times in my secret role (Dave calls me his ‘personal proof-reader/plot tweaker’) and it’s such a GREAT story!

One of the coolest things about it was giving you a chance to have some input. Thanks so much to everyone who voted for the nationality of our hero, plus suggested super-creative names for villains, beautiful outfits for our heroine Micki and even the movie that was playing at the cinemas. The book is currently at the final proof-reading stage (by a professional this time) and the cover is with the artists. I’ll let you know when it’s ready, I can’t wait for you to read it.

To the Valentines Day magic heart dessert you will need:

(makes 4 large serves, mine were big enough for two people to share, you can reduce the size if you want individual serves)

For the Ice-cream layer (or you can use store bough ice-cream and let it soften at room temp)
750millilitres (25.36 fluid ounces) whole or full cream milk (4% fat)
50g (1.76 ounces) or 3 Tbsp plus 1 tsp skim milk powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 egg yolks
1 cup or 218g (7.69 ounces) sugar
2 1/2 cups or 625millilitres (21.13 fluid ounces) cream

Heat the milk and skim milk powder until it is dissolved. Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Continue whisking and add in the hot milk. Return the saucepan to the heat until heated through. Then strain into a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and then leave in the fridge to chill.

For the Pistachio Base
6 yolks
50g (1.76 ounces) or 1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp powdered (icing) sugar
50g (1.76 ounces) or 1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp pistachios or other nuts
2 Tbsp water
100g (3.53 ounces) or 2/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 egg whites
Place the egg yolks, icing sugar and pistachios into a food processor and process until smooth.
Add the water, flour and baking powder and gently process to combine.
Whip the egg whites to soft peaks and fold into the pistachio mixture.

Spread onto baking paper on a tray and bake in the oven at 180C (356 degrees Fahrenheit)
for 7 minutes or until golden and firm

Strawberry White Chocolate Glaze
6g (0.21 ounces) or 1/2 Tbsp powdered gelatine
50g (1.76 ounces) or 2 Tbsp plus 1 tsp glucose syrup
50g (1.76 ounces) or 1/4 cup sugar
180g (6.35 ounces) or approx 1 1/4 cup fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced
85millilitres (2.87 fluid ounces) cream
390g (13.76 ounces) white chocolate (use real chocolate continuing cocoa butter)
red food coloring (optional)

ann reardon how to cook that valentines dessert

Mix together the gelatin and cream.
Place the glucose and sugar in a saucepan and heat until it becomes liquid.
Add in the fresh strawberries and stir over the heat until they are well softened.
Add in the gelatin mixture and stir to combine.
Pour over the white chocolate and leave for a minute to melt.
Stir together and add the red food coloring if desired.
Push through a fine sieve to remove the strawberry pips.

Chocolate Box
160g (5.64 ounces) tempered chocolate per finished box,
allow extra for cutting (how do I temper chocolate?)
Free Cutting Template: valentines box template
See the video for instructions on how to make the box.

valentines dessert ann reardon

150g (5.29 ounces) or 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries

Cut the base to fit a long rectangle container (mine was 8cm (3.15 inches) x 26cm (10.24 inches) at the base). Churn the ice-cream and place a layer over the cake. Arrange the raspberries in straight rows then top with more ice-cream.
Finish with another layer of pistachio cake and place in the freezer overnight to firm up.

Remove the dessert from the container. If you don’t have a silicone container put some warm water in the sink and
place the container in so the water goes on the sides – but not into the dessert. Once the edges are softened tip
out and freeze again. Place the dessert on cups over a tray and pour over the glaze. Return to the freezer.
Reserve excess glaze and all that falls into the tray to use for the sauce. Slice into desired portion sizes and
place in the centre of the plate, add a chocolate box over the top.
Take to the table then pour over the strawberry white chocolate sauce.

magic heart dessert ann reardon howtocookthat
Copyright 2016How To Cook That

My Cookbook

ann reardon crazy sweet creations cookbook
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All recipe quantities in the book are in grams, ounces and cups.

38 Comments View Comments

  1. Rating: 4.5

    Firstly I really like your page Ann. And I try this I melt the chocolate and I put it in the freezer for fast cool but it didn’t set, why?

    • Hi Damla, It is likely that the chocolate wasn’t properly tempered.

  2. Rating: 5

    I love your page

  3. Secret garden

  4. Rating: 5

    A GREAT cake would be a Harry Potter Themed one!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  5. Rating: 4

    Hi Ann, I wanted to ask you if the ice cream maker is necessary for this recipe or i can use sth else, thank you

    • Hi Marie, An ice cream maker is far easier but you could make the icecream by hand.

  6. Can I make the chocolate boxes a few hours before and keep them in the fridge or on the bench top?

    • Hi Chloe, Yes you can. Best to keep it cool, then pop it over the ice-cream dessert square when you are ready to serve.

  7. Can you use skim milk instead of skim milk powder? Or can you just use normal milk.

  8. can i replace the strawberries with raspberries? and can they be frozen raspeberries or are fresh better?

  9. Rating: 4.5

    Harry potter!

  10. Rating: 5

    Harry potter, please it’s my favorite series

  11. Rating: 5

    very interesting masterpiece. favourite book is fifty shades of grey

  12. Rating: 5

    Great job again, Ann, this is such an amazing dessert and I can’t wait to try it. Thank you so much! Oh, and Harry Potter for the book!

  13. my favourite book/bookseries is the anti princess club series and my second favourite book is 39 clues

  14. Rating: 5

    Another stunning chocolate recipe!! I met a little 12 year old girl from Australia at Disneyland and we both love watching you!!
    Harry Potter!!
    I have been sharing your ideas at my culinary school and alot of my classmates are now following you!!

  15. Rating: 5

    Harry potter series!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    my favourite books 🙂

  16. Rating: 5

    Hi, sorry if I am being thick, but I don’t understand how when pouring the sauce only the heart melts and not the whole top layer of the chocolate box? I watched the video several times but I cannot quite catch what you say when you explain that bit, so I’d be grateful if you could explain it again.
    Thanks a million! – Ele

    • me to i don’t get how only the heart melts

    • Rating: 3.5

      At 6:18 in the video… The extra thin layer of chocolate is the one that melts, the thick layer stays in place.

      • can i leave out the gelatine?

        • Hi caaitlins, you will need gelatine for this to work. If you prefer not to use standard gelatine, you can use halal gelatine which is contains no meat products.

    • Hi Ele, The roof of the chocolate box has 2 layers. The top is just a full layer of chocolate, the second underneath layer has a heart shape cut out. When you pour on the gel, the chocolate warms and starts to melt. Where the lid is only one layer thick it will melt lore quickly and fall through revealing a heart shaped hole. Where the chocolate is a double layer thick it will soften on top but the chocolate but won’t melt as quickly and run off. It will hold it’s shape for longer.

  17. Rating: 5

    Once again fabulous. You make it look so easy…..

  18. Diary of the Wimpy kid or Michael mophurgo !!!

  19. Rating: 5

    Hi my fave book is out of my mind by Sharon M draper
    Any harry potter book too
    Pls can u do a harry potter desert?

  20. Rating: 5

    I’ve been following you channel for a looooong time, and I’ve made a Friday ritual: watching the new video while sipping my coffee. I love the way you explain things, you make everything look so simple 🙂
    I especially loved the melting chocolate sphere, but this is a whole new level of awesomeness!! Amazing! I will suggest it to my boss for the Valentine’s day desert (I work in a restaurant)
    Keep up the great work and thank you for all the lovely ideas and solutions.
    Greetings from Macedonia!
    ps. The book I love is “Sin noticias de Gurb”. Not my favorite, but my soon-to-be-husband’s. I love it because I love to hear him laugh while he’s reading it for the 16th time 🙂 <3

    • Thanks for the feedback Dina.

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