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Be my Valentine and I’ll bake you some Chocolate Hearts!

Posted on February 14, 2011 by in baked goods

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Valentine’s Day! For some a commercialized money making scheme, for some a long forgotten memory, but for someone it still is one of the most special days on the yearly calender. I remember from my days at University…. on 14 February and 1 September(Spring Day) the town would brighten up and all male students would be walking with a bunch of flowers, a box of chocolates or something  all wrapped up in red and white. At night the various serenade groups would come and sing at the ladies hostels, too beautiful.  I suppose that old fashioned gesture is but a distant memory(and I have just given away my age.), but ………
Love is so delicate and precious. If  not handled with care, you might end up with only a handful of crumbs – a memory of the love you’ve once had. Pretty much like these delicate heart shaped chocolate puffs I made for my Valentine. Light, airy, puffy pastry with soft, warm, velvety dark chocolate on the inside. It does not get more delicate and dainty than this.
Now one thing you have to know about me(if you haven’t figured it out already), is that if there is a corner to be cut, I will cut it, so making puff pastry is such a tedious process that there is absolutely NO WAY I will even try. I have a cheat’s version of puff pastry, but that is as good as it’s going to get, I’m afraid!
Just for your information……

Puff pastry is like any other like pie crust with cold butter mixed into the flour until it has a cornmeal consistency. Once it comes together is when the real work starts. The dough is rolled around a thick slab of butter. By  folding, turning  and rolling, the butter is dispersed evenly throughout the dough making lots and lots  of very thin layers of dough separated by a film of butter.
The pastry rises because of the butter layers.While baking the pastry, the butter melts and boils, creating steam which lifts the layers higher and higher. At the same time, the heat cooks  the flour, which hardens  around those minute air pockets, creating the puff.
Like I’ve said that was just for your information, because I BUY my puff pastry. Not the regular stuff that you get from the big supermarkets, but I hunt for this specific kind they sell at some Indian shops (got mine from Excellent Meat Market in Milnerton)…. there is none better, Just look at the puff on these babies!

Chocolate Hearts
(makes about 24)
1 roll good quality puff pastry – thawed in fridge
24 buttons of 70% chocolate – I used Valrhona
1 egg – beaten
Preheat your oven to 200C. Always make sure that you thaw the pastry dough in the fridge. When you want to use it, make sure it is not too hot in the kitchen. I find it works best early in the morning. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface and use a heart shaped cookie cutter to cut out 48 small hearts. Take a small brush or your finger and spread some of the egg wash mixture on the outside edges of 24 hearts. Place a chocolate button on the heart and top with another pastry heart. Crimp the edges with your fingers and finish off with the egg wash. Place on a baking sheet prepared with non-stick spray and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes. You will see when it is all golden brown and puffed up. Dust with icing sugar and serve immediately with your best cuppa!

Let me help you plan the whole Valentine’s Meal 
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10 Responses to “Be my Valentine and I’ll bake you some Chocolate Hearts!”

  1. That Girl 14 February 2011 at 7:24 am #

    The men at your University sound FAR superior to the men who I went to school with.

  2. Rhyleysgranny 14 February 2011 at 9:31 am #

    Now what a lovely simple idea. Yours look gorgeous. The pastry you use certainly rises. Lovely

  3. Ishay 14 February 2011 at 9:53 am #

    Nina, that puff is spectacular. I buy my puff from a local store (won't mention names), it's the butter variety and in my opinion, very expensive and does not rise this beautifully! I live close by, so will pop into Excellent soon. Happy V day to you and your fam.

  4. Anita 14 February 2011 at 10:31 am #

    Nina, can you share the name of your puff pastry, so that we can look for that brand here in Durban.

  5. Leaine's Kitchen 14 February 2011 at 2:47 pm #

    Be still my beating heart 😉 These little darlings look delectable!

  6. bellini valli 14 February 2011 at 3:06 pm #

    These remind me of a delcicious Chocolatine I used to get at a French bakery here in town that is now a thing of the past. Happy Valentine's Day Nina and family.

  7. SavoringTime in the Kitchen 14 February 2011 at 11:24 pm #

    What a sweet idea 😉 So easy but elegant and delicious!

  8. Ben the cook 15 February 2011 at 2:53 am #

    I'm not big on Valentine's day, but I'll be your Valentine if you bake me those delicious chocolate hearts, hehe.

  9. Marisa 15 February 2011 at 3:00 pm #

    Wow, what a rise on those pastries! Which brand do you use?

  10. Charlie and Jessica 23 February 2011 at 5:31 am #

    I ran across your blog through Foodie Blogroll, and I'm glad I did! This chocolate pastries look delicious, I am going to try them really soon. Thanks for sharing the idea!


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