February is the month when our hearts go pitter-patter a bit faster for our true love! Let’s make something shaped like a heart and filled with a creamy mousse. They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, I think this will shoot a sweet arrow right to his/her belly! Figuratively speaking, of course. Let’s get started!
- 3 Egg Whites
- 1/4 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice (most recipes call for cream of tartar, I never have this on hands. So lemon juiced works great)
- 3/4 Cup Sugar
Put the whites into a very clean mixer bowl. Using the whisk attachment whip on high, pour in the lemon juice. Whip until frothy, then add the sugar, a little at a time. Whip until glossy and thick. You may color this with pink or red gel food coloring, if you like. I used pink.
Put the meringue into a pastry bag that has no tip in it. We are going to pipe out hearts onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
Take a glass with a round mouth, the size that you would like your hearts to be. With a pen trace the circles onto the parchment, you will need to draw four (for large ones, more if smaller.) Flip the parchment over so you don’t have the ink side up, you will still see the circles as a guide for making your hearts.
Now pipe a heart outline within your circle guide, go around the inside of your border to fill up the shell. Now go over the outside line one more time to build it up higher. You can make them any size that you would like. I think small ones would be great for the kids.
Bake them in a 275 degree oven for one hour. Turn off the oven and let them dry out in there for another hour and a half. When they are taken out of the oven and cool, place them in a sealed container to keep them crisp. While they are in the oven lets make our sauces.
- 1 (16 0z) container of Strawberries (rinsed, pat dry, stems cut off)
- 3/4 Cup Sugar
- 1/4 Cup water
Place all ingredients into a saucepan. Cook on medium high heat to a boil, stirring frequently, let rapidly boil for 20 minutes, keep stirring, make sure to get the sides and bottom of saucepan. The berries will break down and the sugar will thicken the sauce.
Now for my favorite sauce, CHOCOLATE!!!!!
Homemade Chocolate Sauce
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 12 0z can Evaporated Milk
- 12 oz package Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
- 1 Tblsp Butter
- 1 tsp Vanilla
Put first three ingredients into a saucepan. Stirring constantly, cook over a medium high heat, just until it boils. Take off the stove and whisk in the butter and vanilla.
Pour into a bowl to cool, then refrigerate. Wasn’t that simple? You will never buy chocolate sauce again. This makes more than what is needed for this dessert, but the leftover lasts for weeks in the refrigerator. You can microwave this sauce for on top of ice cream, even use this to make hot chocolate.
Lastly, we will make the whipped cream for our mousse:
Sweetened Whipped Cream
- 1 Cup of Heavy Whipping Cream
- 2 Tblsp Sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla
Place all ingredients into a mixer bowl, using the whisk attachment whip until thick and creamy. If you over whip you have made butter!
Take half of that cooled Strawberry Sauce and fold it into the sweetened whipped cream, Wow! We just made a mousse. Put into the refrigerator.
This can all be done a couple of days in advance. Buy another 16 oz container of strawberries the day you are going to assemble because you want them to be fresh. So when it comes to the big Valentine’s Day, we will assemble it right before we are ready to eat.
Take the heart shells and place them on the dessert plates that you will be using. Place the Strawberry Mousse into a tip less pastry bag, pipe the mousse into the shell. Slice the strawberries and place them on top of the mousse, I placed them from the outside to the middle.
You may decorate the top with some more whipped cream, I had some white chocolate candy discs in the cupboard, so I melted them down and made some hearts. Place the chocolate sauce and the strawberry sauce on both sides of the dessert. Use your imagination! This would be a fun project for everyone to enjoy.
I really enjoyed making them, I haven’t made meringue shells in years. I will make these shells more often, they can be filled with pastry cream also, or just fresh fruit. I love the crispness of the shell, then your mouth feels the creaminess of the mousse. My tastebuds are having a party in my mouth! I taste the sweetness of the berries, and richness of my favorite chocolate sauce. When your loved one tastes this on Valentine’s Day, you will certainly receive a big smooch, I certainly did! Happy Valentine’s Day! All my Love, Pastryjane.