I admit, I like to keep things. Especially holiday things. One holiday thing I’ve kept for years is a set of 2 Wilton 6-cavity mini heart cake pans. They must be popular, since they are still available online at sites like amazon.com and overstock.com. Sure, the manufacturer has since come out with ruffled heart pans and non-stick heart pans, but my oldies can still make goodies.
The Wilton 6-Cavity Mini Heart Pan
Here are two ways to use mini heart pans – and there are dozens more! If you don’t have mini heart cake pans, each recipe may be adapted to use a heart-shaped cookie cutter, widely is available at craft stores and some supermarkets.
Rice Krispies® Hearts
3 T. butter or margarine
1 10 oz. package regular marshmallows
6 c. Rice Krispies® cereal
1 c. white chocolate chips
2 T. shortening
Red food coloring
1. In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.
2. Add the Rice Krispies® cereal and stir until well coated.
3. Spray 12 mini heart cake molds with non-stick cooking spray. Using waxed paper (or spray your hands with the cooking spray), divide the mixture into the pans, making sure to completely fill the shape. Compact the mixture and level the top. Allow to cool, then unmold the hearts and place on a large plate or baking sheet.
4. In the microwave, melt the white chocolate chips and the shortening in a microwave-safe bowl in 30-second increments, stirring after each increment until the morsels are nearly all melted. Continue stirring, using the residual heat to melt the remaining morsels.
5. Using a teaspoon, drizzle the white chocolate over the hearts. (Tip: Move your wrist in a quick back and forth motion to get a zigzag effect.)
6. Tint the remaining white chocolate with one drop of red food coloring to achieve a pale pink, and drizzle the pink chocolate on the hearts. Add one or two more drops of red to the remaining chocolate, and repeat. Allow the chocolate to set.
Notes and hints:
– For best results, use fresh marshmallows.
– 4 c. miniature marshmallows or 1 jar (7 oz.) marshmallow crème may be substituted for marshmallows.
– Diet, reduced calorie or tub margarine is not recommended.
– For melting the white chocolate, do not use butter or margarine. It must be shortening. Crisco® sticks are ideal.
– Best if served the same day. To freeze, place in layers separated by waxed paper in an airtight container.
– Variation: To use a cookie cutter, evenly press the mixture into a 13x9x2 inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool 10 minutes and cut with a heart-shaped cookie cutter. (Spray a bit of cooking spray on the inside of the cutter and use a finger to evenly coat the entire inside surface of the cutter.) Carefully remove the treat from the cutter and place on a baking sheet. Cool completely.
1 boxed white cake mix
2/3 c. light corn syrup
2/3 c. hot water
7 c. confectioners’ sugar
1 tube white writing icing
1. Generously grease and flour 12 mini heart cake pans. Place muffin liners in 6 cupcake cups. Preheat the oven as directed on the package.
2. Prepare the cake batter according to the instructions on the box. Fill the heart cake pans about ½ full. (It’s slightly more batter than a cupcake requires; if you use an ice cream scoop, it’s about 1 ½ scoops per heart.) Pour any remaining batter into the cupcake cups.
3. Bake about 20-25 minutes until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Place the heart pans on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then carefully unmold the cakes. Place the cakes on a wire rack set on a roasting pan or a jelly-roll pan. Place the cakes in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes until cold.
4. When the cakes are completely chilled, prepare the fondant icing. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the corn syrup and the hot water until well combined. Add the confectioners’ sugar in batches until well incorporated.
5. Divide the icing into smaller bowls, one for each color you desire. Tint each bowl of icing to the desired color, whisking to incorporate the color.
6. Remove the cakes from the refrigerator. Gently brush off any excess crumbs off the top and sides of the cakes with your fingers or a pastry brush. Place them back on the wire rack on the pan. (The pan will catch excess icing.) Working with one color at a time, use a large spoon to coat each cake making sure to completely coat the top and sides. Allow the icing to set and repeat. You may collect the icing from the pan and put it back into the bowl. If the icing stiffens, simply re-whisk.
7. When all the cakes are covered with icing, allow the icing to set and harden. Write conversational sayings on each heart using the white writing icing.
Notes and hints:
– To use a heart-shaped cookie cutter, use a greased and floured jelly-roll pan and bake according to the package directions. When the cake is completely cooled, use the cookie cutter to cut shapes from the cake. Chill the heart cakes as directed above.
– Chilling the cakes helps the icing go on more smoothly.
– Two or three coats of icing may be required to achieve complete opaque coverage.
– Practice writing with the icing before decorating the cakes.
Let your creativity loose and use the mini heart pans to make chocolate cake hearts covered in dark chocolate ganache; individual gelatin molds; meringue hearts to hold strawberries and cream; corn muffins; or individual rice molds. Whatever you could put in a cupcake tin, you can make into a heart for your Valentine.