Valentine’s Day is another great excuse to tell people in your life that you love them – and – to do it with some home-made sweets guilt-free . Here are three Valentine’s treats ideas that Vit and I have made for our kids- over the last couple of Valentines.
Idea No. 1. Mini-Pavlova Meringue Hearts with Whipped Cream and Raspberry Sauce
First, a disclaimer: meringues are “moody” creatures. In my post Meringue Affair I have already shared with you our meringue
love-hate relationship recipe quest. This Meringue Hearts recipe is inspired by Barefoot Contessa’s Mini Pavlovas, with ingredients and techniques developed and perfected by our numerous trials this past year.
4 egg whites
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspon of lemon juice
For Whipped Cream:
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons of sugar
For Raspberry Sauce
1 pint container of raspberries
2 tablespoons of sugar
1/2 cup of raspberry jam (seedless preferred, but you could use any kind)
¼ cups of water
To make “Meringues Hearts”, preheat the oven to 225 Degrees F and line the baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw 8 hearts (with pencil, sized about 3 ½ inches in the middle) on parchment paper, then turn the paper (“face down”) to line on baking sheet (you will still see the drawings). Rub paper with olive oil to prevent sticking.
Beat 4 cold egg whites with lemon juice on high speed in the bowl of the heavy duty electric mixer (we use stand alone one and it may just be the secret to the perfect meringue, every time). When soft peaks form, reduce the speed to medium and start slowly adding the sugar. Entire egg beating process should take 5-8 minutes. When beat properly, the egg white should stick to the spoon turned upside down.
Using a pastry bag or a gallon sized plastic bag (with a small hall in the corner) pipe meringue “hearts” inside the drawings, then add a second layer around the edges to form the sides.
Bake for about 2 hours, until dry to touch but not browned. Keep in oven to cool. Carefully remove from tray to a serving dish and fill with cream just before you are ready to serve. Top with raspberry sauce and/or fresh berries.
To make whipped cream, beat cold whipping cream (you can use hand-held mixer for this) with sugar until the picks form. You could add a teaspoon of raspberry sauce for color (or half a teaspoon of vanilla extract).
For a raspberry sauce, simmer raspberries with sugar and water for 5 minutes, then process with raspberry jam until smooth in a small food processor.
Idea No. 2: Nutella Crepes with Raspberry Sauce.
For this treat, make (or buy) French crepes from your favorite recipe, layer with Nutella, roll, and serve with raspberry sauce from Idea 1.
Idea No. 3: Fruit and Candy Hearts (no baking required).
If you have no time (or not in the mood) for baking, you could still make a home made Valentine’s treat by simply “assembling” fruits, berries, dry fruits, candies- (what have you, really) into “hearts”. Serve with whipped cream (for dipping the fruits) from Idea 1.