Home made sweet and tart conversation hearts

사랑해요, saranghaeyo, love you, sweet heart, hope, you, me, je t’aime, L’amour, oui, elsker deg, søt, ja, cute, bff, mahal, poge, maganda, xo xo etc, the list is long. You can put what ever you want on the conversation hearts. We wrote words in different languages and a few in Chinese and Korean. I tried to learn Cantonese when I lived in Hong Kong and I remember learning the carachter above, mei wich means beautifull and consist of two carachters, sheep(goat) and big(joeng + dai=mei). So I guess if a chinese person calls you a fat sow, you should take that as a compliment 😀

What is conversation hearts made of, My youngest and I have tried to make some over the week-end.

First we tried a recipe we found HERE, but we found them to be too soft. The texture reminded us of a little bit stiffer peppermint patty and just sweet. We like Love Hearts so I tried to adjust the recipe a bit. We wanted the candy harder, a bit chalky and brittle and of course a little fizzy. I added a little hard candy ingredients and citric acid to the first recipe.

The light colored is the easy recipe, the other recipe is based on this one

2 tsp gelatine powder
1 dl sprite
o,5 dl water
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp dextrose
1 kg powdered sugar
2 tps citric acid

For white: 1-2 drops green apple flavouring
For yellow: 1- 2 drops mango flavoring
For pink: 1-2 drops raspberry flavoring
For green: 1-2 drops kiwi flavoring

These are the colors and flavors I used, bu you can use the colors and flavors your hearts desire. Remember that the different brands of flavoring and coloring are different, so adjust the flavoring and coloring to your liking.

Prepare 4 bowls with food coloring and flavoring

Bloom the gelatin with the Sprite in the bottom of a mixing bowl. After 5 minutes, set the bowl over a pot of simmering water to melt the gelatin, or microwave in short 5 second bursts until melted, set aside.

Combine water, sugar and dextrose in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil.

Boil  this mixture until almost hard candy stage, when you drop a few drops  in cold water it will harden like hard caramel, but not hard candy.

Pull this mixture off the heat and start combining the ingredients

In a mixer combine the sprite and gelatin mixture on slow speed with the sugarmix. Add the powdered sugar a cup or two at the time. Keep adding the powdered sugar until you have stiff fondant-like dough. You may not need all of the powdered sugar. If the dough gets grainy  and hard, put it in the microwave for a 10-20 seconds to soften and knead. Putting it in the microwave the candy becomes more brittle

Turn the dough out onto the counter top and knead until smooth.

Divide the dough in four and knead each part in the prepared bowls with flavor and coloring, or divide into as many portions as you would like colors/flavors and keep any dough you’re not currently using wrapped in plastic to prevent it from crusting over.

If the dough gets crusty and hard, put it in the microwave for a few seconds to soften and knead.

Knead in the colors and flavors until homogenous. Taste a pinch of the dough and add more flavoring.

Roll the dough to about 2-3 mm thickness and cut out hearts or desired shapes.

Arrange the candies on a baking paper lined sheet pan and air dry for 48 hours. After 24 hours, flip all the hearts so they can dry on both sides.

If you have little letter stamps, stamp the letters before they harden or write letters with a decorating pen with edible ink when the hearts have hardened.

As I was writing this I realized that I could have made a sugarfondant paste and added citric acid.

 

Cupcakes with popping candy hearts

Valentine cupcakes  with a little surprise.

Don’t you like making treats for your loved ones, whether they are healthy or not.

Sometimes it is fun to make treats with a little unexpected surprice.

This Valentines I made some red velvet cupcakes with vanilla frosting and popping hearts for decoration

The cupcakes turned out a pale version of what I usually make, I did not have the propper food coloring I needed, but oh well, its the candymelt hearts that was of importance this time.

I made the hearts with popping sugar.

Popping sugar is bits of candy where carbon dioxide is added under pressure while the mass is still in liquid form and when the mass hardens it traps the gas inside the candy . It is only when the pieces come in contact with moisture like when you put them in your mouth and the sugar dissolves, the gas is released and you will experiences little explosions in your mouth . Candy is not difficult to make, but popping sugar is completely different , it’s not something I plan to try to do at home in my the kitchen.

You need

15 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

1 1/4 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

13 ounces granulated sugar

1 1/4 cups buttermilk

3 eggs

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons red food coloring

1 1/4 teaspoons white vinegar or apple cider vinegar

1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/8 cup water

I usually use a foodcoloring from Wilton but I was out of it and tried to use a natural food coloring made from beets and as you can see it did not turn as red as it is supposed to be.

Directions

For the cupcakes:

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder into a bowl and set aside.

In a mixer mix oil, sugar, and buttermilk until combined. Add eggs, food coloring, vinegar, vanilla and water and mix well. Add the dry ingredients a little bit at a time and mix on low, scraping down sides occasionally, and mix until just combined. Be sure not to over mix, or the batter will come out tough.

Line a cupcake pan with paper liners, scoop the batter into the liners and bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean. Let them cool.

For the cream cheese frosting:

1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature

1 pound butter, room temperature

2 pounds powdered sugar, sifted

3 ts vanilla extract

Whip the butter and cream cheese together in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until creamed. Gradually add powdered sugar to the mixture and scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and mix until combined.

The frosting can be used right away, or stored in the refrigerator up to a week.

Frost cooled cupcakes with the cream cheese frosting.

For popping hearts I used

7 oz. white chocolate

or if you got pink chocolate melts use that

1/8 ts food coloring

2 oz poppingsugar

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler

Add the chocolate food coloring

Stir till it is well mixed and lett it cool to a little belove body temperature.

Add the popping sugar make sure every bit of candy is coated, The fat in the chocolate will protect the candy and prevent them from popping

Spread the chocolate on a pan lined with bakingpaper.

I started to cut out the hearts before the chocolate had hardened properly and when it had hardened I started breaking the heart loose and this way the hearts got a rough edge.

Frost the cupcakes and use the hearts as decoration.