It’s almost Valentine’s Day! You should totally make this. If you’re not a fan of this particular holiday but like the concept, make melting stars instead. Or melting whatever-cookie-cutters-you-have.
Whipped cream melting hearts are very easy to make, though you’ll need to get some heart-shaped cookie cutters. If you can handle whipping cream, you can handle making this cute, romantic treat (it’s also great for kids, though you’ll need to omit the liqueur).
I’ve used a 9×5 inch loaf pan because it’s the perfect size, but you can also use a brownie or cake pan. Those are slightly larger, so if you use them keep in mind that the hearts will be thinner unless you add more cream. Whipped cream is forgiving; you can just whip in some additional cream and sugar to taste. The goal is for the hearts to be approximately the same thickness as the cookie cutters.
I added Grand Marnier, which is completely optional if you don’t want to include alcohol. However, you can also swap it out for other liqueurs or straight up booze. Some ideas: Chambord, Kahlua, Baileys Irish Cream, Rumchata, bourbon, rum… get the idea? If you use something unsweetened like bourbon, you might need to add additional sugar. You can also add a splash of whatever you use into the hot chocolate as well.
I’ve included a basic, but very rich and decadent hot chocolate recipe to serve with the melting hearts. By all means, feel free to substitute your favorite recipe, or even a good quality hot chocolate mix.
- 1½ cups cold heavy cream
- 1½ tablespoons granulated sugar
- optional: 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier (or your favorite liqueur)
- 10 ounces good quality semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- 3 cups whole milk
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Line a 9x5 inch loaf pan with 2 layers of parchment paper, letting each layer hang over 2 sides of the pan (this will make it easy to lift out the frozen whipped cream).
- In a large bowl, whisk together the cream, sugar, and Grand Marnier, until the cream reaches a soft peak. Use a spatula to spread the whipped cream into the loaf pan, taking care to even out the top. If the parchment paper starts to fold over, dab a small amount of whipped cream between the paper and sides of the pan to help hold it in place. Freeze until solid. (I recommend doing this the night before. If you freeze overnight, cover the pan in plastic wrap to prevent odors from seeping in).
- Once the whipped cream has frozen, remove the loaf pan from the freezer. Use the parchment paper to gently lift the cream onto a cutting board (if there’s resistance, allow it to thaw for 1-2 minutes first).
- Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter (make sure you have one that works with the size mugs you’re planning to use), press firmly into the cream and lift straight up, then gently tap the cookie cutter onto a clean cutting board to release the heart. Do this several times (the yield will depend on the size of the cookie cutter; you can definitely get 4-6 hearts even with a larger cutter). Place the cutting board with the frozen hearts back in the freezer while preparing the hot chocolate.
- Place the semi-sweet chocolate in a medium-sized bowl, preferably one with a pouring spout. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, heat the milk and vanilla over medium-high heat. Once the milk reaches a simmer, ladle some into the chocolate and stir with a spatula to melt. Continue adding hot milk and stirring until the hot chocolate is smooth.
- Pour the hot chocolate into 2 mugs and top each with a whipped cream heart.