Valentine's Day recipes: heart-shaped treats

Date:13-02-2014 08:58:43 read:2

Valentine's Day recipes: heart-shaped treats

Emma Marsden, author of a new book on romantic treats, shows how to make heart-shaped kisses and cookies for your loved one

Sweet treat: meringue kisses, filled with cream and cherries Photo: Sarah Cuttle

Meringue kisses recipe

The rich, creamy filling and tart cherries perfectly balance these sweet, light-as-a-feather meringues.


3 large egg whites

About 200g caster sugar

Pink food colouring

50g white chocolate, chopped

For the filling

300ml double cream

1 tbsp icing sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

About 4 tbsp cherry jam

To serve

8 fresh ripe cherries

You will need

6.5cm heart-shaped cutter

Piping bag fitted with a 1cm round nozzle

Preheat the oven to 110°C/90°C fan/gas ½

Drawing freehand or using a 6.5cm heart-shaped cutter as a template, draw 8 hearts on to 2 sheets of baking parchment. Turn the sheets over and lay them on 2 baking sheets. There’s no need to grease the paper as meringue will later be used to secure the corners.

Weigh a spotlessly clean bowl, then weigh the egg whites in it. Calculate their weight, double it and weigh that quantity of caster sugar into a separate bowl.

Whisk the egg whites until they stand in soft peaks and the fluffy mixture doesn’t slip around in the bowl. You should be able to turn it upside down over your head without the mixture falling out.

Whisk in the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, making sure each spoonful dissolves completely before adding the next. Dip a cocktail stick into the food colouring and add it to the meringue until you reach the depth of colour you want.

Dot a little of the meringue under the corners of each piece of parchment to secure the paper to the baking sheet.

Spoon the rest of the meringue into a piping bag fitted with a 1 cm round nozzle and pipe inside the traced heart templates. Bake for about 1 ½ hours, until the meringues come away easily from the paper. Leave to cool in the oven.

Set a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Melt the white chocolate in the bowl, then spoon it over the base of each meringue and leave to set.

Whip the cream and icing sugar in a bowl until thick and glossy. Swirl in the cherry jam.

Take 2 meringue hearts and sandwich them together with the sweet jam cream. Serve dusted with a little extra icing sugar and a couple of ripe cherries.

Heart cookies recipe


These crisp lemon biscuits are flooded with knicker-pink icing and dotted with pretty white hearts.


75g butter

75g golden caster sugar

Zest of ½ lemon

1-2 tbsp lemon juice

150g plain flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting

For the icing

250g icing sugar

1 egg white

Red food colouring

You will need

7cm heart-shaped cutter

Piping bag fitted with a 1-2mm round nozzle

Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/gas 5. Line 2 baking sheets with baking parchment.

Beat the butter, sugar and lemon zest together in a bowl. Stir in the lemon juice and flour until the mixture looks crumbly, then form into a ball with your hands. Place on a lightly floured board and knead to make a smooth dough. Shape into a circle then wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Lightly flour a board and roll out the dough until it’s about 3mm thick. Cut out 8 biscuits either freehand or using a 7cm cutter, rerolling the dough as necessary. Transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheets and chill in the fridge for 10 minutes.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden. Cool on a wire rack.

To make the icing, whisk half the icing sugar in a bowl with the egg white. Continue to add the icing sugar, a spoonful at a time, until it’s all mixed in. Whisk well for 5-10 minutes, until the mixture is thick.

Put a heaped tablespoon of icing into a dish and set aside. Dip a cocktail stick into the food colouring and stir it into the rest of the icing. Whisk well to incorporate the colour completely. Add more colouring until you have the desired shade.

Spoon one-third of the pink icing into a piping bag fitted with a 1-2mm round nozzle. Pipe around the edge of a biscuit to create a raised border. Spoon more of the pink icing into the middle of the biscuit and use the back of a spoon to flood the inside border.

Use a cocktail stick to place small dots of white icing around the edges, or all over, the pink icing on the biscuit, then drag a clean cocktail stick from top to bottom of each dot to create heart shapes.

Allow to set while you decorate the remaining biscuits in the same way.

Store in an airtight container and enjoy within 5 days.

These recipes are extracted from Heart on a Plate by Emma Marsden, Square Peg, £9.99

Read more: Pippa Middleton's Valentine's Day oyster recipes

Read more: The perfect Valentine's Day dinner menu

    Ever For Health Copy Rights 2013