White Chocolate Lemon Hearts
These are cake “balls” in a heart shape. I use a heart shaped cookie cutter to form the shapes, so really you could use any shaped cookie cutter you like (stars, dinosaurs, leaves, etc.) FYI, the flavor here is more white chocolate than lemon. Make sure to use a high quality white chocolate that contains cocoa butter. I like Valrhona Ivoire, not only for its flavor, but also for its fluid texture once melted.
Makes about 28, 2 to 3-inch hearts
Recipe for White Cake for Cake Balls
2 tablespoons lemon zest
24 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped, such as Valrhona Ivoire
Disco Dust such as the color Pink Raspberry, optional (or you can use what color you like)
Heart shaped cookie cutters, 2 to 3-inches across at widest point
Prepare the batter for the White Cake for Cake Balls; fold in lemon zest right before pouring into prepared pan. Bake and cool as described.
While cooling, line a 13 x 9-inch pan with plastic wrap so that it overhangs all sides. (I do this with two to four large pieces of wrap). Set aside.
Once the cake has cooled, crumble it into a large bowl; use hands and pastry blender to create even fine crumbs. Add 1/2 cup lemon curd, and start mixing it in with a spatula. At first the mixture will begin to moisten; keep going. Add a couple of tablespoons at a time, until the mixture begins to form a ball and comes away from the sides of the pan. Taste the mixture. It should be lemony and should hold together. You will know when you have added enough lemon curd when the mixture is well flavored with lemon, very moist, yet is not wet.
Press the mixture firmly into the plastic wrap lined pan. It is important to press it in firmly and evenly because the bottom will eventually be the top of your hearts and you want as smooth and even a surface as possible. Use your fingers and/or a small offset spatula to make sure the mixture is even on top as well. (If you have another similarly sized pan and it nests within this one, you can use it to press the top down evenly with a piece of plastic laid on top of the cake ball mixture). Cover the top of the pressed mixture with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least one hour or up to overnight.
Unmold the cake mixture from the pan by lifting the plastic wrap up and out. Remove plastic and place on cutting board, top-side down. Use your cutter(s) to cut out as many hearts as possible. You will most likely have to pick each heart up as you go and pop it out of the cutter. Be careful to retain the heart’s shape.
Melt the chocolate in top of double boiler or in microwave. Stir until smooth. It is best to have the chocolate in a deep, narrow container so that it is easy to submerge the hearts. (This all depends on the size of your hearts, of course. I use a 2 –cup liquid measuring cup). Line two half-sheet pans with aluminum foil and have two forks handy.
Place a heart on a fork (do not pierce with fork) and lower into melted chocolate until it is completely submerged. Use both forks, if necessary, to withdraw heart from chocolate, then perched on one fork, tap the fork repeatedly against the side of the container to encourage excess chocolate to drip back into container. Take your time here; you want as much chocolate to fall away as possible while still keeping entire heart coated.
Place heart on aluminum foil lined pan. Repeat with remaining hearts, spacing them on pan so that they do not touch. Refrigerate briefly until chocolate firms to the touch, about 30 minutes. If you have excess chocolate that has pooled around the base of the hearts, you can trim it away with a sharp paring knife.
Sprinkle Disco Dust on top of hearts, or apply with a small artists brush. Hearts are ready to serve (they are best at a cool room temperature) or they may be stored overnight in an airtight container in a single layer.