After all, I'd promised Lundulph some time ago to make him vanilla hearts and with a recipe for these classic Swedish pastries from my new patisserie book I got to work. With the usual swap of vanilla sugar for icing sugar and vanilla extract. It also calls for fleur de sel, which I didn't have, so I used regular cooking salt instead, however, I will get some for my next batch. The recipe was for 30 hearts, which I felt was a bit too much to make, so I halved the recipe. Besides I only have 12 of the little heart tins, which incidentally measure 7.5 cm along the line of symmetry and they have a small lip around the edge.
240 g plain flour
200 g unsalted butter from the fridge
55 g icing sugar
1 g fleur de sel (or salt)
5 g vanilla extract
20 g egg yolk (from 1 large egg)
3 dl vanilla custard
icing sugar for decoration
- Place the flour on a work surface and form a well.
- Cut the butter in a few pieces and place in the middle of the well along with the icing sugar and the salt.
- Pinch together into a crumbly dough, but careful not to over-work.
- Add the vanilla and the yolk and mix in.
- When well incorporated, wrap in cling film and place in the fridge to rest for at least 1 h.
- Line up the heart tins together as closely as possible. Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees C.
- Take out half of the dough from the fridge and roll out to 3 mm thickness on a lightly dusted work surface, making sure it doesn't stick.
- Carefully roll up the dough onto the rolling pin and roll out over the heart tins.
- Using a small piece of dough, gently push the rolled out dough into each heart tin.
- Carefully roll the rolling pin over the hearts, then cut around the edge to free them and remove excess dough.
- Spoon or pipe in the custard, filling each heart to about three-quarters.
- Take out the remainder of the dough and roll out to 3 mm in the same way.
- Roll up on the rolling pin, then roll out over the heart tins, then roll the rolling pin over the tins to seal in the filling.
- Prick the tops of the hearts before baking them for 25 minutes until golden brown.
- Prepare a piece of baking paper large enough to fit all the hearts. Turn out the hearts immediately after taking them out of the oven, then carefully prise off the little tins and allow the hearts to cool.
- Dust with icing sugar before serving. The hearts keep for one day if kept in room temperature and a couple of days if kept in the fridge.
I made several mistakes in baking these. First I over-worked the dough.
So that when I added my egg yolk and a bit and the vanilla extract, I ended up with sticky goo.
Using a dough scraper made it a bit easier. I wrapped the thing in cling film and left it in the fridge overnight.
To avoid it going sticky again, I tried to work as fast as I could and ended up adding a lot of extra flour to the dough.
Unfortunately I also mis-understood the instructions on how to get the dough into the heart tins, so ended up doing each individually and had to wait inbetween turns as the dough kept warming up and going gooey.
I think this below is what filling up to three-quarters meant...
I also didn't succeed with covering the filling according to instructions and rolling the rolling pin over each individually was a precarious work, but I got there in the end. Here they are, ready for baking:
And straight out of the oven:
Unfortunately upon turning the hearts out, I once again had a confirmation that I need a new oven. I had to bake the hearts for 40 minutes and still they were barely cooked underneath. Luckily, dusting icing sugar on top covered it.
After day 2 in the fridge (only Lundulph and me to eat the little beauties), I started warming the hearts up in the microwave a little. This resulted in the crust becoming very soft and impossible to touch, so they required a spoon for eating. Also the custard inside changed and became more solid. I think I'll make real crème pâtissière next time.
On the whole the hearts were good, but I would have preferred them a little sweeter on the inside. Lundulph said they were really good, which is nice.