These are cake “balls” in a heart shape – a perfect treat for Valentine’s Day or even weddings. After you prepare the cake ball mixture, you press it into a pan and cut out the hearts with a cookie cutter, 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. Disco dust, sprinkled on top of our heart-shaped cake balls, is a very sparkly edible dusting powder that can change depending on your viewing angle.
- 1 Recipe batter for Easy White Cake
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- ½ cup Lemon Curd
- 12 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped, such as Valrhona Ivoire
- Disco Dust, in Pink Rose, optional (or you can use any color you like)
- Position rack to center of oven. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 13-inch by 9-inch pan with nonstick spray. Prepare the batter for the Easy White Cake; fold in lemon zest right before pouring into prepared pan. Bake and cool as described.
- While cooling, line an 8-inch square pan with plastic wrap so that it overhangs all sides. (I do this with two large pieces of wrap.) Set aside.
- Once the cake has cooled, cut it in half crosswise, wrap one half well in plastic wrap and freeze for future cake ball use. Crumble other half into a large bowl; use hands and pastry blender to create even, fine crumbs. Add ¼ cup lemon curd, and start mixing it in with a rubber spatula. The mixture will begin to moisten; keep going. Add a couple of tablespoons of lemon curd at a time, until the mixture begins to form a ball and comes away from the sides of the pan.
- 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 8-inch 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 pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least one hour or overnight, no longer.
- Unmold the cake from the pan by lifting the plastic wrap up and out. Remove plastic and place cake square on cutting board, top-side down. Use your cutter 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 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 a half-sheet pan 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-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 in an airtight container in a single layer for 3 days.
Disco dust is NOT EDIBLE. It is PLASTIC CRAFT GLITTER and is not for use on food. It is OK for decorations that will be removed and discarded.
To keep something edible, edible glitter must be used. Edible glitter is made from gum arabic, sanding sugar, or gelatin.
Rae, Thank you for this clarification. It is such a good, specific point. As you probably know dragées are not considered edible in certain countries either, yet we use them. Gold leaf, which is inert and not a food either, passes through us as does Disco dust. It is non-toxic, yet is not a foodstuff. We would never suggest eating a cupful or even half a cupful! It is widely used in the cake decorating community, although much discussion is happening within that realm as well about whether out should be banned from competitions and such. As you point out, there are products called “edible glitter” which give similar results. All are often sold together in cake decorating stores so it is good to know what one is buying.
Dede, yes, people do continue to use dragees, despite the fact that they contain actual base metals. Those, too, should be removed before something is eaten, because they, too, are “for decoration, only.”
As for gold leaf–REAL gold leaf–gold is an element, highly pure, and it is used medicinally. It is in no way similar to plastic particles which started god knows where as god knows what.
A cake decorator does not KNOW what happens when disco dust–small, sharp, clingy particles–wend their way through the dark, wrinkly recesses of the human alimentary canal.
No amount of deliberately applied plastic “decoration” that cannot be removed before eating is acceptable.
Suppliers and retailers should be better at declaring that disco dust is plastic glitter. Yes, that should give decorators great pause in choosing to sprinkle it on food. Some suppliers have improved their descriptions in the past few years, moving from just “non toxic” to “for decoration only. Not a food stuff”, etc. , but still fall short of declaring that it’s plastic.
Disco dust is for decoration in the same manner that birthday candles, plastic figurines, and ribbons are for decoration. There is no “choice” about eating those.
It’s important for all decorators–both high and low profile–to promote better practices. The simple fact is, it should NOT be “widely used in the cake decorating community”, if it’s going to be used inappropriately.
Quick update–on Jan. 14, 2016 the FDA issued a formal advisory regarding the use of non-toxic products directly on food.
Not surprisingly, the advisory makes it clear that NO non-toxic product, be it disco dust, luster dust, dragees, etc. should be used in decorating unless that product can be/will be removed before the item is eaten. By citing inappropriate use of non-toxic products as grounds for an enforcement action by the agency, they are essential putting all public food providers on notice.
That not right Rae! You can eat it!