Raspberry Vanilla Hearts
Vanilla hearts are another traditional, Swedish pastry – and adding a little raspberry to the filling puts them over the top!
Have you ever seen those people on shows like MasterChef, that have to make something they’ve never even made or tried before, and then somehow everything turns out nearly perfectly? Well, maybe “perfectly” is a little bit of an exaggeration, but that’s not so unlike how it was with this recipe.
I was walking around my ‘hood and popped into a small store that sells a variety of kitchen and cooking items. I thought I’d get a little inspiration and I always like checking out fun kitchen tools and appliances.
I spotted these interesting, very affordable, concave heart-shaped molds and thought, “Ah, these will be fun to make something in!” I didn’t know what, yet, but I can’t resist a good bargain, so I bought them. The woman at the cash register said “Just the vanilla heart forms?” And I said “Uh, yes. Vanilla hearts you said? Why are they called that?” Her smile turned into a confused, but still kind, what-kind-of -weirdo-is-this look, and she replied, “Well, that’s what you usually make with these forms.”
I thanked her and went on my way. When I got home I googled “vaniljhärtan” – vanilla hearts in Swedish – and saw what she was talking about! Oohh, I thought those look great! Now, I just have to Planticize them!
Vanilla hearts have been around in Sweden and Norway for over 100 years, and as is the case with a lot of old recipes, most of the ones floating around out there are nearly identical and have made the very same way throughout the years. One of the first things I did was cross off egg yolk, then I replaced the dairy items with oat milk, soy cream and plant-based margarine, played around with a mix of normal and confectioner’s sugar, decided on the old school potato flour over the more modern Maizena (if I had either one in the cupboard, that might have affected my choice) and went for my beloved vanilla extract instead of the vanilla sugar often found in Swedish recipes.
It looked good on paper at this point, but I felt like I needed to jazz it up a bit. I didn’t want to mess too much with the dough and it’s consistency so I it had to be in the filling. White chocolate was an idea, but then I thought, nah, not chocolate. And then, since I was planning to make 2 other things with raspberries or raspberry flavoring, it hit me – raspberry jam! Raspberry and vanilla – they’re like peanut butter and banana, like popcorn and movies, like Mulder and Scully, like… Oh, sorry, I’ll stop there.
While it’s an obvious benefit to have the concave forms to help with filling the pastry, they aren’t totally necessary. You can definitely make these using a heart-shaped cookie cutter ( or two, one slightly bigger than the other), placing a little less filling in the middle (and/or making it a bit thicker) and folding the edges and crimping them.
But no matter how you make them, make them! They aren’t something you make every day (and not at all something that is eaten on Valentine’s day here – that just happened to be a happy coincidence) but they are definitely worth the effort!
So, let’s go make some Raspberry Vanilla hearts – and eat to our heart’s content!
- 3½ oz (100 gr) – plant-based margarine (room temperature)
- A pinch of salt
- ½ oz (16 gr) - confectioner’s sugar
- ½ oz (16 gr) - confectioner’s sugar
- 1¼ cups (3 dl) - all-purpose flour
- 1½ tsp (7.5 ml) plant milk Raspberry/Vanilla filling
- ⅔ cup (1½ dl) - plant-based cream
- 2¼ tsp (11 ml) - potato flour
- 2 tsp (10 ml) – vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) – plant-based margarine
- 3 Tbsp (45 ml) – raspberries jam
- Mix the room temperature margarine, the salt and sugars and stir thoroughly.
- Stir in the water and then the flour and knead quickly into a glossy dough. Place the dough in plastic wrap, flatten a bit, and chill in the refrigerator for about an hour.
- While you’re waiting you can make the vanilla filling. Pour the cream potato flour, sugar and vanilla into a small saucepan and simmer over low heat (don’t boil), stirring to remove any lumps.
- When the dough has chilled for an hour, roll out the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap. You need 12 pieces of dough to make 6 hearts so roll the dough accordingly.
- Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter or a concave heart form to cut 12 heart shapes out of the dough. If you are using concave forms, lightly press one heart-shaped piece of dough into each.
- Place one spoonful of vanilla cream into the middle of each heart and then one spoonful of raspberry jam. Take the remaining 6 heart-shaped pieces of dough, place them on top of the filling, and press gently on the edges. A good way to make a nice seal is to press the edges using a fork.
- Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, making sure they don’t brown. The dough should still be very light even after cooking.
- If using forms, very carefully turn the hearts upside down and gently pry the form off the back.
- Let cool, powder with confectioner’s sugar, garnish with fresh raspberries and enjoy your hard work!