Friday, February 15, 2008

Weathered hearts for Valentine

No heart survives life without a little wear and tear. There's beauty in those hearts, they get this patina, flexibility, and show signs of being used. That's a good thing. It's a good thing when you remember to take the battery out, replace it and get your laptop to work again and make this post in time for Valentines Day. It didn't.
I used my grandmother's molds for making oh so sweet heartshaped Dutch treats. I remember using them in her kitchen, on the granite kitchen counter and she helped me pour the sugar and cream mixture in. Some of the clasps that hold the hearts together were lost but I used paperclips to seal and that worked.

Simple recipe for "borstplaat":
500 gr. granulated sugar
200 ml single cream
seeds of 1 vanilla bean
optional: food colouring (or any other flavourings you like instead of vanilla)

Cook sugar and cream together to soft ball stage (114C or 240F), stir every once in a while, mixture goes from clear to cloudy white and gets thicker. In the meantime scrape the seeds from a vanilla bean in a bowl. Let the mixture cool slightly and pour into the bowl while stirring.
Now, if you are using metal molds like I did, wet them with a brush with water and set them on a silicon baking mat. Let cool to an almost solid (this will go from liquid to solid in an instant, watch it!), just pourable mass and pour this into your waiting molds. Leave to set for something like an hour or so, when the surface is dry and hard to the touch, set them on one side to let the bottoms dry as well. (I remember doing that when I was like 6 or so). I don't think she used all cream, you can make this with water only which will make a more brittle heart (!) or milk as well.This concoction is called Borstplaat in Dutch, fondant or fudge if you like, the word translates to something like "breast sheet"..... Isn't that just so Valentine?


  1. How wonderful to be using your grandmother's hearts ... that's something really special


  2. Your opening sounds very much like the Velveteen Rabbit. Or at least it reminds me of it.
    Love your grandmothers hearts! and the vanilla fudge!

  3. Happy belated Valentine's, what lovely looking hearts you made!

  4. What a beautiful creation. I have never heard of this before.

  5. I LOVE IT.
    So nice to hear that your grandmother is still alive in your kitchen, not only in sweet memories and mind but now even visible "in heart".

  6. Ach ... borstplaat. Het is misschien wel 25 jaar geleden dat ik dat voor het laatst heb gemaakt. 't Is dat ik geen vormen in huis heb, anders begon ik er direct aan. Leuk!

  7. Wat een fantastische vormpjes heb je daar voor gebruikt van je oma. Dat vind ik wel erg speciaal. Ach en niet op tijd voor valentijnsdag... who cares, zoiets is altijd speciaal!

  8. I've never heard of this before. It sound intriguing. Using your grandmother's hearts makes them extra special.

  9. Fantastic breast sheets. ;-)


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