If you'd like to make a super easy but mega cute looking treat for someone you love, how about these secretly simply chocolate sprinkle hearts?
It's a great activity for kids to try this Valentine's Day.
To make them, all you need is a heart-shaped chocolate mould, a few spoonfuls of sprinkles, and some milk chocolate.
Here's how to make these fun chocolate hearts.
- 3 tbsp sprinkles vegetarian if required
- 150 g (5.3 oz) milk chocolate
Put a pinch of sprinkles into the bottom of each hole, so that it just covers the base
Melt the chocolate in a bowl using 10-second blasts in the microwave then pour into the mould, filling each hole just shy of the top.
Use a dough scraper or spatula to scrape away the excess chocolate.
Leave to sit for 10 minutes, then transfer to the fridge to set.
Once fully set, pop out carefully onto a flat surface and you're done!
When you bite into them, the chocolate is creamy and smooth, and then you get that little bit of crunch from the sprinkles on top. Loads of fun and a brilliant gift for anyone who loves chocolate.
Pointers, tricks and troubleshooting tips for perfect chocolate hearts.
Are chocolate hearts easy to make?
With just two ingredients these hearts are super simple to make and a great recipe if you want to get little hands involved, with plenty of colourful fun to be had when choosing which sprinkle shapes to choose, or to mix and match together - just be careful when dealing with the hot melted chocolate.
Will I need any special equipment for this recipe?
The only thing that you may not find in a standard kitchen is the heart shaped candy mould itself. You can find these in the cookware section of many shops, in many supermarkets and of course online.
Where can I buy heart shaped moulds? Where can I buy different sprinkles?
Most supermarkets will have a good selection of sprinkles on offer, but if you really want a ridiculous amount of variety specialist confectionery shops and online are the way to go.
How can I tell if my sprinkles are still OK to use?
Most sprinkles will have a 'best before' rather than 'use by date'. A 'use by' date should always be followed, but a 'best before' is more of a suggestion, so if they taste OK they're likely fine. With such a high sugar content a well stored sprinkle will have an incredibly long shelf life.
Is this recipe suitable for vegetarians?
This recipe is totally suitable for vegetarians, just make sure any decorations you're using don't contain animal gelatin, animal based food colouring or other unsuitable animal products.
Is this recipe suitable for vegans?
As I used milk chocolate it's not, but there are many great vegan chocolate options that melt well and set fantastically.
And again, sure any decorations you're using don't contain animal gelatin, animal based food colouring or other animal products.
Is this recipe gluten-free?
While milk chocolate generally doesn't contain gluten most chocolate bars are made in factories that produce a variety of flavours, some of which do contain gluten. Because of this gluten can sneak into any and all products during the production process, so it's best to check the label.
Some sprinkles can also contain gluten, either due to an ingredient or from cross contamination during production, so it's best to check all your sprinkle packets too.
Is this recipe healthy?
With a lot of sugar and fat this recipe is best as an occasional treat.
Is this recipe safe to eat while pregnant?
While this recipe is perfectly safe to eat while pregnant do remember that chocolate contains a little caffeine, so you may not want to eat too much of it.
What goes well with this recipe?
The great thing about simple recipes like this is how versatile they are, so raid the cupboard for anything sweet that takes your fancy! Here's some ideas to get you started:
- Nuts. If you have any nuts to hand then chop them up to a reasonable size and throw them in either as a topping or evenly spread throughout the chocolate. Candied nuts also work for an extra, extra special treat.
- Biscuits. Crushed up biscuit or shortbread is delicious as a topping or mixed into the chocolate.
- Citrus. Candied orange or lemon peel is lovely and while not citrus candied ginger is also very tasty, especially with dark chocolate
- Popcorn. Be it salty, sweet or toffee popcorn add a lovely crunch - you may need to break it up a little first though.
If you're feeling particularly decadent you could also push an extra special treat into the centre of the heart after pouring. From a small piece of fudge, a mini marshmallow, a jellybean, or even something from a chocolate box, whatever you have around should work.
Can I make this recipe without sprinkles? Can I use other types of chocolate?
While it's a bit of colourful fun, you don't have to use sprinkles - you can have pure chocolate hearts too.
The other option is to raid your cupboards for an alternative such as biscuits or sweets. See elsewhere in the FAQ for some ideas.
As for chocolate, as long as you have something that will melt and set again it's really up to you what you go with. If you prefer dark chocolate, white chocolate or a speciality brand with added flavours then go ahead and use that.
You could even mix and match white and dark for some fantastic swirl effects.
How should I store chocolate hearts? How long does this recipe keep?
Most types of chocolate are generally quite stable so these should last at least a couple of weeks if stored in an airtight container, out of direct sunlight and somewhere not too warm.
Can I make this recipe ahead?
Absolutely! Whether it's just a single tray for you and your loved ones, or a fun item for a bake sale, you can make this a day or even a few days in advance without any problems.
Can I make this recipe in a different quantity?
You can make loads at once, or - as these hearts store so well - you can make them in batches depending on how many candy moulds you have.
Can I make this recipe in a different mould?
You can of course use whatever candy mould you wish, from star shapes to diamonds it really doesn't matter. Just be aware that if the mould is rather complicated (such as a cartoon character's face) then most of the detail will be lost due to the layer of sprinkles.
If you have a non-stick muffin pan to hand even this can work, but you may have a little trouble getting them out once set. A firm wack on a worktop should loosen them sufficiently without breaking them, but there's a chance you may end up having to carefully dig them out with a knife, so it's best to use a candy mould if possible.
Why is my chocolate sandy and gritty? How can I stop my chocolate from seizing?
I've heard a couple of competing theories on what's happening at the molecular level when chocolate seizes, but why it happens is much more clear: if even a tiny bit of water gets in contact with the chocolate, there's the potential for disaster.
To avoid seizing in the future always make sure that the bowl you're using is completely dry as are the are the utensils you're using to stir it (it's best to avoid using wooden utensils as these can retain moisture after being washed).
While not particularly common in the UK some people store their chocolate in the fridge, especially if they live in hotter climates, and this can cause condensation so make sure to bring it back up to room temperature slowly and while still wrapped up before using it.
If you're using a double boiler or bain-marie make sure no steam or water splashes inside your bowl or hits the utensils you're using to stir it with.
If your chocolate has already seized it may still be possible to bring it back to a smooth consistency, but unfortunately it does also mean there will likely be a change in the consistency of the chocolate and it may now not set as hard as you would like, so your chocolate hearts may end up having to be chocolate pots with a surprise at the bottom this time around.
To get your chocolate back to a smooth state you have to do something a little peculiar considering it was water that got you into this mess... and that's add more water. Add a teaspoon of boiling water to your mixture (as hot as possible water is best, so work quickly) and stir/whisk as fast as you can. Keep adding more water until smooth - it shouldn't take much.
My chocolate is thick and claggy, how do I fix it? Can I save overheated chocolate?
The reason recipes never call for chocolate on its own to be melted in a pan over a direct source of heat is to avoid it reaching too high a temperature, which can lead to disaster - thick, claggy and bitter chocolate.
Different types of chocolate will have different temperatures that is safe to get to, but whatever type you're using low and slow always pays off in the end.
Also remember that you can use the residual heat from the bowl and the chocolate that has already melted to help to melt any remaining lumps, so you don't need to always keep it over the heat or zap it in the microwave until totally liquid - simply stirring more should do the trick.
If you do notice your chocolate has begun to overheat then remove the bowl from any heat source immediately, transfer the mixture into a new bowl if possible, and add a few pieces of extra chocolate to the mix before stirring vigorously.
If you managed to catch the mixture just as it was beginning to overheat you may be able to save it, but there's a good chance you may just have to start again if it's been drastically overheated. Put it down to a learning experience and remember to go lower and slower next time.
Print this chocolate heart recipe
Here’s the recipe in handy printable form if you want to make these lovely hearts yourself.
How to make chocolate hearts
- 3 tbsp sprinkles vegetarian if required
- 150 g (5.3 oz) milk chocolate
- Put a pinch of sprinkles into the bottom of each hole, so that it just covers the base.
- Melt the chocolate in a bowl using 10 second blasts in the microwave then pour into the heartshaped candy mould, filling each hole just shy of the top.
- Use a dough scraper or spatula to scrape away the excess chocolate.
- Leave to sit for 10 minutes, then transfer to the fridge to set.
- Once fully set, pop out carefully onto a flat surface and you’re done!