Learn how to make Love Hearts/Conversation Hearts at home by following our step-by-step recipe below. They make the perfect gift for someone with a sweet tooth.
Let’s have a go at making our own Love Hearts sweets. These pastel lumps of sugar trace their origins to the Victorian-era lozenge press which was used for making medicinal lozenges for sore throats and bad breath. The American version is called Conversation Hearts or Sweethearts and are heart-shaped instead of circles with a heart imprinted on them but have a similar origin story. The main ingredients are powdered sugar and gelatin, and they can be flavored however you like. We’ve gone with orange, lemon, vanilla and mint flavorings and used food colorings for the different pastel varieties.
8g/ 1/4 oz gelatin
110ml/ 4oz lemonade
1kg/ 35 oz icing sugar/confectioners sugar
1/4 tsp salt
food coloring of your choice
flavor extracts of your choice e.g. orange extract, vanilla, mint
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Combine gelatin and lemonade in a small bowl and leave to sit for 5 minutes. As you wait, fill a saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Put your gelatin bowl over hot water and stir until melted.
In a large bowl, combine your gelatin mix with a quarter of your icing sugar and mix together with an electric whisk. Add the salt, and keep adding more of the icing sugar a little at a time, whisking as you go, until a malleable dough forms. Note, you may not need the full amount of icing sugar.
Dust your work surface with some of the leftover icing sugar and knead your dough until smooth. Portion your dough out into separate bowls with the number of portions being the number of colors or flavors you're doing.
Take one of the bowls and add in a few drops of food coloring and your flavor extract of choice. Fold into your dough until the color becomes uniform. You can also taste test here to see if you need to add anymore of your extract. Repeat across your remaining portions of dough with different colors and flavors.
Take one portion of dough and roll it out onto a worktop dusted with icing sugar. Roll until it's about half a centimeter thick (roughly a 1/4 inch). Now for the cutting, using a small heart-shaped cutter or circle cutter plus a stamp, cut out each candy and place on a tray lined with parchment paper. Repeat for each portion of dough. Leave to air-dry for a minimum of 24 hours. Once they're dry you can use an edible marker to write messages on each candy.
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