strawberry jelly hearts

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recipe from the 3 June 2012 Sunday Times

i was having my breakfast last sunday morn when my mum showed me this jelly hearts recipe and urged me to try it some time because it looked fairly doable.

but since i had nothing much planned for the day, why not make a bunch of jelly hearts (happens to be my favourite kind of cheesecake btw) that afternoon?

i had to train down to HV Phoon Huat to get two 7″ x 7″ x 3″ square cake tins ($5.15 each) because the one at home was too big and only enough to make 1 batch.

jeremy helped get the other ingredients from Cold Storage and i got the rest from NTUC. teamwork ftw!

back home, we started to crush the Mcvite digestive biscuits ($3.80 for about 25 pieces in a roll) in a ziplock bag using a stone pestle. then mixed it with the melted butter and spread it out nicely onto the base of the square tin.

mistake #1: failure to line square tin with aluminium foil for easy removal later. proved to be the mother of all problems when i had to transfer the pieces into tupperware. never making this mistake again…

was very OCD about the larger pieces and kept bugging jeremy to pulverize them

make sure you pat them down well so that you get an even layer!

after this, it goes into the fridge to set for the next hour. in the meantime, we got down to preparing the cream cheese layer and cutting the strawberries.

the cream cheese mixture

consists of 2 lemons ($0.85 each from Cold Storage), Philadelphia cream cheese ($5.80 each from Cold Storage) and 4 tsp of gelatin ($1.55 from Phoon Huat) + 100mL hot water.

spreading the cream cheese mixture into the set (1 hour) biscuit layer

so amazed that i didn’t even have to bake this cheesecake!

after halving the strawberries and making a V at the top

tadah! the V should be around this or deeper if you wish for a more defined heart

all the strawberry hearts ❤

actually 1 punnet of strawberries ($5.95 from Cold Storage) is more than enough for making 2 square tins of jelly hearts. silly me went to buy 2 punnets and ended up with so many excess strawberries. but my mum polished them all within a day so problem solved haha!

mistake #2: not making a deep enough V. as such, when i pressed the strawberries into the cream cheese layer later, they sank in and i could no longer see the heart shape from the top ):

press it down lightly so that the strawberries don’t float up later when you pour in the jelly layer. also, it is recommended to wipe the strawberries before pressing in otherwise moisture could cause floating later

having fun although my hands were so shaky while positioning the strawberries

whee! 9 strawberries in!

mistake #3: should have placed the strawberries closes together. that would’ve given me 12 instead of 9 jelly hearts, and it would’ve been easier to manage later during the transferring into containers. the big pieces were difficult to lift and dropping it or knocking into adjacent jelly hearts resulted in the jelly layer being chipped off ):

ready to be placed into the fridge for setting of the cheesecake layer! (about 3 – 4 hours, or overnight)

Tortally Raspberry jelly crystals, $0.56 from NTUC (they didn’t have it at Cold Storage; alternatively you may also use the Tortally strawberry flavour)

followed the instructions on the box to make the jelly:

dissolved crystals in 250mL of hot water, then added another 250mL of cold water. once it’s cooled to room temperature, it’s ready to be poured over the cheesecake layer!

jelly solution for 2 boxes, turns out 1 is enough for 2 batches

pour just enough jelly solution to cover the strawberries

mistake #4: went a bit overboard after this picture was taken, to pour more jelly solution because i had like half of it left and i didn’t want to waste it!. in the end, the layer was wayy too think and, as a result, extremely flimsy and fragile ):

after setting overnight. no idea how long jelly takes to set. i checked it 2 hours later but it was still liquid so i just left it overnight!

look at how thick the jelly layer is :O

the mother of all my woes began the next morning while having to cut the jelly and get them out of the tray. wasn’t very clean in the technique, as you can see, there are a lot of crumbs and cheesecake stains on the jelly. trick is to put a cup of hot water nearby and dip the knife in it after each time you cut and wipe it dry before the next time.

 

ah but maybe i was being so hard on myself that i failed to enjoy the cheesecake thoroughly. but gen, Ms and jeremy all said it was super delicious!

definitely motivated to perfect my technique and skill of making jelly hearts some time soon! feel so unsatisfied that i didn’t get it right the first time around.

 

jelly hearts aren’t cheap to make either. it costs us about $30 for 18 squares, which makes it $1.68 per square :O mostly because of expensive ingredients like strawberries and cream cheese. though it would been cheaper the next time now that i know which ingredients i don’t need to double for 2 batches.

well, but it’s worth it if it tastes good! 😀

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