I made this sweet sweet strawberry hearts last Friday night. Initial intention was just to bake the luncheon meat soft bun over the weekend but suddenly had this itch to try the recipe learnt during Chef Valerie's class. So after dear son fell asleep, I quickly made my way to Sheng Siong supermarket near my place to grab the ingredients I don't have like strawberries, digestive biscuits, cream cheese & jelly. There were only 2 punnets of strawberries left on the shelf. Earlier in the day when I went for my grocery shopping, there were still quite a few punnets. Luckily they looked okay and should be enough for the recipe.
But the thing is it wasn't as simple as I thought. I fumbled upon the first step of prepping the container with aluminum foil. I used plastic rectangle container as suggested (alternative is removable base tin) and had some trouble lining the foil neatly. Biscuit base was straight forward, I crushed the biscuits using an electric chopper to save time. Then, spread the biscuit crumbs into the container, press firmly and chill for later use.
Before proceeding to step 2, I did part (a) of step 3 first - washed and cut the strawberries into heart-shape. Care must be taken to cut the strawberries properly else the result won't be as pretty, coz the heart shapes might not be visible. There were a few not done properly but I didn't have much choice due to the limited number of strawberries I could get.
Then step 2, mixing the cheese filling. I think I didn't cream the cheese long enough, resulting in small lumps in the cheese after adding the gelatin. After mixing for a long time, finally the mixture looked creamy & smooth enough but still had a little bit of lumps, so I decided to sieve the mixture. After sieving, pour the cheese filling into the trays.
Next up was part (b) of step 3, place the the strawberries to the cheese filling. When Chef Valerie said to prepare extra strawberries in case of accident, she was right! I dropped the strawberries by accident into the cheese filling a few times. Butter fingers. Haha.
Anyways, once this step was done, I could rest till the next day for the strawberry jelly. Phew!!
The next day was pretty straight forward, melt the strawberry jelly, let it cool down, then pour into the container carefully until all the strawberries were covered. But not sure what happened, some jelly leaked from one of the container. Maybe I overfilled the jelly. After clearing up, no harm done. I left them to chill and after a couple of hours, tadah!!! My strawberry hearts! They looked not bad at all.