DIY Ombre Hearts
What you’ll need
Two cups sugar (or more, depending on the number of colors you want), divided
4 teaspoons (or more) egg white or liquid meringue (1 teaspoon of meringue powder mixed with 1 tablespoon warm water)
Paste food coloring (found at local craft store)
Large cutting board, baking sheet or other flat surface, lined with Silpat or parchment paper
Baking sheet lined with Silpat or parchment paper
Ateco aspic cutters or small cookie cutters
Small and medium bowls | spatulas | rolling pin | measuring spoons | measuring cups | ziplock bags | butter | knife
3 x 4-inch treat bags | colored ribbon | cake to decorate
Place ½ cup sugar in medium bowl. Add a small amount of paste food coloring (we used a combination of Wilton’s Rose and Violet), and mix thoroughly. This will be your darkest color. (Hint: A little goes a long way and will darken once liquid is added in next step.) Add more if needed until desired color is achieved. Add 1 teaspoon egg white or meringue liquid and mix thoroughly until the mixture resembles wet sand. Be careful not to add too much liquid or you will dissolve the sugar.
Empty contents onto Silpat or parchment lined cutting board or baking sheet. Spread with hand or spatula and pat down, then roll over mixture with rolling pin to compress. Ideally, the flattened mixture should be as compact as possible and level, about ¼”. Press heart cutter into mixture and lift up. Place hearts on lined baking sheet. If cutter will not release heart, gently tap with the back of a butter knife. Repeat 10-20 times or as many as desired. If hearts will not hold their shape, add more egg white or meringue liquid in small increments and mix thoroughly. If sugar builds up in cutter, rinse with warm water and pat dry before continuing. Pour remaining colored sugar back into bowl and proceed to Step 3.
Add ½ cup sugar to colored sugar from Step 2 to lighten. Mix thoroughly. Add 1 teaspoon egg white or liquid meringue. If desired color is not achieved, continue adding additional ½ cup sugar plus 1 teaspoon egg white or liquid meringue and mixing thoroughly until desired color is achieved. Repeat Step 2. Continue with Steps 2 and 3 until desired shades and number of sugar hearts are achieved. We recommend at least three to five shades. Leftover sugar can be stored in ziplock bags for future use.
Heat oven to 200 degrees. Heat hearts in oven for 10 minutes. Allow to harden overnight. Sugar hearts will be the consistency of sugar cubes.
Place 10-20 sugar hearts in treat bag. Staple ribbon to bags. Tie ribbon. Can be given as gifts or used as favors.
For cake: Attach sugar heats to cake using royal icing. Begin with darkest color on smallest tier. Continue with lighter colors.