For centuries the heart has been the symbol for love, romance and of course Valentine’s Day. To show my love for the people in my life, I decided to make a special dinner with a heart theme. Coming up with a heart shaped dessert was the easy part. Making a main dish in the shape of a heart took some thought. I decided to make a heart shaped pizza for the main course, and here is how I did it.
I started by using Wilton’s large heart shaped cookie pan; it’s the perfect size for making a pizza. I prepared my favorite homemade pizza dough; you can use your favorite or a pre-made pizza dough. Once the dough is ready, roll it on a lightly floured surface to your desired thickness. To insure you roll it out to the right size, lay the pan on top of the dough adding an extra inch all the way around.
Lightly oil the cookie pan with a little olive oil, sprinkle in some cornmeal to insure nothing sticks. Carefully lay the dough into the pan, pressing the dough into the edges to insure you have no air bubbles. Now that your crust is ready, it’s time to add your favorite topping. I went with just pepperoni. Bake your pizza at 425° for 12-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and golden brown.
For dessert I went with a white chocolate raspberry cheesecake recipe I have been eying for awhile. Even though most cheesecakes are round, I wanted to keep with the heart theme so I decided to use a heart shaped springform pan. To prepare the pan, I wrapped the outside of the pan with heavy-duty foil. I like to cook my cheesecake in a water bath.
Prepare your crust as directed in the recipe and press it into the bottom of the pan. Now that the crust is ready, put the pan aside and began to make the cheesecake mixture and raspberry sauce, as directed. Once everything is ready, pour half of the cheesecake mixture onto the cookie crust, be sure to spread it evenly to the sides. Next, spoon 3-4 tablespoons of raspberry sauce over the cheesecake, spreading it out with the back of a spoon. Very carefully pour the remaining cheesecake mixture over the raspberry sauce, being sure not to combine the raspberry sauce and the cheesecake.
To finish off the dessert I wanted to mirror the heart shape of the pan. Creating hearts with the remaining raspberry sauce seemed like an obvious choice. Creating the hearts is a simple technique; taking a teaspoon carefully dollop some sauce onto the cheesecake mixture. Then with a toothpick slowly drag the raspberry sauce out to create the shape of the heart. Another easy way to decorate the top of the cheesecake is to simply create 5 to 7 vertical lines of raspberry sauce, then slowly drag the back of a knife horizontally though the sauce.
Now that you have achieved the look you want, all that is left is to bake. Carefully place the cheesecake into the larger pan; slowly pour hot water into the larger pan until it reaches half way up the side of the cheesecake. Place both pans into the oven at 325° for 55-60 minutes or until the outside edges are firm.
Once the cheesecake is done, carefully take it out of the hot water and foil to completely cool on the counter. Once cool to the touch, place covered cheesecake in the refrigerator to cool completely, about 8 hours.
Creating a heartfelt dinner for your Valentine is just another way to show them how much you care.