Caramel Pecan Brownie Geometric Hearts
These Caramel Pecan Brownie Geometric Hearts are gorgeous, individual-sized treats that are perfect for holidays (like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Christmas), used to adorn decorated cakes or even a perfect addition to dessert charcuterie boards.
These treats are so easily customizable. Changing the filling is a great way to use up leftover desserts (e.g., cake domes, the last bit of frosting that is too little to decorate a cake, but too much to feel ok throwing it out, etc.). The heart shells can also be customized by using different types of chocolate, different colors of chocolate (e.g., compound chocolate wafers), and different toppings (e.g., drizzles of melted chocolate, sprinkles, luster dusts, etc.).
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Components for Geometric Hearts
- Geometric heart mold (mine is silicone and each heart is approximately 2.5″ across at the widest point)
- 2 cups (340g) semi-sweet chocolate, tempered
- 1 cup of Vanilla Italian Meringue Buttercream (or any vanilla frosting of your choice)
- ½ cup of Caramel Sauce
- Pan of Pecan Brownies (uncut) – depth of brownie should be approximately ½-inch (this height is what worked for my heart mold. This will vary based on the mold)
- Heart cookie cutter (approximately 2 inches across – choose a size that will fit snuggly inside your heart mold)
- Piping bags
- Offset spatula
- Parchment paper (I like these pre-cut sheets)
- Two baking sheets
- Edible gold luster dust
- Large, food-safe paintbrush
Important Notes Before Starting
- This post is solely about the steps to make geometric hearts. I wanted to provide a resource so people could customize their hearts with whatever flavors they wanted. I provided links above for all the components (see “Components for Geometric Hearts”). I will also link to the recipes throughout this tutorial.
- Before assembly, make sure that all components are at room temperature. If they are warm, they will melt the chocolate and frosting.
- Use a heart cookie cutter to cut the brownies. I baked one recipe of my Pecan Brownies in a half sheet pan to get the best height for my mold. This made about 40 brownie hearts, which is much more than I needed. I would suggest making a half recipe of my Pecan Brownies in a quarter sheet pan instead so you don’t have as many leftover brownies.
Making the Chocolate Geometric Heart Shell
Start by properly tempering your chocolate. I use this tutorial by Ghirardelli when tempering chocolate. I also have been using the microwave to heat my chocolate rather than using the stove because I’ve found (at least for me personally) that it’s easier to reach the specified temperature without overheating. It seems like every time I use a bain marie, I heat my chocolate too much and end up pushing the chocolate out of temper.
If using a silicone mold, place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Have a second baking sheet lined with parchment paper set to the side.
Pour the tempered chocolate into each cavity of the geometric heart mold and tap the baking sheet on the counter to remove any air bubbles from the shell. Then hold the mold upside down (over the baking sheet) to remove the excess chocolate.
When most of the chocolate has stopped dripping, turn the mold over (i.e., cavity hole upward) and place on the second (clean) baking sheet.
Allow the chocolate to set completely before filling each heart. If your chocolate is tempered correctly, this should only take a couple minutes. You will know it’s ready when the chocolate no longer looks shiny/wet.
Helpful Tips When Filling a Chocolate Mold
- Place any liquid or soft components into a container to make them easier to pour. You want to avoid getting any filling on the top edge of the heart so the chocolate bottom will adhere completely to the sides. I like to use piping bags for better control, but you could use squeeze bottles, or measuring cups with spouts.
- When I am filling a mold for the first time, I typically fill one cavity completely (i.e., with all of the components) to make sure I know how much of each component to add.
- Don’t overfill the mold. When adding the components, the height should be a little lower than the top of the mold. This will provide enough space to add chocolate for the bottom without any of the inside components poking through.
Filling the Caramel Pecan Brownie Geometric Heart
Place the vanilla buttercream in a piping bag. This step is optional, but the piping bag allows for better control than spooning frosting into the heart. Pipe a small amount of frosting into each cavity in the general shape of a heart.
Next, add a small amount of caramel sauce to each heart. I used approximately 2 teaspoons of caramel sauce per heart, but you can use however much you would like.
Then, add a pecan brownie to each heart and gently push down until the frosting come up the sides of the brownie. Avoid pushing too hard so there is no more frosting under the brownie. You also want to avoid pushing so hard that the frosting and caramel push above the top level of the mold. This will make it harder to seal each heart. I like to use brownies that are shaped like a heart so they fit each heart-shaped mold cavity more easily and don’t leave large gaps around the edges.
Finally, add a small amount of tempered chocolate on each heart and use an offset spatula to smooth the chocolate. It can be a little more difficult to clean off the top of a silicone mold because it’s flexible. Don’t worry if you have extra chocolate on the top of the mold between the cavities. This chocolate is likely very thin and will come away easily when the hearts are removed.
Allow the chocolate to set completely.
Unmolding the Geometric Hearts
After the chocolate has set, place the whole tray (with the mold on top) into the fridge for about 5 minutes to firm up. Avoid moving the silicone mold without a tray underneath because the chocolate is more prone to cracking since the silicone is very flexible and doesn’t keep its shape as well as polycarbonate molds.
Remove the mold from the fridge and carefully pull on the edges of the mold to release the sides of each heart. This will help to avoid any breakage during the unmolding process.
Next, gently remove each heart from the silicone mold and place on a clean sheet of parchment paper.
If there are any extra pieces of chocolate at the base of each heart, you can either remove the chocolate with your fingers or use a knife dipped in warm water and dried to cut off the excess chocolate for a smooth finish.
If you plan to make more hearts, remove any excess chocolate from the mold, wash the mold, and dry it thoroughly. Chocolate will seize if it’s exposed to water so make sure the whole mold is completely dry. Also, remove any excess chocolate from the parchment paper and re-temper. Then, repeat all the steps above until you have as many hearts as you would like to make. The amounts I listed above should make approximately 16 hearts with some leftover brownies. Feel free to increase or decrease amounts as necessary.
Quick Tips for Leftover Chocolate
You will likely have some leftover tempered chocolate after making the hearts. Allow the chocolate to set completely, break it into small pieces, and store it in an airtight container to use the next time you need chocolate.
If you struggled to temper the chocolate (don’t worry about it – we’ve all been there), don’t throw out your chocolate. It can be used again the next time you temper chocolate (just make sure you use tempered chocolate for the seed chocolate so it tempers correctly) OR you can use it for lots of different purposes (e.g., making hot chocolate, chocolate buttercream, chocolate ganache, etc.). Store the untempered chocolate in an airtight container and label it as “untempered” so you don’t accidentally use it in the wrong baking situation.
Covering the Caramel Pecan Brownie Geometric Hearts in Gold
Now it’s time for decoration. Using a food-safe paint brush, add a layer of dry, edible gold luster dust to the entire surface of each heart. I like using a large brush so I can more quickly cover each heart and it provides a smoother finish than smaller brushes. If you can see the chocolate through the gold, just apply another layer of luster dust.
I like this method of decorating because if the chocolate blooms a little (i.e., if the chocolate gets white streaks in the cooled chocolate), the gold luster dust will cover that up and the hearts will look just as beautiful.
These are now ready to enjoy!!
I love the chocolate snap of the heart shell with the soft interior and crunchy pecans. The vanilla buttercream helps to balance the chocolate flavor and the caramel sauce is to die for! You should definitely make these OR customize them with your own flavor combinations. Let me know in the comments what flavor combination is your favorite!
Summary of How to Make Caramel Pecan Brownie Geometric Heart Dessert
- If using a silicone geometric heart mold, place the mold on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Have a second baking sheet lined with parchment paper on the side.
- Fill each cavity of the geometric heart mold with tempered chocolate
- Tap the mold on the counter to remove any air bubbles
- Turn the mold upside down to remove excess chocolate and set the mold upright on a second baking sheet lined with parchment paper
- Let the chocolate to set
- Pipe a small amount of vanilla buttercream into each cavity
- Place a small amount of caramel sauce into each cavity
- Add a brownie that has been cut with a heart cookie cutter to each cavity
- Cover the remaining space with tempered chocolate and smooth with an offset spatula
- Allow the chocolate to set completely
- Place the whole mold in the fridge for 5 minutes for it to firm up
- Remove the hearts from the silicone mold
- Brush each heart with gold luster dust