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Valentine Swans

 Valentine Swans
YOU won't be sticking your neck out when you create the beloved bird here. It's sure to win the heart of everyone you serve it to! CT's kitchen staff shaped the sweet swan with meringue, chocolate mousse, whipped cream, almonds and a pool of cherry sauce. Since the confection is just the right size for one person, you can delight all of your guests with their own special treat. What's more, folks
8 ServingsPrep: 1 hour Bake: 1-1/2 hours + cooling

Ingredients

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 slivered almonds
  • CHERRY CHOCOLATE MOUSSE:
  • 2 packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) pitted tart cherries
  • SAUCE/TOPPING:
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Red liquid food coloring
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds

Directions

  • Meringue: In a small bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until
  • soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, vanilla and salt, beating
  • until stiff peaks form and sugar is dissolved, about 8 minutes. Drop
  • eight 1/4 cupfuls onto an ungreased parchment paper lined baking
  • sheet. Shape each into a 4-in. long teardrop shell.

2 of 2

Valentine Swans (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • Spoon remaining meringue into a pastry or plastic bag and cut a hole
  • in the corner of bag. For swan necks, pipe eight 3-in. long
  • question-mark shapes onto a second parchment paper-lined baking
  • sheet. Insert a slivered almond in each for a beak.
  • Bake teardrop shells at 225° for 30 minutes, then place meringue
  • necks in oven and bake both the shells and necks 1 hour longer. Turn
  • oven off. Let stand in oven for 1 hour. Remove to wire racks to
  • cool.
  • Mousse: Combine the cream cheese and butter in a small bowl. Beat in
  • confectioners' sugar and cocoa until fluffy.
  • Drain cherries, reserving juice. Chop cherries and gently fold into
  • mousse. Refrigerate until assembling.
  • Sauce: Combine the cornstarch, water, food coloring and reserved
  • cherry juice in a saucepan until smooth. Bring to a boil, then cook
  • and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Cool.
  • Topping: In a bowl, beat whipping cream and confectioners' sugar
  • until soft peaks form. Spoon 1/3 cup into a pastry or plastic bag.
  • Cut a small hole in the corner of bag and set aside.
  • Assembly: Spoon 1/4 cup chocolate mousse into each meringue shell.
  • Referring to photo above for shape, carefully spread remaining
  • topping over mousse and shell to form swan body. Insert sliced
  • almonds for wings. Insert meringue neck.
  • Place each swan on an individual serving plate. Spoon cherry sauce
  • around swans. Pipe hearts in the sauce around swans with reserved
  • topping. Yield: 8 servings.
Finished size: Swan is about 5-1/2 inches long x 3 inches wide.