Entries in valentines day (11)
Let's get one thing straight. There is nothing necessary about coating your Valentine's Day chocolates with more chocolate. But oh, does it ever taste good.
The process is really quite simple: melt some chocolate, dip your chocolates in it, and then let them set until solid. You can create a lovely visual by choosing a chocolate coating that complements the chocolates you're dipping: dip dark chocolates in white chocolate for a pretty finish, or coat milk chocolates in dark chocolate for a lovely flavor and visual contrast.
You'll be rewarded with an extremely decadent treat that will melt in your hand, but tastes better when it melts in your mouth.
As they put it:
DEATHCAKE IS HERE - Seattle's most lovingly lethal cupcake is back – reformulated in a sharable babysize.
In a laboratory explosion of sheer genius, the Cupcake Royale scientists created the cult fave Deathcake Royale: Theo Chocolate decadence fused with Stumptown Espresso Ganache and accessorized with a pinch of fleur de sel.
Personally, while I loved the scale of the big version, the smaller version is still crazy delicious, and probably better for your health. I'll just eat three to make up for the dainty size, ok?
For more, visit the Cupcake Royale website!
Sweet Art for Sweethearts: A Valentine's Day Commission for Michelle of Bleeding Heart Bakery, Chicago
So, I am not a celebrity baker. But--I do artwork for celebrity bakers.
It's true. And this Valentine's Day, I had the exquisite pleasure of making life just a little sweeter for the entire family behind Chicago's original purveyor of "punk rock pastry", Bleeding Heart Bakery (mother and father of said family, btw, are the authors of new book Who You Callin' Cupcake: 75 In-Your-Face Recipes that Reinvent the Cupcake). It might have been the sweetest commission I've ever received--one piece each for the entire family.
And--full freedom to create pieces with minimal art direction (booyeah!). Here's exactly what I was given as guidance for each piece, and what I came up with:
Can you make me some things for my family for Valentine's Day? I would like to make a print for each member:
Oliver (newborn, first piece of art for his room, he is named after Jamie Oliver): so for this piece, I created a mother and father-cake with a baby-cake surrounded by "real" food...
Sofi (really likes puppies and kitties): for this piece, I created a sort of Eloise-meets-cupcake-meets puppies and kitties piece, pictured top);
Gabe (all about Dr. Who): for this piece, I made a cupcake Dr. Who surrounded by space-type food items;
Vinny (cake decorator): for this piece, I made a Vinny-lookin' cupcake making a tribute to his sweetheart, Michelle!
...and, as the icing on the cake, a piece portraying the whole crew having a food fight.
Best of all? Michelle, who commissioned the pieces, put full trust in me, so she was just as surprised as the rest of the family when she received them! How sweet is that!?
Have a sweet Valentine's Day, everyone!
I'm pretty sure that I can count on on hand the number of people who genuinely love the taste of Conversation Hearts. And that's when I think really hard.
Conversation Heart Cream Pie, however, is a different story.
Believe it or not, letting those sugary-chalky lumps steep in milk before making a cream pie custard filling actually does yield a surprisingly toothsome (if slightly tooth-decaying) pastry product. No, it's not fine dining—it's best described as vanilla cream pudding pie punctuated with melty, pastel sugar cubes—but it goes down much easier than you'd think, especially when crowned with a cloud of freshly whipped cream.
Now would be an appropriate time for me to act very high and mighty on the subject of Hello Naomi in a "I discovered her way before the fact" sort of way. After all, she was first featured on CakeSpy over 2 years ago, while she was still a student and baked only as a Flickr-posting hobbyist. But I'm not gonna be like that--I can share.
Of course, awesome like hers couldn't be contained, and now she's moved on to wonderful things including starting her own baking business, and she's also dipped into party planning and works with a company that does invitation design.
And happily, she's offered up a sweet tutorial for Valentine's Day Cupcakes. It's not too late to whip up a batch for your sweetie!
Valentines Day Cupcake Tutorial
What you will need:
- 12 vanilla cupcakes (here's Naomi's recipe)
- 500g ready to roll white icing (fondant)
- Red gel food dye
- Blue food dye
- Circle cutter (the same size as your cupcake tops)
- 2 size heart cutters
- Non-stick small rolling pin
- Plastic mat
- Pure icing sugar for dusting
- Water or cake decorating glue w/ small paintbrush
- Divide the fondant into 4. Using a plastic mat, dye one lot of fondant red, one pink, one blue and leave the other white. Colouring is done by kneeding drops of colour into the fondant until mixed through evenly. Pink is made by using a small amount of the red dye, red is eventually achieved by using a fair amount of dye (using a gel dye is much faster than using liquid dye). Use sifted icing sugar to soak up any moisture from the dye and prevent sticking. Wrap each colour in cling wrap. Wipe mat after each colour.
- Roll out the white fondant until aprox ¼ inch thick. Dust icing sugar on the top and bottom if sticking and dust away excess.
- Cut out 3x circles using the circle cutter. Using a pallet knife or flat knife lift each circle, lightly wet the back using a paint brush and place onto a cupcake. Smooth the top and edges using the palm of your hand. Wrap excess fondant in cling wrap.
- Repeat for 3 pink cupcakes and 6 blue ones.
- Once all the cupcakes are covered it is time to decorate them. Roll out the remaining pink fondant and cut out 3 large hearts. Lightly wet the back and place in the middle of 3 blue cupcakes. Roll out the remaining white fondant, cut out 3 large hearts, lightly wet the back and place in the middle of the remaining 3 blue cupcakes.
- Roll out the red fondant, cut out 12 hearts, lightly wet the back and place in the middle of each cupcake.
- Package them in a cute box with tissue paper, alternating designs, and give them to someone special!
About the contributor: Naomi was studying her PhD in Computer Engineering when she discovered her love of cake decorating. By posting photos onto the photo sharing website flickr under the user name ‘hello naomi’ she quickly became well known for her original designs and demand quickly grew to the point where she decided to start a business in 2009. Since then she has also ventured into party planning, collaborating with Imprintables invitations to form scissors.paper.cake.
Sure, conversation hearts are a sweet gesture. But are you sending the wrong message?
Do you really want, for instance, to say "text me" to someone from whom you'd rather not receive digital missives, or to downplay your serious crush by leaving it at "U R Special"?
Avoid etiquette blunders and tell them how you really feel by making your own personalized homemade conversation hearts. They're surprisingly easy to make, just as sweet as the store bought kind, and you have the freedom to set the tone you want--whether it's sweet, snarky, or confessional.
Find the full writeup and tutorial over at Serious Eats! Oh, and happy freaking Valentine's Day!
When CakeSpy contributor Sarah of The Hot Cookie sent over the recipe for these cookies, I first saw the light pink hue and sesame seeds in the rolling pictures (below) and thought "sushi cookies!". Well, no, but reading on I learned they were something far more delicious: Red Wine Valentines. Infused with buttery flavor cut with sweet and tart wine, these sweet treats will undoubtedly set the tone for romance--as Sarah wisely says,
Fewer things can be more meaningful than a homemade treat. Whether it's made by your own hands or crafted from an independent bakery, these Red Wine Valentine cookies will spark an interest in your other's eyes.
Red Wine Valentines
- ½ cup port wine
- 2 Tbsp. beet juice*
- 1 cup butter
- 1 ¼ cup sugar
- 1 egg
- Zest of half an orange
- 3 cups flour
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 cup dried currants
- Sesame seeds
- In a small sauce pan bring wine and beet juice to a boil. Once boiling occurs, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 20-22 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Sift together flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
- Cream butter and sugar. Add egg, orange zest, and cooled wine/beet reduction. Mix until combined.
- Mix in flour mixture until just incorporated. Add currants.
- Divide dough into thirds and roll into logs about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap dough logs with wax paper or parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Unwrap dough and roll/press dough into sesame seeds.
- Slice log into ¼ inch slices. Place on greased or parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are firm and centers appear undercooked. Let cool on baking sheet.
About the contributor: The Hot Cookie is a small, all-natural cookie company in Indianapolis run by two go-local/pro-green ladies with a thirst for life and a hunger for sweets. All of their two-bite cookies are made in small batches with as many high quality, local, and organic ingredients available.
Don't get me wrong, if someone shows up with a big ol' box of chocolates, I'd never refuse them.
But I might just do happy backflips if someone brought me a Valentine's Day parcel full of flipsides, PieJars, Slab Pie (you may know it from the TV) and -- like, OMG--PiePops (yes, those are pie lollipops, in the Luxirare and Bakerella tradition) from Seattle's High 5 Pie.
Per proprietress and her royal Pie-Ness Dani Cone, there's some sweet stuff going on for Valentine's Day--on the menu will be some romantic
heart-shaped flipsides and Piepops! Yep, those are pie-lollipops! And, we're now going to offer our "as seen on tv" Slab Pie by special order, too! Folks can place a special order this week for Valentine's Day (or whenever they want).
Don't know about you, but I'm certainly giving the pie pictures above the look of love.
High 5 Pies are available at all Fuel Coffee locations; for more information, visithigh5pie.com. Also, keep updated with them via Twitter and their blog, and you can also buy proprietress Dani Cone's awesome book on Northwest coffee culture, Tall Skinny Bitter: Notes from the Center of Coffee Culture.