Friday, 29 January 2010

Valentines Cupcakes

photo courtesy of hlkljgk

Valentines cupcakes are the perfect way to let your loved one's know you care! Everyone loves a sweet and tasty treat! February 14th is one of my favorite days of the year for this reason. Decorating cupcakes is one of my top five things I love to do, and Valentines cupcakes allow me to go crazy. The possibilities are endless, if you keep just three things in mind: chocolate, love, and the color red.
For Valentines cupcakes, I almost always use red velvet cupcakes as a base or chocolate cupcakes. I like to use a white frosting, like buttercream, cream cheese, or boiled (all of which you can find recipes for right here, on my site). If you really don't like chocolate, though, vanilla cupcakes with just a hint of red food dye make for a perfect base, as well.
White frostings also allow you to add a hint of red food dye for a festive and pink frosting.

Here are some tips for decorating your Valentine's Day cupcakes:
1. Candy/sugar hearts - everyone loves hearts on valentines day. Pink, red and white hearts are a perfect way to top off your cupcakes.
2. Think Pink - pink, white, and red sprinkles, pink frosting, pink, pink, pink!
3. Fruit - I know, I know. I always talk about food dyes. But I try to remind you all that food dye can be very hazardous to your health. Once in a while won't kill you, but if you can avoid it then why not? So what are other ways to make pink frosting? Crushed raspberries will add a nice touch. Cherries also work. Or you could always use white frosting and use fruit as a garnish.

So without further adieu, I'm going to give you some excellent Valentine's Day cupcakes decorating ideas that do not involve food dye or food coloring.

Black forest cupcakes - Chocolate cupcakes with boiled frosting and chocolate dipped cherries. These are simple to make, elegant, and delicious. Take dark red cherries and in a double boiler melt some dark chocolate (or milk if you prefer). Dip your cherries in the melted chocolate halfway, and when they cool and dry place them a top your cupcake. For a little extra garnish, sprinkle some cocoa powder. You could also put cherries in the chocolate batter (no pits!!!!) if you want to bake them into your cupcakes. It will be delicious. If you don't like cherries, you could use strawberries instead to top off your Valentine's Day cupcakes. I like to leave the stem on. Cut the strawberries long ways in half. Dip one half in melted chocolate and place them on the cupcakes flat side down.

Jelly cupcakes - Valentine's Day cupcakes are all about reds and pinks. Any preservative in that color will work. Strawberry, raspberry, or whatever else you've got is fine! These can be made in a number of ways depending on what you're looking for.
Method 1 - Use a chocolate or vanilla base. Bake your cupcakes and let them cool completely. Before you frost them, take a small paring knife or a melon baller. Scoop out from the top center of the cupcake about an inche in diameter and length. If you are using a paring knife, make sure your cuts are clean and round. Fill the whole with whichever jelly you choose. For a stuffed cupcake (paring knife) replace the piece of cupcake you had removed and then frost. For the melon baller, Fill the round whole entireley with jelly. Then, instead of frosting just sprinkle some powdered sugar on top.
Method 2 - Bake your cupcakes and let them cool. Frost as normal using any white frosting. Be generous with the frosting! From the center of the frosting with the back of a spoon create a wide and shallow well. Fill the well with jelly and there you have cute and food dye-free Valentines cupcakes.

I hope you have a great day, filled with love and romance, and enjoy your Valentines cupcakes!


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