Archives for posts with tag: valentine’s day

For those of you with reservations about baking something special for loved ones this Valentine’s Day, Kenwood Chef have put together some video tutorials to show you how easy it is. Chocolate cupcakes are a favourite in my house and always a winner no matter the occasion.

Chocolate Cupcakes

Follow along to the video to make your own delicious chocolaty treats.

And here’s the recipe:

Makes: 12

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Difficulty: Level 1

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4
  2. Ensure that your ingredients and equipment are at room temperature to reduce the risk of the mixture curdling.
  3. Place the butter and sugar into your mixer bowl and using the creaming beater cream on medium speed until it becomes thick and creamy.
  4. Beat the eggs to together, reduce the speed of the mixer and gradually add the eggs. Ensure that each addition of the eggs is properly incorporated before adding the next amount of the eggs.   Add a teaspoon of the flour after each amount of egg is added.
  5. Once the eggs have been incorporated add the flour, cocoa and baking powder and continue to mix together
  6. Place twelve paper cases into a muffin tray then divide the mixture evenly between them.
  7. Bake for approximately 12 – 15 minutes until they spring back when lightly pressed.

For the chocolate Icing:

  1. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water; ensuring the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
  2. Place the butter into your mixer bowl and using the creaming beater cream the butter on medium speed until it becomes paler in colour.
  3. Add the icing sugar slowly and mix to combine.  Ensure your splashguard is in place to avoid the icing sugar escaping from the bowl.
  4. When the icing sugar and butter are combined, mix in the melted chocolate until it is an even colour.
  5. Spoon the icing into an icing bag, and pipe onto the cooled cupcakes.
  6. Decorate with your chosen decorations.

And if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, why not try Tiramisu to complete a romantic Italian inspired meal.  Kenwood Chef makes it easy!

*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I have not personally tried this recipe, however I do use a Kenwood Chef mixer and kMix hand mixer that I purchased myself.

New handmixer

 

Happy baking!

Finding cards for Valentine’s Day is always a tough one, especially with my busy schedule it’s hard to get out to actually purchase cards. I don’t usually go for the lovey-dovey sappy sentiment so I like having the option to personalise cards and choose what I want it to say.

ChuckleMonster is a great option for those who want to personalise cards with their loved one’s name or by uploading an image to create an extra special Valentine’s photo card.

404 x 404 card image_valentines

I was able to choose cards for each my husband and my son to suit both of their personalities and order them in less than 5 minutes, allowing me to get on with my busy day. What’s even better, all Valentine’s cards get free shipping!  If you are in need of cards for any occasion, Chuckle Monster is a way to go.

Check out ChuckleMonster’s Valentine’s competition on Facebook where one lucky winner will receive a Hotel Chocolat hamper with a bottle of Prosecco and a personalized Valentine’s Day card, or follow them on Twitter: @Chuckle_Monster.

** This is a review for ChuckleMonster, who provided me with free cards to review for Valentine’s Day. All opinions are my own**

English Mum is hosting a ‘Baked With Love Bakeoff’ and now that Owen, my brand new oven, is in full effect, I had to get involved.  I like making Valentine’s day treats for my sweeties and wanted to do something new, so I tried Red Velvet Cupcakes.  I have seen many recipes for Red Velvet Cake, all of which use quite a bit of red food colouring, but the one from Eric Lanlard’s Home Bake is one that does not.  It’s an American style recipe which relies on the chemical reaction between baking soda and white wine vinegar to create the ‘red’ effect.

It was more like a science experiment than baking, but that was part of the fun.

red velvet science experiment

It started out like your everyday cake mixture using the creaming method: butter, sugar, cocoa…

Cocoa powder

Then alternately add buttermilk and flour…

Mix it up

But with this mixture you combine baking soda and white wine vinegar. Vinegar in cupcakes?! okaay…

now for the science bit

Then keep mixing until it becomes a glossy mixture…

glossy mixture

I filled each cupcake cup halfway and popped them in the new oven. (Affectionately named Owen thanks to the suggestion of Leah and Phil).

Owen shows off

Et voila… Cupcakes! They didn’t come out as red as I anticipated, but they taste amazing and are actually really velvety in texture.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

As these cakes are celebrating Valentine’s Day, I decorated them with marshmallow topping (mini G’s favourite) and heart shaped sprinkles.

Valentine's decorations

And they went down a treat with the little love of my life – mini G…

baked with love

Baked with love bakeoff

It’s that time of year where cupids and hearts are everywhere you look… Valentines’ Day.  I have a love/hate relationship with Valentine’s Day.  I love the idea of it – all shiny, happy and lovey-dovey.  I’m a fan of red and heart shaped things too.  I hate it because my expectations are seldom met.  I do hope for a card or something, though (hint, hint).

Men feel that it’s just a gimmicky “Hallmark” holiday, but it didn’t start out that way.  According to Wikipedia (and they are never wrong…heh), “St Valentine’s Day, named after a Christian martyr, was established by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD” and goes on to say “The first recorded association of Valentine’s Day with romantic love is in Parlement of Foules (1382) by Geoffrey Chaucer.”  So there you have it, fellas! It’s history.

To celebrate Valentine’s Day and my fondness for things red and heart shaped, I decided to make Valentine’s cupcakes.  I recently purchased a new cookbook and wanted to give it a spin.  I went for the American Vanilla Cupcake out of Red Velvet & Chocolate Heartache by Harry Eastwood of Cook Yourself Thin.  It’s only appropriate being that I’m American.

Instead of using butter as the fat in this recipe, she uses zucchini (or courgettes depending on where you live).  I love zucchini bread so I thought, hey… why not!

The cake batter didn’t seem to be much different from the usual cupcake batter.

After they came out of the oven, a little munchkin was instantly hovering wanting to try the latest creation.

The texture was really nice. Just like a cupcake that used butter.  The outside was a bit chewy, but I think the oven was a bit hot and I probably could have reduced the time slightly.  They reminded me a bit of angel food cake, and that is not a bad thing!  I will definitely be trying more recipes from Red Velvet & Chocolate Heartache. Boy, I could use a manicure…

**Since it’s all things hearts, here’s a photo of the cherry crumble in heart shaped baking dishes. We were able to enjoy them once the oven was fixed. YUM!**

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