Mini Valentine’s Chocolate Cake (Cheat)

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I went through so much to get this cake to work (none of which should discourage you from making it! You’ll see…)

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So Valentine’s Day is coming up, and I figured I’d find a mini chocolate cake to bake in my heart-shaped cake pan and share that with you guys!

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I found the perfect recipe. I precisely measured out all my ingredients and mixed them together, only to find that the batter had turned into a thick dough instead of a silky cake batter. In my state of despair, I added in a splash of milk to thin the batter, but no luck. I was utterly confused. Everything was perfect…right?

I decided to take a look at the recipe again, reading the first ingredients and – oh. It called for 1/2 cup of flour, but because I’m so used to making full-sized cakes, my mind automatically processed it as 1 1/2 cups. uGH. Unfortunately, I had to discard that batter (after eating a bit of it, of course), and starting over. You can observe this failure here:

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Also, the cake is meant for a 6-inch circle pan, but mine is heart-shaped so it’s smaller. I had a little bit of leftover cake batter, which I made into a cute little bear cake! I was planning on drawing on it’s little eyes and nose and mouth with melted white chocolate, only to find that I don’t have white chocolate at home. Since when is that a thing?? What happened to my emergency stash of 3 white chocolate bars?

And lastly, lighting was not my friend today. I must’ve tried taking photos in at least 6 different locations around the house, hence the inconsistency with backgrounds in these photos.

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Despite all that, the cake itself turned out amazing. Look at how fluffy it rose! It’s so fluffy and has the perfect chocolate flavor to it. If you wish, a chocolate ganache would pair beautifully with it, but a dusting of icing sugar works just fine as well.

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Mini Valentine’s Chocolate Cake

Adapted from Dessert for Two

Makes one 6-inch round cake

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (70g) all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons (37g) cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
  • 1/3 cup full-fat sour cream or yogurt
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon warm coffee
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • Powdered sugar or chocolate ganache (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, sour cream or yogurt, egg, vanilla extract, and coffee
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips
  5. Transfer the batter into a lined and greased 6-inch round cake pan and bake for 29-32 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
  6. Dust with powdered sugar or drizzle with chocolate ganache (optional)
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Rose Meringues (Cheat)

A long time ago, I made my first ever batch of meringues. They were shaped like roses and crossed between pink and white. They were perfect.

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I made them for a bake sale, actually, and let me tell you now, that they are possibly the best things you could sell at a bake sale. Input – 3 egg whites and some sugar. Output – $$$. They’re actually insanely easy and cheap to make, and you can sell each one for a decent profit.

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Rose Meringues

Ingredients

  • 3 egg whites, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) fine sugar
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pink food coloring (preferably powdered)*

*Meringues call for preferably powdered food coloring, as it keeps them dry. If you use liquid-based food colouring, as long as you keep them in an airtight container in the fridge, you should be fine. I’ve also had success using beetroot powder as colouring.

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 90 degrees Celsius or 200 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or a medium bowl with an electric hand mixer, whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar until you get soft peaks. Add in the sugar a tablespoon at a time, and then turn the mixer to the highest speed and whip until meringue is stiff and glossy. This should take a few minutes. Beat in vanilla extract.
  3. Divide the meringue into bowls and tint them using food coloring of your choice. Transfer into a piping bag with a 1M piping tip and pipe roses (spirals that start from the middle and circulate outwards) onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  4. Bake both trays until crisp, but not browned. This can take anywhere from 1-1.5 hours depending on the size and humidity. You should be able to remove the meringues from the parchment paper without them sticking. Store in an airtight container in the fridge

Vanilla Rose Cupcakes + Vanilla Frosting (Cheat)

Happy Singles Awareness Day!

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I’ve never actually had a Valentine. Is that sad? Hey, I still have a few valentines to go.

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Besides, I’d rather spend my valentines baking and sitting around and eating and binge-watching Supernatural. I watched 4 episodes yesterday and it wasn’t even Valentines Day yet.

I didn’t actually do that, though. Well, sorta. I tested out a microwavable-french-toast-in-a-jar recipe and baked a plaited milk bread and cooked a heart-shaped egg in the middle of a slice of toast and made single-serving healthy cookie dough. More importantly, I went on a date…with my mom 🙂 We ate at Honeymoon Dessert and brought clothes (which I haven’t done in months tbh) and got a free coupon for a chocolate fondue (best part). It was a pretty great day.

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I did bake these incredibly delicious cupcakes for a Valentines-themed bake sale. How do I know that they were delicious? Well, I ‘tasted’ one of them. One of the unfrosted ones, at least. (I had to know if tasted decent!)

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The unfrosted cupcake I had was so so so so good. It was all moist and flavorful and oh-so-perefect. My cupcakes were the first to sell out at the bake sale. They sold out in practically 3 minutes flat. My brother managed to buy one before they sold out, as well as two of his friends. They all loved the cupcakes so much. Another friend of mine brought a cupcake and walked away with it. She came back later on to tell me that they were absolutely delicious. Needless to say, I’m pretty happy with these cupcakes, especially since this was the first time I piped roses like these.

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I think they’re probably the prettiest cupcakes I’ve ever made, too.

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To pipe roses on your cupcakes, you will need a petal tip. I wish that I could put together a tutorial on how to pipe roses, but I’m not really sure how. There are plenty of tutorials on Youtube, which is how I learned to make them.

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I can give you a few tips though.

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In terms of the temperature of the frosting, if you want very ruffle-y roses with rougher edges (picture above on the left), chill your frosting for 3 minutes or so in the fridge to allow it to firm up, and repeat this when the frosting starts to warm up. Colder frosting requires more energy to pipe, because it doesn’t get out of the piping bag easily, but I personally like the way they turned out better.

If you want smoother edges, and an easier frosting to pipe out, then simply use the frosting as it is. Your hand on the piping bag should naturally warm up the frosting so that it’s easy to pipe.

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I tried to do the thing where you put a line of food coloring inside the piping bag so that the edges of the rose are a different color, but obviously, I wasn’t paying enough attention to realize that the line of food coloring was in the middle. It still looks kinda pretty, though, doesn’t it?

 

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How did you guys spend your Valentine’s Day?

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Notes:

Vanilla Rose Cupcakes + Vanilla Frosting

Cupcakes adapted from Cupcake Project

Makes 16 cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cupcakes:

  • 1 cup (225 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups (175 grams) cake flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (75 grams) full-fat sour cream
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup (160 ml) whole milk

 

Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup (115g) butter
  • 1/2 cup (95g) shortening
  • 3 cups (360g) powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp (13-30 ml) water or cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

Cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius, or 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix together sugar, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
  3. Add butter and mix on medium-low speed for three minutes until the mixture is crumbly
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, oil, and vanilla extract until smooth
  5. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined
  6. Slowly add milk and mix on low speed until just combined
  7. Fill cupcake liners just over 1/2 full
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcakes comes out clean, without any of the batter stuck to it
  9. Remove the cupcakes from the cupcake tin and leave to cool before frosting

Frosting:

  1. Using a stand/hand mixer, cream the butter and shortening together until smooth
  2. Add powdered sugar and mix until combined
  3. Add vanilla extract and 1 tbsp water/cream and mix until smooth
  4. Add more sugar or water/cream to achieve desired consistency (too stiff = add water/cream, too soft = add sugar or chill in refrigerator for 2 min)
  5. Pipe frosting onto cupcakes

 

I love you guys ❤ xoxo