Thursday, February 14, 2008
I LOVE Valentine's Day.
I LOVE Valentine's Day, and I have for as long as I can remember. I loved it before I ever had a boyfriend, let alone a husband. I loved it then because it involves the colors pink and red, and lots of chocolate. I love it now because it still involves the colors pink and red, and lots of chocolate!
I feel very sad for those out there that cannot enjoy Valentine's Day because they feel alone, depressed, excluded, or bitter about the holiday. In an attempt to soften their feelings of contempt on this fine holiday, I created treats. I baked!
Several weeks ago I became obsessed with the idea of baking extra large cupcakes. There are all varieties of oversized muffin tins out there, and I wanted the biggest one possible. I finally settled on a Wilton baking pan that makes cupcakes that are not only almost four inches in diameter, but are also extra tall. My goal is to create double fister baked goods - cupcakes so large and in charge that it takes two hands to handle them. I think I succeeded.
I must admit, I cheated a little bit. I used a Barefoot Contessa chocolate cupcake mix as my base, and then embellished to create the final product. The truth is that I knew I wanted a chocolate raspberry cake, but my attempts at finding a recipe came up empty. Apparently nobody else in the culinary world is either a) interested in combining these two flavors into a cake, or b) willing to share their secret family recipe for chocolate raspberry jam cake. So I decided to combine my adventurous and spirited experiment with an established product. Thus I bought the "top shelf" cake mix and made some changes to the box recipe. I added an entire jar of raspberry preserves to the mix. I also added semisweet chocolate chips to the mix. Before baking I poked a dollop of jam into the center of each cupcake and topped with more batter in an attempt to create a "surprise" for the eater. I like to think of my raspberry filling like the little heart of love in the center of each cake.
The final product turned out adorable, and it has been reported to taste good as well, even if all the jam and chocolate chips did sink to the bottom of the cake. Oops. Happy Valentine's Day to all! XOXOXO.