A Valentine Treat Recap

In our home, we love celebrating Valentine’s Day!  But not for the reasons that you think; if you missed yesterday’s posting, stop by and check it out.  In our home, the kids and I make the sweets instead of buying them – that is – unless I’m having a lazy type of holiday.  I had fun researching what types of projects I had worked on in the years past, and it made me appreciate why I keep my blog running, even if I don’t find enough time these days to do so.  This year, I believe I’m going to make scones and somehow dress them up to make it fitting for the day, but that remains to be seen on “how.”  Why scones?  Why not?  Actually, I made a batch for a group of people and the reviews came back that they were heavenly.  Some people even said they were the best scones they had ever had, so that must be saying something!  Truth be told, my family was so jealous when I walked out the door with this beautiful batch of scones, and didn’t even get one bite.  So I owe it to them to make a batch.

Enough rambling – break out the recap!!  Enjoy your Valentine’s Day!!

Goat Cheese TrufflesGoat Cheese Truffles – what better way to say, “hey honey, I love you, and I know you love goat cheese! And chocolate!”  True story, I made these for a dinner party, and found my husband eating the leftovers (straight from the bowl, not even rolled up!) and thought, hmmm, there must be something to these little devilishly amazing bites!  These chocolates keep you coming back for more.  Great for a “la-tee-da” type of person, or someone you just want to impress. 🙂  You’re welcome.

 

Red Velvet MadeleinesRed Velvet Madeleines – Need a Valentine Day breakfast that will impress?  Try these little delights!  Perfect compliment with a nice cup of tea, or hot chocolate.  You and your sweet other will enjoy this as a nice change of pace.  Also great for a dessert at the end of the day, especially after a heavy dinner.  Want to jazz it up?  Serve it with vanilla ice cream.

 

 

Chocolate Strawberry ShortcakeChocolate heart shortcakeChocolate Waffles with Strawberries – Seriously, words cannot describe how amazing this breakfast can be.  Or dinner, should you decide to mix it up.  I have two pictures here because I made it the shortcut method with pre-made chocolate waffles, while my lovely blogging friend in Oklahoma showed an even better way to make them if you have the time and equipment.  Here is her link to make her fancy waffles.

 

 

Chocolate Covered Strawberries – a classic, and yet people still buy these rather than try to make them.  Friends, they are not difficult.  Plus your loved one will love you for trying to make them instead of buying them.  Trust me.  If you don’t believe me, look at who is making them in my pictures of that particular blog post.  My kids, when they were tiny!  Don’t like strawberries, roll some raspberries instead, they are a true delight as well.

 

Finished CakeHidden Hearts Cake – Remember when hiding pictures in a cake was all the rage?  Is it still a thing? I’m not sure, but it’s still fun to create, especially for your kids.  Enjoy the tale of my crazy adventure with making this cake. You will definitely get a laugh.

 

 

 

DIY Valentine Bracelet – This is a fun little project that you can create with the kids.  I definitely recommend following the instructions to make it work.  Seems simple enough, but can be a bit tricky if not careful.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

Valentine Cake Pops – I have found myself rolling into a Starbucks buying my kids these sweet bites, and each time I think, “ridiculous what I am paying for these when I know how much it costs to make them!! TONS of them.”  Are they difficult to make? Not if you follow the rules.  And your freezer is your friend when it comes to setting up the cake with the frosting.  I recommend making a red velvet cake with a dark chocolate outer coating – the best!

That’s it for now!  You can search my site for more delights, but I didn’t want to overwhelm you.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Chocolate Roses for Mother’s Day

White chocolate roses The Secret Chocolatier

Chocolate.  What is not to love?  This Mother’s Day, my favorite chocolatier in South Charlotte is creating the most unique gift!  Delicate chocolate roses.  Not just any style either.  Read the details below, (and how to order!)

This is not your ordinary rose. It’s chocolate and flowers all in one that are in full bloom at The Secret Chocolatier. Offered for Mother’s Day in white, yellow and brown hues, each petal is hand formed and brought together to create a fully chocolate, edible rose. Each rose is sold as a single long-stem, 1/2 dozen, or full dozen, and wrapped and packaged as a real rose would be. Cost: $15 a stem.

To order, contact The Secret Chocolatier at 704-323-8178, visit http://www.thesecretchocolatier.com/ for online orders, or stop by their retail stores in Cotswold or Ballantyne.

Did you all catch that?  Each PETAL is hand formed… This is no simple stem rose mold they use.  It takes time to create these pretty treats!  I know. I’ve seen them in the store.

Now… to convince my husband to buy me one. 🙂Secret Chocolatier Roses

 

Disclaimer: The opinions of this post are my own. I was not given any compensation to review this company.  I just LOVE their products and stand by them. 

Hidden Hearts Valentine’s Day Cake

Finished Cake

People ask me many times if I make cakes.  Sure, make them, but decorate them?  Not a talent I possess… yet. While I can use some techniques that I have observed through the power of YouTube, this does not even compare to a real cake decorating class. Nor have I given the time to practice and practice and practice.  It is a true art, and I fully appreciate those steady hands and patient minds that go along with the gift you cake decorators have!  Perhaps I will take a few classes one day, when the timing is right.  But for now, I present to you my ugly cake of the year.

Why would I show you this cake? Because  I need you to all feel sorry for me with the amount of time I dedicated toward it  it was completely awesome regardless of appearance. 🙂

Actually, I wanted to demonstrate the steps that I took following a website that I admire. I am sure some of you have seen the cute polka dot cake on Pinterest. So, I checked out her other cakes and found these really AMAZING designs.

While I was making the cakes, I discovered a big fact.  I am not her. She makes the cakes look flawless and I cannot.  I wanted to make one anyway, and, WHY NOT? With Valentine’s Day in the near future, I thought this to be a good chance to hide some hearts within. And get my chocolate fix on as well.

I will not kid with you, it’s a big project. I did however have some helping hands in the kitchen with me! My daughters wanted to naturally participate, so I let them make the sugar cookies that was placed inside the cake. (As well as outside for decoration.) It’s a traditional sugar cookie recipe that I grabbed of the internet; find any you like, and add food coloring if you want them to be unique in the cake.

I made the sugar cookies pink, because it would look nice within a red velvet cake. There is something magically beautiful when you put pink next to red… JUST for Valentine’s day. The rest of the year, I don’t advise those two colors together. (I have color issues!)

heart sugar cookies

Next, I created two batches of red velvet cake (box kind!) Yep, I cheated… ahem, saved TIME. This is where I think, what’s the big deal? Stuff the cookies in a half baked cake, and bake. Easy? Well, not SO easy. I had no idea how long to let the cakes cook since they were twice the size, so I had to periodically check with a toothpick. Once they were done, I made the mistake of letting them cool in the pan. BIG no no. Even I know better, but it was late, and I was tired. So, when it came time to take the cake out of the pans, they naturally stuck. I gently reheated them up to loosen them, and still had to cut them in half to have them fall out of the pan. I made some buttercream frosting in the mixer (though you could use the canned kind) because I needed something that was going to be strong to mend my cake back together. Cake repaired, and looking U.G.L.Y at this point!

Half baked cookie in cake

So I’m thinking, I quit. This is too hard, blah blah blah. No! I invested too much time, and I wanted to taste it when it was correctly frosted! I made a big batch of dark chocolate ganache, which turned out to not be enough for this immense cake. Now at this point I think, “what’s next?” Oh yea… my frosting smoother was missing in the kitchen. Turned out my Hubby had that cake decorator in his car (using it as an ice scraper!!) So, I smoothed the ganache as nicely as I could with a butter knife. And found I had waited too long (while looking for the cake decorator!) and it had pretty much set up. *Sigh*

Hidden Hearts in Red Velvet

So, I took the leftover heart cookies, and covered the ugly middle section. Ahhhh, now it was coming together. Picture taking time, for you all to see my um, well… masterpiece. And there you have it!

A hot mess cake

Then, after ALL that, I of course had to cut the cake for you to see the hidden hearts. (And to see if it had actually worked!) It had worked! Though, I should have added more cookies inside to get it more perfect. Some hearts laid down within, and some stood up giving an inconsistant appearance. So, if you try to make this cake, FOLLOW HER DIRECTIONS exactly. I tried to shortcut it and it does not pay off.

hidden hearts red velvet cake1

Was there any reward in the end? OOOOOOOHHHHH yea. The cake was FABULOUS to eat. Who cares if it was not glamorous? It was delicious! Red velvet…dark chocolate ganache… homemade frosting? Worth it.

If you want to make this cake, hit Once Upon A Pedestal for her directions. She has some pretty amazing cake ideas! Also, I am sure you are curious if I could taste the cookie within the cake, and the answer is no. I was surprised to find it matched the cake texture perfectly!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Finished Cake