Vegetarian food blog featuring nourishing home cooked recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Mini Chocolate Valentine’s Cakes and Chocolate Log Blog is Five

Valentine-s-Cakes-1

5 Star, Cupcakes | 14th February 2014 | By

Mini Chocolate Cupcakes

Astonishingly, this blog is five years old today.  To celebrate, rather than a St Valentine’s Day Massacre, I’ve engineered something all together more festive.

The simple truth is, that despite the many, many things I’ve baked and prepared over the past five years, I’ve hardly scratched the surface of chocolate cookery. This is a good thing, I reckon, because, unlike Valentine’s Day ephemera, chocolate will never ever lose its appeal. Drawing on the collective brilliance of contributors to We Should Cocoa, the many excellent food blogs and chocolate cookbooks, my own creations and adaptations, there is not a chance that I will run out of things to make in the next five or even fifty years.

Another year on and I and my Chocolate Log Blog have notched up a few more achievements. I was chuffed to bits to reach #3 in the Foodies100 Top Twenty UK Food Blogs for 2013. Not only that I was also in their Top Twenty Food Bloggers on Twitter too. I didn’t think things could get any better, but it turned out they absolutely did. The January edition of Cornwall Today featured Chocolate Log Blog as one of the best five Cornish blogs – wow and I didn’t even bribe them with cake. You can see the article on the author’s site at Saffron Bunny. I had another recipe published, this time in the Plymouth Herald, maybe not quite as prestigious as the Clandestine Cake Club Cookbook, but still very pleasing.

Valentines's Chocolate Cupcakes

Two big events stood out: I baked an astonishing number of things both for a grand party and a market stall. It was a lot of hard work, but very satisfying to see it all disappear with complimentary comments all round. I continue to attend Cornwall Clandestine Cake Club whenever I am able and try to take part in as many blog challenges as I can. This past year has seen a prodigious proliferation of these, so I’m amazed to have done as many as I have. Living in remote Cornwall, I don’t get out very often, but I did manage to make it up to Cheltenham to meet some of my food blogging chums in June last year. We’ve also had a few events down in this part of the world where I’ve got to meet-up with bloggers old and new. The trip to Riverford was a particularly good one and the chocolate workshop with Nicky Grant was a real pleasure. Cornwall has food festivals aplenty, but scattered as they are, I don’t get to many of them. Having heard from Fiona of London Unattached just how good the Boscastle one was, I made it there last year for the first time. She was right, it was a great festival with plenty to see and do and the setting is lovely. I had the added bonus of meeting up with her as well as Nat from the HungryHinny.

So to celebrate Chocolate Log Blog’s Birthday as well as Valentine’s Day and give CT something to munch on (he has offered both me and my blog invaluable support after all), I have made these little chocolate cakes – dark and lush as befits this day of love. The cake recipe I adapted from one in Treat Petite by Fiona Pearce, a newly published book I shall be reviewing shortly. The whipped dark chocolate ganache, however, I made up myself from some leftover chocolate sauce I’d made for another recipe (soon to be appearing on the blog).

Just in time to make these and as a wonderful Valentine’s gift, I received a lovely bundle of chocolate goodies and hearts from Dr Oetker, including some heart-shaped marshmallows which were fun. Fancy decorating has never been my strong point, but for this special occasion, I thought I’d pull out the stops and pipe the ganache on top of the cakes, using my new Lékué silicone decomax (review to follow in an upcoming post).

I also received this gorgeous Valentine’s gift from Eden’s Gourmet Apples, which was a lovely surprise and disappeared rather quicker than it probably should have done. The apple was crisp and tart which was a great foil for the sweet caramel and chocolate.

This is how I made:

Mini Chocolate Valentine’s Hearts with Whipped Chocolate Ganache

  • Melted 60g dark 70% chocolate in a pan over low heat with 160ml strong black coffee. Stirred until smooth, then removed from the heat.
  • Creamed 90g unsalted butter together with 225g dark brown sugar until pale and fluffy.
  • Beat in 2 duck eggs (use large hen eggs), one at a time.
  • Sifted in 100g flour (half wholemeal spelt, half white), ¾ tsp baking powder, 2 tbsp cocoa powder and 40g ground almonds.
  • Stirred until just incorporated.
  • Spooned into 24 mini cupcake moulds filling them to about ¾ full. Spooned the rest into 4 full-sized cupcake cases.
  • Baked at 180°C for about 15 minutes until well risen and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  • Left to cool in the moulds for a couple of minutes, then turned out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • About ¾ batch of chocolate sauce which had been left in the fridge and had set –  200g double cream, 150g 85% dark chocolate and 2 tbsp maple syrup all melted together.
  • Whipped this up with 2 tbsp of strong black coffee until light and moussy.
  • Spooned this into the Lékué piping container and using a large star nozzle piped blobs onto the cooled cakes.
  • Decorated with various hearts
Mini Chocolate Cupcakes

The cakes are rich, moist and very chocolatey. The small elegant bite-sized cakes are easy to eat and with no inhibiting cases to dispose of make for perfect finger food. CT has given them his seal of approval by downing several in quick succession and declaring them better than any bunch of roses.

Thanks go, as always, to you my readers and fellow food bloggers. I would most certainly not have had the fortitude to have continued without your support, participation and comments.

As an extra chocolatey treat, I have picked ten super scrumptious chocolatey posts from other UK bloggers to hopefully inspire you over at Foodies 100 – Ten at Ten: the chocolate edition.

I am sharing this with Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary and her Valentine’s Day baking inspiration blog hop.

Chocolate is quite rightly the theme for this month’s Tea Time Treats over at Lavender and Lovage. This is a monthly event to load a tea table with more goodies than it can possible manage. Karen’s partner in crime is Jane over at The Hedge Combers.

I am submitting these to the No Waste Food Challenge as I had some leftover chocolate sauce that needed using up. It would, er, obviously, have gone to waste if I hadn’t used it up in this recipe 😉 Normally hosted at Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary, this month Fiona of London Unattached is taking the reigns.

I am also submitting these cakes to Credit Crunch Munch for the same reason as above plus I omitted the cupcake cases and saved a few pennies by so doing. I was really quite pleased with their naked appearance. This challenge is hosted by Camilla of Fab Food 4 All and Helen of Fuss Free Flavours, but is guest hosted this month by Angela over at the wonderful My Golden Pear.

Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    laura@howtocookgoodfood
    14th February 2014

    A very happy 5th birthday to your brilliant blog. You have done so well this last year and long may it continue. Chocolate will always be a part of mine and your lives and many others too I imagine!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      15th February 2014

      Thank you for your lovely comment Laura. I suspect you’re right – chocolate isn’t going to disappear.

  2. Leave a Reply

    GG
    14th February 2014

    Five years, wow! Congratulations. A fabulous blog and all your hard work is really paying off. GG

  3. Leave a Reply

    Christian Halfmann
    14th February 2014

    Congratulations to your 5th blog anniversary. That is quite some time. I would love to read from this blog the next coming 50 years, too. Yes, that’s the good thing with food, including chocolate, you can always try something new.
    I would say, when it comes to getting out, I am even worse, I don’t get anywhere at all (kind of), not even to the Cornwall Clandestine Cake Club (which I would love to try at least once).
    Whatsoever, continue to enjoy your chocolate.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      15th February 2014

      Well here’s to the next 50 years then Chris 🙂 Would love you get to one of our CCCC events – do let me know if that’s ever a possibility.

  4. Leave a Reply

    Tina Anand
    14th February 2014

    Happy Blog Birthday! You’ve achieved so much in five years. I am always amazed how you are so creative with chocolate, both in savoury and sweet dishes. I look forward to seeing many more posts and hopefully a blossoming friendship too 🙂

  5. Leave a Reply

    vohnmcg.com
    14th February 2014

    Happy happy blogiversary! Very well done you for keeping your great blog going for so long! Vohn x

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      15th February 2014

      Thanks Vohn, it’s hard to know where the time goes, but looking back it does seem like a long time.

  6. Leave a Reply

    Angela @ My Golden Pear
    14th February 2014

    A great achievement and very well deserved. Looking forward to lots more chocolate deliciousness. Thanks for taking part in Credit Crunch Munch 🙂

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      15th February 2014

      Thanks Angela – have loads of bakes lined up but am running out of people to eat them 😉

  7. Leave a Reply

    belleau kitchen
    14th February 2014

    congratulations darling, 5 years is the most incredible achievement… and gorgeous looking cakes too xx

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      15th February 2014

      Yay Dom, thank you – really needed you all here to help eat these gorgeous cakes 🙂

  8. Leave a Reply

    Helen @ Fuss Free Flavours
    14th February 2014

    Happy Blog Birthday! I cannot believe it has been 5 years!

    Thanks for sending to CCM too, better for the environment too not to use paper cases.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      15th February 2014

      Thanks Helen, where does the time go? Very true about the environmental waste too, though in the greater scheme of things just acquiring less stuff is probably the best thing we can do.

  9. Leave a Reply

    Janice Pattie
    14th February 2014

    Happy blog anniversary. It was certainly a highlight of my year to meet you in Cheltenham, glad to hear you have plenty more to share with us.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      15th February 2014

      Thanks Janet, really enjoyed that meet up and wish we could do it more often.

  10. Leave a Reply

    Karen S Booth
    14th February 2014

    A big fat chocolaty happy birthday and what a year you have had, all well deserved and it was great to see you in Cheltenham last year for our smutty meet up! Thanks for adding these to Tea Time Treats and now pass me over a plate of those chocolate cakes! Karen xxx

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      15th February 2014

      Yay Karen, chocolate rules OK! Lovely to meet up with you in June – hope we can manage it again. Cornwall???

  11. Leave a Reply

    Susie @ Fold in the Flour
    14th February 2014

    Congratulations Choclette, that’s an amazing achievement. I’ve really enjoyed reading along over the last few years, and I’m looking forward to seeing what you have in store for us in the next few. 🙂 x

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      15th February 2014

      Thanks very much Susie. I’m looking forward to what’s in store too – such an adventure 😉

  12. Leave a Reply

    Sarah Trivuncic
    14th February 2014

    What a fantastically chocolatey post and well done for reaching 5 years. You must have started just before me, my blog 5 years will be in July. Doesn’t it seem so long ago now?

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      15th February 2014

      Thanks Sarah. Yes, I think I remember yours starting up. I had no idea when I started that there even was such a thing as a food blog – so naive.

  13. Leave a Reply

    Angie Schneider
    15th February 2014

    Happy Blogiversary! These chocolate cupcakes look wonderfully delicious and perfect for any celebration!

  14. Leave a Reply

    Kath
    15th February 2014

    Happy blog birthday Choc, I look forward to the next five years of chocolate adventures. x

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      16th February 2014

      Thanks Kath – bit worried that the next five years will fly by even faster than these ones have :-/

  15. Leave a Reply

    Johanna GGG
    15th February 2014

    valentines day is so right for your anniversary – it is just an excuse to eat lots of chocolate, right?

    glad you are still going strong – congratulations on the blogiversary and all the great achievements – and love your little cakes – they are just gorgeous

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      16th February 2014

      Haha Johanna, there is method in my madness 😉 Thank you for this and all the other wonderful comments you’ve left on my blog, they are so much appreciated.

  16. Leave a Reply

    Camilla @FabFood4All
    15th February 2014

    Happy Anniversary, five years is a wonderful achievement:-) I’m really hungry for your chocolate cakes now too – thank you for entering them into Credit Crunch Munch – now where’s that cocoa?

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      16th February 2014

      Thanks Camilla – the astonishing thing is that they have all disappeared!

  17. Leave a Reply

    Jo
    15th February 2014

    Happy Blog Birthday Choclette! 5 years is a fantastic achievement. I always love stopping by to see your chocolate creations. Your mini cupcakes look like the perfect way to celebrate.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      16th February 2014

      Thanks Jo. I’ve really enjoyed you stopping by, please do continue 🙂

  18. Leave a Reply

    Javelin Warrior
    15th February 2014

    Happy birthday, Choclette! 5 years of chocolate is quite the accomplishment and it’s been so much fun following along for part of those 5. And now here’s to the next chocolatey five!

  19. Leave a Reply

    Katie
    16th February 2014

    Happy blog anniversary!
    These look fabulous and whipped ganache sounds divine. Love the cute size too.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      16th February 2014

      Thanks Katie, the whipped ganache is something I discovered last year and it’s a real winner.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      16th February 2014

      Thanks Jac. There are plenty of cakes to go around. Or at least there were – oops!

  20. Leave a Reply

    David Shams
    16th February 2014

    Congratulations Choclette with 5th Blog Anniversary! That’s a fantastic achievement! 🙂 Wish you success and prosperity in the next 5 years 🙂

  21. Leave a Reply

    Sylvia F.
    16th February 2014

    Happy 5th birthdays Chocolate Log Blog! Choclette I wish you many, many more fab years of blogging 🙂

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      16th February 2014

      Haha Kate, best not to think about quite how much I’ve consumed over the years – eek!

  22. Leave a Reply

    Baking Addict
    17th February 2014

    Happy 5th blog birthday!! Wow what an achievement and what a brilliant year it has been for your blog. It was an absolute pleasure to meet you in Cheltenham and I hope we will have another opportunity in the future. The cakes look absolutely delightful and perfect for the occasion! Here’s to many more years of chocolatey goodness!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      17th February 2014

      Thanks Ros. I hope we do manage to meet up again and indeed may the chocolate years roll 😉

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      17th February 2014

      So far, I’ve been quite impressed by the decomax. I’ve not really got on well with piping bags which I find really messy and difficult to use, but time will tell.

  23. Leave a Reply

    Choclette
    17th February 2014

    Thanks Manjirik. Cakes look cute in wraps, but they look quite cute out of them too I reckon.

  24. Leave a Reply

    Nayna Kanabar
    18th February 2014

    Happy 5th Birthday wishing you lots more happy blogging years. Please do send this post to Lets cook sweet treats for valentine event at simply.food.

  25. Leave a Reply

    London Unattached Food
    24th February 2014

    oh and I just noticed you’ve entered it for the No Waste Food Challenge! Thanks;) a worthy use of your leftover chocolate sauce (especially as I’d probably have eaten it!) – and happy birthday from me too!

  26. Leave a Reply

    Elizabeth
    5th March 2014

    Congratulations on your fantastic achievements over the last year – you must be so proud! 🙂 Thank you for linking up with the No waste food challenge xx

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