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

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

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.

http://hedgecombers.com/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.

68 Comments

  1. laura@howtocookgoodfood

    14th February 2014 at 4:56 pm

    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!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      15th February 2014 at 11:14 am

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

      Reply
  2. GG

    14th February 2014 at 5:00 pm

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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      15th February 2014 at 11:15 am

      Thank you GG, I hope so 🙂

      Reply
  3. Christian Halfmann

    14th February 2014 at 5:26 pm

    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.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      15th February 2014 at 11:17 am

      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.

      Reply
  4. Torviewtoronto

    14th February 2014 at 5:42 pm

    delicious dessert happy valentines

    Reply
  5. Tina Anand

    14th February 2014 at 5:49 pm

    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 🙂

    Reply
    • Choclette

      15th February 2014 at 11:19 am

      Thank you Tina, that’s very kind. Likewise 🙂

      Reply
  6. vohnmcg.com

    14th February 2014 at 5:54 pm

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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      15th February 2014 at 11:21 am

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

      Reply
  7. Angela @ My Golden Pear

    14th February 2014 at 5:56 pm

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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      15th February 2014 at 11:22 am

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

      Reply
  8. belleau kitchen

    14th February 2014 at 6:02 pm

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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      15th February 2014 at 11:24 am

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

      Reply
  9. Helen @ Fuss Free Flavours

    14th February 2014 at 6:16 pm

    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.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      15th February 2014 at 11:28 am

      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.

      Reply
  10. Janice Pattie

    14th February 2014 at 7:39 pm

    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.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      15th February 2014 at 11:29 am

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

      Reply
  11. Karen S Booth

    14th February 2014 at 7:40 pm

    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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      15th February 2014 at 5:35 pm

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

      Reply
  12. Susie @ Fold in the Flour

    14th February 2014 at 9:36 pm

    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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      15th February 2014 at 5:36 pm

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

      Reply
  13. Sarah Trivuncic

    14th February 2014 at 10:25 pm

    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?

    Reply
    • Choclette

      15th February 2014 at 5:38 pm

      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.

      Reply
  14. Morgan @ Peaches, Please!

    15th February 2014 at 4:47 am

    Happy fifth blog birthday!

    Reply
  15. Angie Schneider

    15th February 2014 at 9:10 am

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

    Reply
  16. Hannah Hearsey

    15th February 2014 at 9:23 am

    Very happy fifth birthday! Lovely little cakes too!

    Reply
  17. Kath

    15th February 2014 at 9:35 am

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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      16th February 2014 at 11:52 am

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

      Reply
  18. Johanna GGG

    15th February 2014 at 9:55 am

    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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      16th February 2014 at 11:54 am

      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.

      Reply
  19. Camilla @FabFood4All

    15th February 2014 at 12:39 pm

    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?

    Reply
    • Choclette

      16th February 2014 at 9:21 pm

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

      Reply
  20. Jo

    15th February 2014 at 12:49 pm

    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.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      16th February 2014 at 9:22 pm

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

      Reply
  21. Javelin Warrior

    15th February 2014 at 3:49 pm

    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!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      16th February 2014 at 9:24 pm

      Thanks JW, both for your comment and support over the years 🙂

      Reply
  22. Heidi Roberts

    15th February 2014 at 10:51 pm

    Happy blog birthday!

    Reply
  23. Katie

    16th February 2014 at 9:52 am

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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      16th February 2014 at 9:26 pm

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

      Reply
  24. Jacqueline Meldrum

    16th February 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Happy Blog Birthday. Do pass a cake C!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      16th February 2014 at 9:26 pm

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

      Reply
  25. David Shams

    16th February 2014 at 1:54 pm

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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      16th February 2014 at 9:27 pm

      Thanks David, that’s very kind of you 🙂

      Reply
  26. Sylvia F.

    16th February 2014 at 5:35 pm

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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      16th February 2014 at 9:27 pm

      Thank you very much Sylvia 🙂

      Reply
  27. Kate@whatkatebaked

    16th February 2014 at 7:16 pm

    Five years!! That’s huge number of delicious chocolatey treats! Here’s to the next five years…

    Reply
    • Choclette

      16th February 2014 at 9:28 pm

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

      Reply
  28. Jane Sarchet

    16th February 2014 at 10:40 pm

    Twit Twoo & Happy Birthday!
    Janie x

    Reply
  29. Baking Addict

    17th February 2014 at 3:50 am

    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!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      17th February 2014 at 1:13 pm

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

      Reply
  30. London Unattached Travel Blog

    17th February 2014 at 9:55 am

    I’m fascinated by the Lékué silicone decomax – and resisting the temptation to look in too much detail at the cakes!!!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      17th February 2014 at 1:15 pm

      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.

      Reply
  31. Alison

    17th February 2014 at 10:42 am

    Happy fifth blog birthday and what gorgeous cakes

    Reply
  32. ManjiriK - sliceoffme

    17th February 2014 at 12:49 pm

    Happy Bloggy Bday ! Those cute mini cakes look delicious and yay to no paper wraps around them !

    Reply
  33. Choclette

    17th February 2014 at 1:16 pm

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

    Reply
  34. Bintu @ Recipes From A Pantry

    17th February 2014 at 2:06 pm

    Happy birthday. And what a fab way to celebrate.

    Reply
  35. Nayna Kanabar

    18th February 2014 at 8:45 pm

    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.

    Reply
  36. London Unattached Food

    24th February 2014 at 8:05 am

    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!

    Reply
  37. Elizabeth

    5th March 2014 at 8:26 pm

    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

    Reply

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