Well, today is Valentines’s Day and to really show the love, you’ve got to have something chocolatey and decidedly decadent. More importantly today marks Tin and Thyme’s 9th anniversary. As some of you will know, it started life as Chocolate Log Blog and was a means for me to explore one of my great loves – the world of chocolate. This chocolate peanut butter ice cream sundae seems like a fitting celebration.
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and it doesn’t seem right not to cover some of the fabulous chocolate offerings out there for this special day. I’ve taken the burden from you and reviewed a few. There’s a selection from Miss Witt, who’s an award winning artisan chocolatier. There’s also some chocolate bars from Madécasse and some treats from Godiva.
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.
Soft sweet and fruity, this peach and white chocolate cake is a real crowd pleaser. It’s easy to make and is just perfect for summer entertaining. But I won’t tell if you want to enjoy a slice whilst having a quiet read in the garden.
Rich and dark, this Mexican chocolate pudding is stunningly sensuous. It’s offset wonderfully well with mango slices marinaded in chilli and lime. It’s the perfect dessert for a hot Valentine’s Day date, but also great for entertaining.
If you like just a hint of coffee, but nothing too overpowering, these coffee biscuits are for you. Crunchy biscuits (or cookies if you prefer) are filled with an ultra light whipped coffee chocolate ganache. They are irresistible.
I know you can say it with flowers, but how about saying it with flour? As I’m sure most of us are aware, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. With that in mind, how could I resist the lure of making some Valentine’s Heart Cakes when asked. The recipe comes from the highly industrious, flour and sugar encrusted folk at the Baking Mad site:
“Bakingmad.com is a free mouth-wateringly helpful website that offers everything you want to know about home baking. The site is packed full of hundreds of inspiring recipes including everything from biscuits, breads and cupcakes to muffins, pies and pizzas. All the recipes are tried and tested by the home-baking expert in the Baking Mad kitchen and come with top tips, ‘how to’ videos and easy to follow step-by-step instructions“.
The original recipe was for four heart shaped cakes, but as I only had two heart moulds, I decided to see if the remaining mixture would run to six cupcakes instead. I did add my own twist to the recipe (I just can’t seem to help myself) by adding some ground cardamom to the cake mix and some rose water to the white chocolate icing.
This is how I did it:
- Ground the seeds of 6 cardamom pods with a pestle and mortar.
- Creamed 150g unsalted butter with 150g golden caster sugar and the cardamom until well incorporated.
- Melted 125g 72% dark chocolate in a bowl over hot water with 3 tbsp milk and left to cool slightly (didn’t take long as my kitchen is colder than the fridge at the moment).
- Sieved 200g flour (half plain, half wholemeal), 1 tbsp cocoa, 1 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp bicarb of soda.
- Beat 3 eggs (free range of course & organic) into the creamed mixture one at a time with a spoonful of flour between each egg to prevent curdling.
- Beat in the chocolate mixture.
- Folded in the remaining flour & cocoa.
- Spooned into 2 x 10 cm heart shaped moulds and 6 cupcake cases.
- Baked at 180C for 25 minutes.
- Melted 100g of good quality white chocolate in a bowl over hot water.
- Creamed 140g unsalted butter with 140g icing sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the white chocolate and 1 dessertspoonful of rose water.
- Sliced the cooled cakes in half.
- Sandwiched them together with some of the white chocolate icing.
- Spread the remaining icing over the tops of the cakes and over the cupcakes.
- Using a heart shaped cutter as a guide, sprinkled some pink sugar crystals over the cakes.
- Scattered more of the sugar crystals over the cupcakes.
The recipe was clearly written and easy to follow. Apart from the chocolate icing seizing up on me because of the cold, it all worked brilliantly well and there was just the right amount of cake mix to fill the two cake moulds and six cupcake cases. So not only did I have Valentine’s hearts, I also had Valentine’s cupcakes.
The cakes were delicious and were everything you’d expect a good chocolate cake to be. They were richly chocolatey with a nice close textured crumb which kept its shape when cut. They were moist and very easy to eat! The distinctive rose flavoured icing complemented the subtle cardamom in the sponge. All of the above was true of the cupcakes too.
If neither of these appeal there are plenty of other ideas, both sweet and savoury, for baking up a Valentine’s storm for your loved one over on the Baking Mad site.
This is a sponsored post, but as always, all opinions expressed are my own and I retain full editorial control.