So, Valentine's Day is tomorrow, and I'm still struggling to decide what to make for our fancier-than-usual at home dinner. Times like these I wish I wasn't so darn indecisive. The only real criteria for the meal is that it's somehow a splurge - either in the amount of time invested to make it, or in the ingredients used. In years past, I've often chosen red meat, which is something we very rarely eat, and then used it in a recipe that took me the better part of an afternoon to put together. For whatever reason I'm actually leaning toward seafood instead this year, but that's about as far as I've narrowed it. I'm thinking I might just go to the store with an open mind, see what they have that looks good, and go from there. What's your favorite seafood dish to cook at home??
While dinner may be up in the air, dessert rarely is around here :) At any given time, there's usually 2 or 3 options, and this year will likely be no different. I made these champagne cupcakes for the first time around New Year's Day, but never took photos. Since I think they're just as fun (and appropriate) for Valentine's Day, I made them again to share with you. I almost always scale recipes but the best thing about this one is that I don't have to - it only makes 4 cupcakes! I received some really fun heart-shaped edible glitter for Christmas that would have been so perfect on top of these cupcakes, but once I'd made the rose-like pattern with the frosting, the glitter seemed like overkill.
Speaking of the frosting, I used a Wilton 2D tip to create the rose-like design. It's super easy, promise! I used the same technique you see in this video.
If you're still looking for a last minute dessert for your Valentine, here are a few of my other favorites:
Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Triple-Chocolate Chocolate Pudding
Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting (Fair warning, I made these for Halloween one year and frosted some of them to look like brains.)
Molten Chocolate Cakes for Two
Chocolate Mascarpone Stuffed French Toast with Strawberry Topping
Champagne Cupcakes for Two
cupcakes and frosting barely adapted from Dessert for Two (via Eat, Live, Run)
1/4 cup canola (or vegetable) oil
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 tablespoons champagne
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
few drops almond extract
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
pinch baking soda
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
2-3 teaspoons champagne
Preheat oven to 350 F. Place 4 paper liners in the wells of a cupcake pan.
Add the oil, sugar and salt to a medium bowl. Beat with a hand mixer for 1-2 minutes, or until very well combined. Add the egg, champagne, vanilla, and almond extract to bowl, then beat until the mixture is smooth. Sprinkle the flour, baking powder and baking soda on top of the batter and beat just until combined.
Divide the batter evenly among the 4 liners, filling each about 2/3-3/4 full. Bake the cupcakes for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cupcakes cool for a few minutes before removing them to the rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting: Add the butter, sugar and 2 teaspoons of the champagne to a medium bowl. Starting on low speed, and gradually increasing, beat the mixture until light and fluffy. You can add the remaining teaspoon of champagne as necessary if you want to adjust the consistency (I went with about 2 1/2 total teaspoons). Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a decorative tip. Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes.
Makes 4 cupcakes