While the cupcake market may have reached its saturation point, it's safe to say most people aren't over the cupcake craze and are still as likely to bake a dozen at home as they were a few years ago. If you're yearning for something other than run-of-the-mill vanilla and chocolate, then take a look at these unique recipes — from vegan alternatives like pumpkin and chocolate-chip cupcakes to booze-filled ones like Champagne cupcakes. Prepare to bust out the muffin tin!
It's one thing to light some candles on Valentine's Day, but why not ignite the passion by setting your dessert aflame? Get the mood going with these torched, fiery, and flambéed sweets that are guaranteed to heat things up — in the kitchen and beyond.
— Additional reporting by Lisette Mejia
I recently made crème brûlée and found myself with several leftover egg whites. I'm apt to skip scrambled egg whites and am a bigger fan of confections, which is why I decided to make meringue cookies. Ever since I made meringue-topped cakes, I can't get the fluffy stuff out of my head. Crisp on the outside and foamy on the inside, a bite of these meringue cookies will satisfy your sweet tooth without overindulging in something butter-filled. While the cookies are excellent on their own (or even with a glass of Champagne), I also recommend pairing them with tart strawberries and raspberries.
If you've never made meringue before, the most important thing to remember is the egg whites must be completely yolk-free. In addition, make sure your bowl and whisk attachment are clean, dry, and free from any residual oil. Fat is the enemy of fluffy meringue and will prevent the whites from whipping, which is why you must take preventative measures. Keep reading to see the recipe.
Though I've made many a soufflé in my years — I distinctly remember tackling goat cheese soufflés at the tender age of 11, oblivious about their diva reputation — each and every time I pull a batch out of the oven, my heart goes aflutter. These lofty, lemony, and all around lovely soufflés are no exception. Something magical happens as they undergo their heat-induced transformation from frothy, fluffy batter to delicate and airy pastry. And while they're utterly lovely unadorned, a drizzle of bright and tangy raspberry coulis takes them over the top, with a minimum of fuss — seriously, if you have five minutes to spare, you have time to make the sauce.
So what are you waiting for? Put your soufflé skepticism aside and whip them up posthaste — they're (and you're) worth it. Experience the magical transformation from batter to beauty yourself.
What's chocolate looking like as we enter Valentine's Day 2013? Imagine nut-butter fillings, tea-infused ganaches, and bean-to-bar chocolates — to name a few delicious decadences. Get ready to feast your eyes on the most captivating bars, bonbons, and truffles. What are you waiting for? It's time to treat yourself to eight chocolate trends!
This Valentine's Day, create a sweet tablescape inspired by the romance of the holiday. Join our host Brandi Milloy as she preps for a dessert party complete with rose petals, florals, romance novels, and love letters. See what's being served — chocolate-dipped strawberries, sugar-coated candies, white-chocolate-enrobed pretzels, and cherry-garnished flutes of Champagne, for a start! — and learn how to re-create it all when you watch our video.
Special thanks to Edward Marc Chocolatier, Paper & Pigtails by Kori Clark, and Sweet and Saucy Shop. On Brandi: dress by Givenchy from Forward by Elyse Walker, necklace by Capwell & Co, bracelets by Kenneth Jay Lane. Featured music: Showstopper by Brandon & Leah.
I know what you're thinking: what the heck is a coulis, and why should I care? Put simply, a coulis is a silky-smooth, uncooked sauce that can be made up of fruits or vegetables (though fruit is more common). In regards to why you should care, few recipes provide more jaw-dropping results for the amount of effort expended. Little more than a whir in the blender and a pass through a strainer separates you from a versatile flavor-packed sauce that can perk up a variety of treats.
I've been known to eat it straight from the jar, but for a more refined option, try drizzling raspberry coulis on nearly anything sweet. Some of my favorite ways to use up the ruby-hued beauty of a sauce include drizzled over lemon soufflés, vanilla ice cream, or angel food cake; I even love it swirled into plain yogurt or atop a bowl of fresh fruit.
With their vibrant colors and lacy frills, dainty, crisp-crusted French macarons are the perfect Valentine's Day baking project. But these lovely little delicacies are temperamental enough to stump even the most accomplished chefs. Even if you follow a detailed recipe down to the letter, a batch of macarons can go very wrong very quickly. Thanks to humidity, an unreliable oven temperature gauge, or an overly enthusiastic stirring hand, you may find yourself facing macaron-ageddon rather than baking bliss. But before you throw in the tea towel, we've assembled a few tips to solve your sugary conundrums.
You may think that fondue is a special-occasion food that you can only get for a hefty sum at a white-tablecloth restaurant, but there's another way to dip goodies in that decadent, warm chocolate sauce.
Instead of investing in a fancy fondue pot, try making the fondue in a small saucepan.
Keep reading to see the recipe — no fondue pot required.
Valentine's Day involves going all out to show your loved one you care, and this floral pudding cake with fluffy meringue surely does just that. It's a mouthful that's as delicious as it sounds.
The recipe holds true to the original, from an enchanting cookbook called Vintage Cakes, but I changed up the flavor profile quite a bit so that these pudding cakes taste of chamomile and rose (instead of lemon). If you have access to edible roses, sprinkle the petals throughout the cake. Otherwise, the rose water will be strong enough to express that floral flavor.
If you've never made a pudding cake before, here's the deal. There's only one cake batter involved, so you don't need to make both a pudding and a cake. When the batter bakes in the ramekin, half of it rises to the surface to form a cake, while the bottom half remains viscous and pudding-like.
But this is no ordinary pudding cake — it's topped with marshmallow-y meringue, which is lightly toasted in the broiler. The meringue is so pillowy, sweet, and addictive that you should just plan on scraping the bowl clean.
Once the cakes emerge from the oven, it's extremely fun to crack them open and scoop up a bite. Impress your Valentine this year by making this three-tiered treat.