Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Valentine Cupcakes

One of life's many contradictions, I refuse to celebrate Valentine's day, yet this year found me making a batch of time and love intensive cupcakes.  Hmmmm, go figure. 

Whilst I am entirely an un-romantic soul, probably upsetting other people frequently with my tirades against valentine's day, I did have fun making these. 

I was asked to make them by a lady that I work with, who unlike me is not a git about V day.

The large cakes are a red velvet cupcake (mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm) which seemed to suit the occassion perfectly with that lovely rich romantic colouring. 

These were then topped with cream cheese icing, and nice big, rather heavy chocolate love hearts.   I made these myself from white chocolate which I coloured.  I then hand moulded each one separately.

The finishing touches were to then sprinkle a few little sugar love hearts around and about over each one.  6 large red velvet in total, in red foil cases. Perfect.

I also made chocolate roses out of the same colour dyed white chocolate, which I placed on top of vanilla, smaller cupcakes, which had a swirl of marshmallow icing on top. 

 The third and final cake type, was a chocolate sponge which I piped high and swirly marshmallow icing over, then sprinkled again with the sugar love hearts.  

I think the three sets together made a lovely selection that would melt any romatic heart! 

And, I rather enjoyed myself!  Maybe next year I will allow valentine's Day into my house .... but just for the cake!

There's something wriggling on my plate...

I would like to start this post very immediately, very firmly, by stating, THIS IS NOT one of mine! 
On the other hand, could I pass up the opportunity to share? ... I think the answer, evidently, is no!

For all those who's names are not Peter Bickerton, and do not already know what the above is... it is a chocolate meal worm cake.

My my what an interesting world it is that we live in!

I work with Peter, and recently he gave a public talk titled Inr-Edible Insects.

Peter is mad incredibly passionate about Thought for Food, an organisation attempting to think outside of the box about ways in which we can improve the world's food sources, and the crisis which many areas of the world face leading to hunger and starvation.

The organisation can be found on facebook or at

But I will leave it there as to the cause, before I turn those who are disinterested bored.  Suffice to say it is a fascinating area, incredible to learn more about, and the talk is well worth watching (available on youtube).

Peter is also quite passionate about eating insects, and so alongside the talk Peter gave, he provided refreshments....

not the usual sort.

There were sweet chilli locusts.
Sweet and sour crickets.
Some other kind of cricket.
and once done with the savoury, the cake.  And well, I had to put it on here!
This lead to somewhat a moral dilemma for me.  I have been vegetarian for about 15 years, with a short blip around 9 years ago where I ate meat for around 3 months duration, before returning to the veggie ways.
However, I am generally of the opinion that if someone provides you the opportunity to try something that you will only get to do once or at the very least not again for  very very long time, I firmly believe that you should take that opportunity.  (Clearly here the old adage "if your friend Joe Bloggs jumped off a cliff/stuck hand in fire (etc)  would you do it too? suggests that some things are better left unexperienced, but you get the picture, within reason, I like to try new things!)

Sadly I couldn't quite bring myself to take this opportunity, and alongside feeling like a fraud having just said you should always take such opportunity, I had to be informed by others of the experience.

I am informed that the mealworm cake tasted like it just had crunchy bits like hazelnuts in it.  And apparently the crickets and locusts were pretty good too.

All in all a fascinating afternoon! and some new taste sensations for a lot of my colleagues.

Dont forget to check out Thought for Food!  And keep an eye out for those locust peddling lads!