Happy Valentines Day everyone! Roses, Strawberries, and chocolate always come to mind when I think of Valentines Day. Chocolate covered strawberries all of a sudden pop up everywhere and the price of flowers become double the price than they were last week. I’m not a fan of chocolate covered strawberries as I feel the strawberries are too tart with the chocolate so how about dark chocolate cupcakes with strawberry frosting and… why not throw in some vanilla bean cupcakes?? After eating that yummy steak dinner and downing that large glass of wine, what’s more romantic than feeding each other bite sized cupcakes with little hearts on them…
I also made some espresso bean chocolate hearts to make the cupcakes look more festive. It’s so simple and makes the cupcakes look that much more special. Remember, Valentines Day isn’t just for couples. Show your friends love and don’t be afraid to tell someone you love them 🙂
Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
With half the recipe, you get about 10 tall mini cupcakes. Regular recipe gets about 15 regular sized cupcakes.
I used this recipe, but didn’t add the chocolate ganache filling and also cut the recipe in half.
1/2 C. (1 bar) unsalted butter, softened
8 0z. (1 brick) cream cheese, softened
3 C. powdered sugar, softened
1 C. frozen strawberries, thawed
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. strawberry liqueur
In a small pot, heat the strawberries and sugar until strawberries are heated and the sugar is melted. Using a fork or a potato smasher, mash the strawberries until they almost look like jam. Let simmer for about a minute. Take the pot off the heat and stir in the strawberry liqueur and set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, cream the butter until fluffy and light yellow. Add in the sifted powdered sugar and beat, 1 cup at a time until you feel the frosting is sweet enough. Add the vanilla and 2 tablespoons of the strawberry mixture. Mix until combined. Feel free to add more of the strawberry mixture, but do not put in all of it as the frosting will become too runny.
Vanilla Bean Cupcakes:
I cut the recipe in half and ended up with about 30 mini cupcakes
Adapted from Dinnerordessert.com
2 1/4 c. cake flour or all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 c. whole milk, room temperature
4 egg whites, room temperature 1 stick of butter, softened
1 1/2 c. sugar seeds from one vanilla bean 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt together.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk and egg whites.
In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla bean seeds at medium speed until butter and sugar is light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla extract and one third of the flour mixture and mix well. Beat in half of the milk/egg mixture and then beat in half of the remaining flour mixture. Add the rest of the milk and eggs and beat mixture until it is smooth. Then add the last of the flour mixture and beat until smooth. Pour batter into cupcake tins.
Vanilla Bean Frosting:
Same as Strawberry Frosting, but omit the strawberry mixture. Instead, add seeds from one vanilla bean.
Chocolate Espresso Hearts:
1 C. semisweet chocolate chips
2 Tbsp. cream
1 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. espresso bean, coarsely ground
In a small pot, melt chocolate chips, and cream. Add honey and stir. Turn off the heat and add the espresso beans. Let the chocolate mixture slightly cool.
Line a cookie pan with silpat mat or wax paper.
When the chocolate mixture is slightly cooled, pour it into a freezer ziplock bag or a pastry bag. Cut the tip so that there is a very small opening. Pipe whatever shapes you want and place the pan into the refrigerator so the chocolate hardens, about 30 minutes. When they’ve hardened, you can use a spatula to lift them off.