February 3, 2011

{Sweet Treats} Valentine's Cupcakes and Cocktails

Recently, my husband and I were treated to a pre-Valentine's date (with 40 other people!) courtesy of Driscoll's (the berry people) and Chambord (the raspberry liqueur people).  Cathy Riva, a celebrity party planner, guided us all through a 3D cupcake decorating session.  Usually the thought of decorating cupcakes (especially in heart form) would send my husband running the other way, but complimentary drinks and good company (Jackie from The Diva That Ate NY and Marc from No Recipes were also there) enticed him to come.
(photo credit:  Peter Doyle Photography)
The Chambord berry cocktails were beautiful - we were treated to vodka sodas (with Chambord-flavored vodka), classic Chambord and Champagne cocktail, and a sweeter drink named La Societe (recipe below).  I liked seeing the various ways the berries were used to decorate the space - berries in glasses, vases, and on Styrofoam balls made for some easy yet effective decor.
Photos clockwise from top left: J and I in cupcake form; another Chambord and Champagne cocktail; J and I in people form; event planner Cathy Riva leads us in the cupcake decorating session (photo credit: Peter Doyle Photography)
Onto cupcake decorating!  We were each given two different shapes of strawberry cakes (recipe below) - one made in a regular muffin pan (holds 12), and the other made with the Wilton Dimensions 6-Cup Cast-Aluminum Mini-Hearts Pan.

Binding the two shapes together with icing turned the cakes into a 3D cupcake.  Decorating them was fun - with icing, the tastiest blackberries, raspberries, and icing sugar, I think we ate more of the ingredients than what was put on our cupcakes!  Can you tell which one of us (my husband or myself) made which cupcake on the top left?

We had fun and think that the 3D cupcakes are so easy to make and decorate with children (or kids at heart!) Happy Valentine's Day!

Fresh Strawberry 3D Cupcakes
Ingredients (serves 12)

2 1/4 cups cake flour, sifted
1/4 t salt
2 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 t vanilla extract
3/4 cup fresh Driscoll’s strawberries, crushed

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hr

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Sift together: flour, salt, and baking powder.
In a separate bowl, combine butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
Beat for a total of 3 minutes, scrapping the sides of the bowl.
Then add flour mixture to creamed mixture, alternating with fresh Driscoll’s strawberries.

Beat for two minutes.
. Pour batter into two Wilton Dimensions 6 heart pan and one 12-cup cupcake pan greased and floured.
Bake in pre-heated oven for 30 minutes, or until cake tests done.
. Turn out on to wire cooling racks to cool.
. When cool assemble heart cupcakes with round cupcakes

Icing Ingredients:
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup low-fat spreadable margarine
1 t vanilla extract
2 T fat free milk

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients with a hand mixer and continue mixing until smooth and creamy.

To assemble the 3D cupcakes:
1. Cut off the top of the round cupcakes.
2. Then slice a slight angle to the the bottom of the heart-shaped cupcake.
3. Use a quarter size dollop of icing on round cupcake bottom to attach heart-shaped cupcake as the top.
4. Decorate with icing, confectioner’s sugar, fresh berries, etc.

1 comment:

  1. So fancy and cute. This would make anybody want to whip up Vday treats. Or just cocktails. :)


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