Hello lovers and friends of the world! Tomorrow is Valentine's Day and no one wants a card or a box of chocolates or even flowers. Do you know what people want and need more than anything on Valentine's Day? Food. They need food, specifically homemade sweets. You should make one or all of these delicious treats for the person or people you love! Who do you love? Your mother? Your yoga instructor? Just think -- you could be the King of Valentine's Day! Or Czar even. You could choose your own title because everyone will be so deliriously happy and high on sugar that they'll agree to call you anything you want, probably.
Mango marinated in Rum and Lime
by Laura L
As I am not the best baker in the world, one of the best discoveries I made in my early twenties is that people are super impressed by alcoholic fruit desserts. They seem sophisticated and are easy to make. Any combination of fruit, alcohol you have sitting around, honey/sugar and an acid/herb will end up fing delicious.
1 ripe Mango
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons dark rum (I used some spiced rum that someone left after a party, Cognac is a good choice if you are fancy)
Simply peel the mango and cut it into 1/2 inch slivers. A good way to peel a mango is to cut off each end to make it stand straight up. Then peel off the skin with a small knife and cut the flesh off in wide strips around the pit.
Mix the juice from the lime, mango, rum and sugar in a bowl and put it in the fridge for a few hours. Serve with the zest of the lime in wine glasses if you want to seem classy.
adapted from Jacques Pepin
Gâteau de Crêpes
Not to be confused with a Gato de Crepes, this cake is perfect as a dessert or for breakfast in bed. It’s basically a giant stack of pancakes and whipped cream, made fancy with the addition of liqueur, orange zest, and a little french panache.
For the crepes:
6 large eggs
1 cup of whole milk
½ cup of cream
½ teaspoon of vanilla
1 cup of flour
a pinch of salt
¼ cup of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon of orange zest
For the cream:
2½ cups of cream
½ teaspoon of vanilla
¾ cup of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon of orange zest
1 tablespoon of Grand Marnier, Cointreau, or Triple Sec
Mix the wet (eggs, milk, cream, vanilla, and orange zest) and dry (flour, salt, and sugar) ingredients in separate bowls before combining them. You can use a blender or a mixer or a whisk to combine them, but only stir until everything’s incorporated. A lump here or there never hurt anyone.
To cook them, all you need is a nonstick skillet, butter, and a little finesse. Let your pan heat up to medium and then brush it with a little butter. Pour enough batter in to coat the bottom of the pan then immediately pick it up and swirl it around so that your crepe will be even. Once the bottom has cooked -- you can peak the first few times until you get the hang of things -- flip your crepe and let it cook for half a minute or so on the other side. If you’ve got more than one skillet, but those babies out. It takes a minute or two for the first side of each crepe to cook, so you’ve got plenty of time to start a second one while you wait.
When you’ve cooked all your crepes, whip the cream until it it looks like, er, whipped cream. Fold in your vanilla, orange liqueur, and orange zest and only stir it until it’s juuuuust mixed or else you’ll overmix everything.
Now your ready to start stacking. Layer whipped cream and crepes until you’ve got a cake. Don’t forget to save your prettiest one for the top!
I Like You Pancakes
These pancakes are super easy, which is a requirement for all things that you generally make before the morning caffeine kicks in. I used almond milk, but soy or regular would also work. I also used all whole wheat flour, and they were a little too dense — I would try half whole wheat and half all-purpose flour. I would also recommend using the darkest maple syrup you can get your hands on (if you can find the kind that comes with colour rankings, go for three or higher), because it is delicious and flavourful and worlds better than the flavourless sugar-free crap most grocery stores pass off as something that might have ever come from a tree.
1 cup of flour
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsps baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup almond milk
2 tbsp vegetable oil
fruit (optional as ingredient or topping)
cottage cheese (optional topping)
maple syrup (mandatory)
1. Preheat the oven with an oven-proof plate in it to keep the pancakes warm as you make them. Mix all of the dry ingredients. Add the almond milk and vegetable oil and, if you are going to use fruit, fruit, and stir until just-combined.
2. Spoon the batter into a medium saucepan with a tiny splash of vegetable oil over medium heat. Make sure the pancakes have enough room to spread out a little, and keep them thin, or the middles might stay gloopy. Flip once and cook until lightly browned. When done, remove from pan and place in oven to keep warm.
3. Serve with fruit and real maple syrup. Also, if you like and/or can digest cheese generally, cottage cheese on pancakes is truly excellent. …So I hear.
Hot Chocolate Cupcakes
1 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons corn flour or very fine cornmeal
1/4 cup almond meal
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:
1/2 cup vegan margarine, softened
1/2 cup vegan shortening, softened (I have subbed more margarine for this before, and it turned out ok)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp soymilk (or almond milk, whatever)
1. Preheat the oven to 375F, and fill a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
2. Mix the coconut milk and ground flax seeds together in a medium-large bowl, and leave to sit for 10 minutes or so.
3. In the meantime, mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
4. Add the sugar, oil, vanilla and almond extract to the bowl with the coconut and flax, and then gently stir the wet ingredients into the dry, until they're just mixed. Don't over-stir!
5. Put about a 1/3 cup of batter in each cupcake liner, and bake for 20-25 minutes, turning once about halfway through so they cook evenly. Check with a toothpick to see if they're done!
6. While the cupcakes are baking, you can make the frosting. Cream together the softened shortening and margarine until they're fluffy and well mixed, and then add in the cocoa powder, and continue mixing until it's well incorporated. Then beat in the powdered sugar a 1/2 cup at a time, adding a little bit of soymilk with each addition. When it's totally mixed in to the rest of the frosting, add the next 1/2 cup. The frosting should get fluffier and more voluminous with each addition. Finally, add the vanilla and mix for 5 minutes or so, longer if you're doing it by hand. (If you want to add any extra things for flavor, like almond extract or cayenne, do that now!) Remember not to frost your cupcakes until they're totally 110% cooled, or you will REGRET IT FOREVER.
via Isa Chandra Moskowitz's Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World
Derby Pie with Bourbon Chantilly Cream
There's no better way to express your love than to give someone a pie, Southerner's honor. Here's my rendition of derby pie, which is basically pecan pie with chocolate chips. Seriously, give one to your grandmother.
You can buy pie dough, but really, the best kinds are made from scratch. Show some extra love. Here is a dough you can make from scratch. Wrap and refrigerate it for at least an hour before rolling it out.
Preheat your oven to 375F. Spray your baking vessel thoroughly and roll out the pie dough to 1/4'" thickness. Brush off the excess flour, and transfer the dough to the baking dish. Gently work the dough into the corners. To trim off the excess, use a small knife or roll the rolling pin across the top of the tin. Prick (aka 'dock') the dough several times with a fork. Refrigerate the shell for 30 minutes before filling it.
1/2 cup butter, unsalted, melted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chocolate chips
1.5 cups pecans, chopped
2 tablespoons bourbon
1/4 teaspoon salt
Line the bottom of the pie shell with the chocolate chips. If making mini pies, distribute the chocolate chips evenly between them.
Melt the butter and let it cool. In a mixer, beat the eggs with the butter until homogenized. Add both sugars, flour, and salt, and mix until combined. Remove from the mixer and fold in the pecans and bourbon. Pour the filling into the pie shell. Bake 35 - 40 minutes, or until the pie shell is golden brown and the filling is set. (I chose to make mini pies, so my bake time was much less). Cool completely.
This is best served with a side of Maker's Mark whipped cream. Mhmm.
Bourbon Chantilly Cream:
1 pint of heavy cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2+ tablespoons bourbon
Whip the first three ingredients until it reaches soft peaks, and then remove it from the mixer and fold in the bourbon.
Not gonna lie, this is actually just a really standard delicious vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe. Honestly, the cookie recipe isn't even the most important part of this post - the important thing are these amazing sex position cookie cutters that you can buy from this weird Swedish website. I have owned these for years and so rarely have an opportunity to bust them out, and I figure there is no better way to try to convince a girl to sleep with you than with really suggestive baked goods.
I mean, if you don't buy the cookie cutters, these are still really good cookies.
2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup margarine (melted)
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tsp egg replacer (if you can't find it in stores, you can order it from VeganEssentials.com or use a mashed up banana, but i'm warning you your cookies will taste a little bit like bananas)
4 tbsp warm water
2 cups chocolate chips
1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Mix together.
3. In a smaller bowl, mix the egg replacer and water and mix until it forms a kind of unfortunate-looking whitish liquid that is similar in consistency to a cracked egg (sorry).
4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, white sugar, margarine, vanilla and egg replacer/water mixture. Stir thoroughly, then slowly sift in your dry ingredients, still stirring all the while. You should end up with a smooth, lump-free cookie batter. Feel free to stir in your chocolate chips.
5. See, here's the thing I figured out about the relationship between these cookies and these cookie cutters: if you cut the shapes first and bake later, you're going to end up with weird flat distorted cookies that have risen in all sorts of weird ways. My (lazy) solution is to just make a big flat sheet of cookie, and cut the shapes right when they're freshly baked and still pliable. So you're gonna spray a cookie sheet, then roll out your cookie dough into one solid sheet of delicious. I added sprinkles cos I have a lot of sprinkles and was feeling festive. You can decorate however you like.
6. Bake for about 20ish minutes (maybe up to 5 minutes more) until the cookie (singular) is nice and golden brown. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack - and now CAREFULLY prepare to cut out your shapes and place them gingerly on a plate for cooling. As for all the unused outline cookie bits, well, those are the SFW cookies you can share with friends, coworkers, roommates, and other people you're less inclined to not-so-subtly seduce with baked goods. They're not neat, normal-looking cookies but they're delicious and nobody cares.
With optional sour cream topping
This is a simple-ish recipe to make, provided you live with my roommate Cate who saved the day by knowing how to do things like "separate eggs" and convert measurements off the top of her head.
+ butter to grease the pan
+ graham cracker crust (basically just crushed graham crackers and melted butter mixed together)
+ 4 eggs, separated
+ 3 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
+ grated zest and lemon juice (1)
+ 1 cup sugar
+ 1 tablespoon flour
+ 2 cups sour cream (optional)
+ 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
Preheat the oven to 325F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan, or, if you don't know what that is (like me), pick a pan that looks like it could hold a cheesecake in it. If you do this, you may need to cut your recipe in half and make 2 cheesecakes, like I did. Press the crust onto the pan.
Mix the egg yolks until they're light, add the cream cheese and lemon zest and juice, and then the sugar and beat until smooth. Stir in the flour.
Beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. If you, like me, do not know what that means, then I suggest you borrow my roommate Cate, who will tell you that it is when you beat them until it's frothy, and when you hold your fork upside down, they should be solid enough to look like the peak of a small mountain. If this still doesn't make sense, then google it.
Gently add them to the mixture, then pour the mixture on top of the crust and spread evenly. Now, put the pan inside a larger pan so that the pan with the cake sits comfortably. Fill the bottom pan with warm water so that it touches the bottom of the other pan. Bake for 1 hour, or if you did 2 cheesecakes then try 20-25 minutes each.
Now this is if you want to include the sour cream topping. Turn the oven up to 450F. Combine the sour cream with the vanilla and spread it on the top of the cake. Put it in the oven for 10 minutes, without the water bath. Let the cake cool and put it in the fridge because this tastes 100% better when it's cold!
Recipe from Mark Bittman
Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes
by Sarah Croce
For the Cupcakes:
1 cup Guinness stout
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (Vegan butter, found in almost all grocery stores)
¾ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoons salt
2 eggs (or see below)
2/3 cup sour cream (or see below)
VEGAN SOUR CREAM (instead of eggs and sour cream)*
1 (10 1/2 ounce) package lite silken soft tofu
1 tablespoon canola or olive oil
4 to 5 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sweetener
1/2 teaspoon salt
*Diligent commenter dazyndara pointed out that Guinness is not always vegetarian/vegan-friendly. According to BARNIVORE, Guinness Extra Stout North America IS vegan friendly, but most other varieties are not so be careful! You can check out their full list here.
For the Whiskey Ganache Filling:
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/3 cup heavy cream (Vegan option: Soy, almond, or coconut milk mixed with 1/2 tsp of a clear vinegar)
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature (Vegan Butter)
2 teaspoons Irish whiskey
For the Baileys Frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (Vegan butter)
5 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream (Kahlua! Or any coffee flavored liquor)
These are absolutely NOT on the Dinah Diet. Also, they are a bitch to make, but they will definitely get you laid. Weigh your priorities carefully.
1. To Make the Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring the Guinness and butter to a simmer in a heavy, medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
2. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl to combine. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sour cream on medium speed until combined/ Beat the tofu, oil, lemon juice, vinegar, agave, and salt in a large bowl until as smooth as possible. If it needs more liquid to be smoother add soy, almond, or coconut milk. Sweetened versions are fine since these are for a dessert. Add the Guinness-chocolate mixture to the egg / Tofu mixture and beat just to combine. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture and beat briefly. Using a rubber spatula, fold the batter until completely combined. Divide the batter among the cupcake liners. Bake until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Cool the cupcakes on a rack.
3. To Make the Whiskey Ganache Filling: Finely chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Pour the "Cream" and the butter over it. Cook it in a double boiler until all of the chocolate melts. Add whiskey and stir until combined. Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped.
NOTE: I had to put it in the freezer for about 20 minutes.
4. To Fill the Cupcakes: Using your thumb poke holes in the middle of the cupcakes. Transfer the ganache to a piping back with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top. Or perhaps do it by hand...
5. To Make the Baileys Frosting: Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Reduce the speed to medium-low and gradually add the powdered sugar until all of it is incorporated. Add the Baileys, increase the speed to medium-high and whip for another 2 to 3 minutes, until it is light and fluffy.
NOTE: I had to use a whole extra box of powdered sugar because the mixture was still too runny to frost with. I suggest either cutting the amount of "butter" down or adding an extra box of powdered sugar AND refrigerating for about 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
6. Using your favorite decorating tip, or an offset spatula, frost the cupcakes and decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Store the cupcakes in an airtight container. Or just bring them to a superbowl party and watch as your friends devour them and say things like, "These can't be vegan, they're too good." "Wait, there's tofu in here??"
"TASTES LIKE A CARBOMB OF DELICIOUSNESS"
adapted from browneyedbaker.com
What's your favorite food to create or consume on this obnoxious yet delicious day of love? Tell us in the comments!