You know what else makes me feel happy, bubbly, and excited? When Thom brings me flowers. By the time I met Thom I had been disappointed in love so many times that I didn't feel the need to celebrate Valentine's Day. Nevertheless he sent roses and gerberas to my office to let me know the day mattered, and I mattered, to him. No, our relationship isn't perfect. But yes, we are stupid for each other. Whenever he brings me flowers for no particular reason he makes me feel like that scene in Julie & Julia when Paul Child (Stanley Tucci) says, "you are the butter to my bread and the breath to my life." Swoon!
|"Happy Valentine's Day! Love, Thomas"|
American Beauty Cupcakes ~ makes approximately 16 cupcakes
1.25 cups whole milk
1 cup cake flour
1/2 cup AP flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder, sifted
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate, melted
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp rose water
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
Rose Flavored American Buttercream
3.5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon rose water
2-3 teaspoons whole milk
food coloring, optional
Notes before you start: these cupcakes will dry out very quickly and are at their peak the same day they are made. If you must store them, store them in an air-tight container and consume as quickly as possible. Which shouldn't be too difficult if... um... you're anything like me.
Preheat oven to 350º F.
Sift together the two flours, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
In a separate bowl cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, combining after each addition. Add melted chocolate and combine. Add half of the milk, gently beat in half of the dry ingredients, then milk. Add remaining dry ingredients and fold in with a rubber spatula.
Divide evenly among cupcake tins, filling each 2/3 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a tester inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.
To prepare the frosting, beat the butter until smooth. Add two cups of confectioner's sugar, one cup at a time, beating until incorporated. Add rose water and continue beating. Add one teaspoon of milk and remaining confectioner's sugar, one cup at a time, beating continuously. Add remaining milk, as needed, until desired consistency is reached. Note: if you like sky-high frosting you should make one and a half times the recipe indicated above.
You can leave the cupcakes as they are now, or if you want to be extra decadent (it is Valentine's Day, after all!) decorate with chocolate hearts. And if you're serving these for a very special Valentine dessert, pair them with Rosa Regale sparkling wine. Rosa Regale, meaning Regal Rose, is a sparkling red wine with notes of berries and roses. It pairs beautifully with chocolate desserts and is absolute magic with these cupcakes.
We don't need a holiday to say "I love you" but just because we love to bake yummy treats for those we love... I hope you'll have a cupcake.