Happy almost Valentine's Day!
I think I've mentioned in years past that the hubby and I don't really celebrate Valentine's Day. I mean, he doesn't buy me flowers and chocolate, and we don't go out on this holiday. Valentine's Day is one of the worst holidays to go out for.Everywhere is crowded, the food always sucks because the restaurants are crowded, and on top of that, they are trying to rush you out to bring in even more couples on the holiday. No, thank you is our philosophy.
But that doesn't mean we don't acknowledge the day. I always make something special at home, and we simply enjoy each other's company. Without the saccharine sweet of the commercial holiday. Dinner is almost always steak on Valentine's Day, and I always make a dessert. I seemed to have the same idea as other food bloggers this year, because my news feed has been clogged with Red Velvet recipes for the last week. I originally opted for a mug cake. Which turned out terrible. This picture is not too bad-
Bu this experiment was more like a hockey puck than it was cake. Plus the outer edges of the cake had a weird, moist texture. I wasn't very pleased. It could be because I substituted regular flour for self-rising, a grated Hershey bar for cocoa, and milk for buttermilk...
Yeah, that must have been it :)
So I did what I always do. I tried again.
I used the correct ingredients. Funny how using the correct ingredients almost always results in an improvement. I also decided to make these mini cakes in the oven. They baked really fast, and the texture was definitely enhanced. Add whip cream in the middle and on top of the cake, and I had myself a winning dessert. This recipe yields 2 mini cakes, so it's perfect for yourself and someone special.
FYI- that hockey puck picture? The only thing I liked about that cake was the bright red color. Which I've since put together that the vivid color was due to the lack of cocoa powder. As you can see from the picture above, the cake turns a much more dark red once you've added the cocoa powder. And believe you me, I preferred the cake with cocoa powder!
I'll tell you something else- making whipped cream is a dream with a stand mixer. I used to use a hand mixer before I got the ol' stand mixer, and it took me forever to whip cream. Now, I put it all in the stand mixer and it seems to whip in minutes. Plus, it's hands-off minutes, so I usually have a chance to clean whatever mess I've made. Yes, the stand mixer has been a dream to add to my kitchen. If you do decide to go the whipped cream route, I highly recommend cutting the mini-cakes in half, sandwiching with whipped cream, and then "frosting" the cakes with the cream. An immensely delicious route to go.
Yummy, yummy whipped cream.
I mean, doesn't this make you want cake, like, this second? Maybe it's just me...
Time for an update on the car. My dad used to be a factory service rep for General Motors, so he fired off an email to me as soon as he read Wednesday's post. He advised us to call the dealership, and put pressure on them by letting them know we were going to contact Nissan directly. While this tactic did garner us a phone call from the Sales Manager and later the Service Manager, we still didn't really get any answers. In fact, we got accusations as the Service Manager swears up and down he told us four weeks. Uh, the hubby had you on speaker phone, and no, you did not say that. Not only that, but my dad informed me it was illegal to put a used engine in a new car according to the warranty. So, we did decide to contact Nissan directly. We have heard back, we've received a claim number, and in general, we are feeling a bit more optimistic. It really sucks we live in a society where you have to escalate issues like this. Just give good customer service in the first place, and no one has to contact your corporate office.
Have a fantastic weekend everyone! Our Valentine's menu will include Bacon-Wrapped Filet Mignon, steamed artichokes, and these wonderful, mini red velvet cakes-
Ingredients (makes 2 mini-cakes):
1 large egg
3 tbsp canola oil
3 tbsp buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp red food coloring
1/4 cup self-rising flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
topping- whipped cream or vanilla ice cream (optional but recommended)
1. Preheat oven to 350º. Coat 2 small oven-safe ramekins with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In a small mixing bowl. combine egg through food coloring. Whisk to combine. In a separate small bowl, combine flour through salt. Whisk to combine.
3. Add dry ingredients to wet. Mix until well-incorporated. Mix in the apple cider vinegar.
4. Divide batter between 2 ramekins. Place ramekins on a cookie sheet, and place in oven. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out with moist crumbs. Remove from heat, and allow to cool for 30 minutes. Remove cake from ramekins.
5. Serve cakes with whipped cream or ice cream, if using. Serve immediately.
|Recipe adapted from Epicurious.|
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