holidays & recipes: valentine raspberry cupcakes

Valentine Raspberry Cupcakes Food Photography that Tastes Good

When I home schooled my two, now young men, I was grateful to avoid the trappings of grade school birthdays and holidays. Once I received a panicked phone call, from a dear friend, at 10pm on the eve of Valentine’s Day: “I have to make 29 cupcakes for Valentine’s Day! What do I do?!” A big sigh on my part….”I’ll be right over.”

We went to the only market open at that hour, purchased the ingredients, baked and decorated 30 cupcakes. We did this while sipping wine and the late evening turned into a joyful time spent together. While admiring our finished product my friend moaned, “Great….now they are going to ask me to do this again!” The cupcakes looked marvelous and were fairly simple to make.

As I was leaving I told my dear friend that she must plan ahead a bit. She, jokingly said, “You should open a baking emergency 911 business.” In the words of Linguini from Ratatouille, “Nopety, Nopety, No.” I am fond of my friend so I shared her dilemma, but home schooling had its perks and one of them was that I never had to stress about baking cupcakes again.

With a little planning you can create these beautiful cupcakes without the last minute stress. Bake them for your child’s class, your office or for your family. You will find much love returned to you.

Bloggers We Adore: MyFudo’s Editors Choice Award goes to…

My Sweet Saucy offers a plenitude of amazing cupcakes for your viewing pleasure. We are in love with her Valentine’s Day cupcakes and once you take a look you’ll understand. The blog is very well put together and a visual feast. Melody Brandon, the incredible talent behind My Sweet Saucy is an accomplished pastry chef who shares her creations through her blog and at her shop, Sweet and Saucy Shop. Your jaw will drop when you view her stunning confections. It was fun to learn that Melody is expecting a little girl due on March 8th, which also happens to be Camille’s birthday. Our best wishes to Melody!

Alicia, from Bakeaholic is a true lover of baking. We know this because she states, “I would rather buy baking and cooking utensils or supplies than clothes. Seriously.” We love Alicia’s enthusiasm for food. Her blog is clean and crisp. And, her baked goods are homemade deliciousness. OK, so we haven’t actually had a taste test, but they certainly look quite delicious! Take a look at Alicia’s beautiful Queen of Hearts cupcakes. You’ll want to sink your teeth into the devil’s food cake and vanilla frosting.

52 Kitchen Adventure is a blog worth visiting for its culinary spirit of …well…adventure! During the year 2010 Stephanie, the explorer behind the blog, researched one unusual ingredient each week. She shared her adventures in her blog. When 2010 ended the project ended. But Stephanie’s passion for food continues as she explores the use of “seasonal ingredients, cooking from scratch and eating as healthy as possible while having a big sweet tooth.” We were looking for an alternative recipe for Valentine’s Day cup cakes and found a flourless chocolate cake recipe at 52 Kitchen Adventures. Stephanie includes a fantastic photo tutorial with the recipe.

How to set up the Shot:

1. White Cake Stand: Bought at Rosanna’s
2. Background Paper for Food Props: Savage Background Paper
3. Under Paper/Cloth (Floral Fabrics) From Fashion Fabrics Club

Raspberry Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting and Pink Chocolate Hearts (Adapted from Martha Stewart)

Raspberry Cupcakes

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/4 cups sugar
6 large eggs
2 containers (6 ounces each) raspberries, 1 container pureed, 1 container coarsely chopped

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with baking cups.

2. Whisk together flours, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir together milk and vanilla in a small bowl. Beat butter with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add sugar in a slow, steady stream, and beat until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl, and beat until smooth.

3. Reduce speed to low, and add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour. Fold in pureed and chopped raspberries and a small drop of food coloring.

4. Divide batter among baking cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks for 15 minutes. Remove cupcakes, and let cool completely.

Chocolate Frosting

Ingredients

24 ounces Nestle semisweet chocolate morsels
4 cups whipping cream
1 teaspoon light corn syrup

Directions

1. Place chocolate morsels and cream in a heavy saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until combined and thickened, between 20 and 25 minutes. Increase the heat to medium low; cook, stirring, 3 minutes more. Remove pan from heat.

2. Stir in corn syrup. Transfer frosting to a large metal bowl. Chill until cool enough to spread, about 2 hours, checking and stirring every 15 to 20 minutes. Use immediately

Pink Chocolate Hearts

1. Trace the inside of a 2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter onto parchment 30 times using a pencil. Flip parchment, and transfer to a baking sheet.

2. Melt 4 ounces chopped white chocolate in a double boiler or heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Let cool slightly. Color with pink food coloring (we prefer the gel form available at craft stores) Transfer a piping bag and snip a tip to make a small hole.

3. Pipe chocolate into hearts, following outlines and filling in with squiggles (be sure squiggles are at least 1/4 inch thick so hearts won’t break when removed).

4. Freeze hearts until set, about 15 minutes. Remove hearts using an offset spatula. Makes 30

How to get this Food Photography Shot:

ApertureFNumber: f/4.0
Guest Blogger/Photographer: Ruth Black
Make: Canon
Model: Canon EOS 7D
ExposureTime: 1/15
FNumber: 4/1
ExposureProgram: 3
ISOSpeedRatings: 100
MaxApertureValue: 3/1
MeteringMode: 5
Flash: 16
FocalLength: 100/1

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52 comments

  • February 7, 2012 at 1:52 pm //

    Wow! Thank you for your kind words :) I’m so happy you enjoy my blog and baking adventures! I love your attention to each shot you take and adding the information for others! I need to seriously upgrade my camera and work on my photography skills in the future. Your cupcakes looks delicious and I love the bright pink chocolate hearts! Perfect for any Valentine

  • February 7, 2012 at 4:19 pm //

    lovely, lovely, lovely! happy (early) Valentine’s Day!

  • February 7, 2012 at 7:03 pm //

    Beautiful cupcakes:)

  • February 7, 2012 at 8:31 pm //

    beautiful Yummy cupcakes :)

  • February 7, 2012 at 9:33 pm //

    I love this little story – and the moral of the story. And how pretty are these cupcakes?!! Gorgeous! The recipe sounds as delicious as they look!

  • February 7, 2012 at 10:48 pm //

    Wow, these are gorgeous! I love the frosting, it looks so yummy already. Great job with the deco!

  • February 7, 2012 at 11:54 pm //

    Beautiful. Raspberry and chocolate together is absolutely wonderful!

  • February 8, 2012 at 2:41 am //

    Aaaawww, now I want some! They’re so cute!

  • February 8, 2012 at 4:45 am //

    They Look gorgeous..perfect valentine treat …very beautifully captured.

  • February 8, 2012 at 5:57 am //

    Lovely shot! I love the pink heart decoration. Perfect for Valentine’s!

  • February 8, 2012 at 6:07 am //

    These are just lovely!

    • February 8, 2012 at 2:53 pm //

      Thanks you so much for commenting Dana! = )

  • February 8, 2012 at 6:24 am //

    Wow! These cupcakes look amazing! Just beautiful!

    • February 8, 2012 at 9:21 am //

      Thank you so much for commenting Jill = )

    • February 8, 2012 at 9:21 am //

      Romance is in the Air, thank you for commenting Anh.

    • February 8, 2012 at 9:21 am //

      Thank you so much for commenting, hope you have a fab V-day!

  • February 8, 2012 at 8:24 am //

    These cupcakes are adorable! You always have such great recipes, sounds yummy!

    • February 8, 2012 at 9:02 am //

      Hi Lacy, raspberry and chocolate go so well together, thank you so much for commenting.

  • February 8, 2012 at 11:14 am //

    Terrific photo – gorgeous colors. Good work. And the cupcakes? They look pretty good too! Thanks for this.

    • February 8, 2012 at 2:54 pm //

      Thanks you so much for commenting = ) Are you doing anything fabulous for V-Day?

  • February 8, 2012 at 11:39 am //

    So gorgeous! Very romantic and sweet and I love the photo.

    • February 8, 2012 at 2:53 pm //

      Thanks you so much for commenting Emma = ) How have you been?

  • February 8, 2012 at 12:08 pm //

    They look amazing!

    • February 8, 2012 at 2:52 pm //

      Thanks you so much for commenting = )

    • February 8, 2012 at 2:52 pm //

      Thank you Yadsia.

    • February 9, 2012 at 8:27 am //

      Thank you so much for commenting Kiran. Have a fab, fab V-day!

  • February 8, 2012 at 6:50 pm //

    These cupcakes are so cute, i love the small heart decoration!

    • February 9, 2012 at 8:27 am //

      Thank you so much for commenting El Pasticcio! Have a fab, fab V-day!

  • February 8, 2012 at 9:05 pm //

    Gorgeous! The pink hearts make these so festive and special.

    • February 9, 2012 at 8:26 am //

      Holiday baking is so much fun Monica. Thank you so much for commenting! Have a fab, fab V-day!

  • February 8, 2012 at 10:42 pm //

    Those cupcakes are adorable and look delicious. I think anyone would be thrilled to be able to eat them!

    • February 9, 2012 at 8:26 am //

      Thank you so much for commenting Pauline. Have a fab, fab V-day!

  • February 8, 2012 at 11:34 pm //

    Gorgeous!

    • February 9, 2012 at 8:26 am //

      Thank you so much for commenting Tina! Have a fab, fab V-day!

  • February 8, 2012 at 11:53 pm //

    These are almost too pretty to eat!

    • February 9, 2012 at 8:25 am //

      Thank you so much for commenting Danelle! Have a fab, fab V-day!

  • February 9, 2012 at 1:00 am //

    Beautiful cupcakes. Beautiful photo! They look absolutely lovely and I’m sure taste divine. Now I can’t wait to start Valentine’s day baking!

    • February 9, 2012 at 8:25 am //

      Holiday baking is sooooo much fun Lindsey! Thank you so much for commenting! Have a fab, fab V-day!

    • February 9, 2012 at 8:24 am //

      Thank you so much for commenting Stephanie! Have a fab, fab V-day!

  • February 9, 2012 at 9:06 am //

    These are beautiful cupcakes and I love raspberry. They really look do look to pretty to eat.

    • February 9, 2012 at 11:21 am //

      Hello Suzi. Raspberry and chocolate mesh so well together, hope you’ll try the recipe = ) Thank you so much for commenting.

  • February 9, 2012 at 5:47 pm //

    I love how you sigh and say “I’ll be right over”.. Unfortunately, all my friends would be the type to say “buy 30 cupcakes, and get 2 extra for me” or something like that.. :)

    • February 10, 2012 at 8:22 am //

      You friends sound like such a hoot Jessica! “wink” thank you so much for stopping by and commenting = )

  • February 11, 2012 at 3:06 am //

    These cupcakes look delicious :) They’re beautiful and I love the chocolate raspberry combination.

    • February 13, 2012 at 1:04 pm //

      Hi Brighteyed Baker, Raspberry and Choco go so well together, and choco/organge. Happy V-day to you = )

  • February 12, 2012 at 3:15 am //

    I don’t know how I missed this earlier – that photo is stunning, the cupcakes look gorgeous, and the recipe sounds delicious and perfect for Valentine’s Day! I especially love the chocolate hearts on top, I’ll have to try that sometime!

    • February 13, 2012 at 1:06 pm //

      Cupcakes are so much fun to make, they lend their versatility. Choco and Raspberry go so well together. Thank you so much for commenting Natalie.