5 Tips On Decorating Valentine's Cakes for that Special Someone
Cake decorating can be a fun activity for the whole family and baked goods make ideal gifts for Valentine’s Day. Try these simple new ways of bringing your cake decorating ideas to the next level for the year’s most romantic holiday.
Use real flowers
When you think of Valentine’s Day, cakes, candies and flowers come to mind. So why mess with tradition? Try decorating your home-baked cake or cookies with your special someone’s favorite flowers. You don’t need a keen design eye to master this trick, you just need to remember that less is more. As Coco Chanel once said, “simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.”
- When you go get your flowers, make sure they are as fresh as possible and cut down the stems to the desired length. Bear in mind that you’ll need some length to make sure the flowers are stuck in deep enough.
- Use a maximum of three colors - your local florist can help with complimentary color pairings if you’re feeling a little lost.
- For the true minimalist who loves a little romance, try scattering fresh rose petals over nearly-set icing
- If you choose to use intact flower heads, be sure to focus your design on one corner of the cake. This will keep things looking elegant and will also allow for easy-cutting.
Get the kids to help
If you have kids, why not recruit them to help decorate your baked goods. Put down some parchment paper on your counter or table (you’ll appreciate this tip when it comes to the clean up) and set up the decorating stations. This is a great activity that allows the kids to get creative and the quality time spent will be appreciated all around. Parents love it when the kids are involved in the gifts they receive and there’ll be plenty of oohs and awes when the decorating is revealed.
Create a chocolate masterpiece
Much like the flowers mentioned above, chocolate will add a decadent element to your cake or cupcakes. Simply melt down the chocolate over a double-boiler, adding a little butter or some cream if you like. Once it's ready, pour it out onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment or plastic wrap and let it cool. You can create an array of styles by either cutting out shapes or by making rugged chocolate bark to top your baked goods.
- Tempering chocolate can be a tricky feat of kitchen science. Use a saucepan with warm, not boiling, water and place a glass bowl on top, so that it sits above the water (this is also called a bain-marie or a double boiler) and will gently melt the chocolate.
- Constantly stir the chocolate over the double boiler to ensure maximum glossiness.
Spell out something they’ll love
Spelling out how much you love someone with lettered cupcakes or a large sheet cake will speak volumes for your decorating prowess, as well as your devotion. Lettered cupcakes can have the added fun of having someone decipher what you want to say. If your loved one likes surprises, this is a sure-fire hit!
Play with flavor
When decorating your Valentine’s cakes, it’s ok to steer away from vanilla. Using candy to help decorate will add contrasting flavor profiles and textures that will keep those taste buds tingling! Jelly beans and gummy bears are especially good for this type of decorating. Espresso is another great flavor booster, especially when paired with chocolate, strawberry or orange flavored cakes. This is an especially great idea for the coffee lover in your life, and what’s more, the recipe takes as long as making a cup of joe!
Top tip: How to make easy espresso icing
- Place a 300ml bag of chocolate chips in your double boiler with a ¼ cup of butter.
- In a bowl blend an espresso shot with 125ml of sour cream.
- Once the chocolate begins to melt, add the espresso and sour cream and stir until smooth.
- Let it set in the fridge for an hour and voila, you have a delicious homemade chocolate icing for your cakes or cupcakes.
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