This year, with little Aria attending preschool, the ideas about love have drastically changed and are far from the stuff of romantic comedies. I was talking about it with a girlfriend who has toddlers too. She was telling me that after having a 3-year-old and 4 month old, her husband agreed to get a toaster oven and she would get a vacuum for their Valentine's Day gifts. And now our preparations for Valentine's Day consist of DIY kids' arts and crafts and a lot of baking for Aria's friends. I prepared chocolate-frosted sweet treats this morning.
These are just the right size for little fingers to enjoy, but you can of course make them bigger if they're for your own Valentine's celebration. The chocolate isn't cloyingly sweet, which means you can enjoy more than one!
Servings: 28 mini cupcakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, + extra for greasing the pan
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons Manuka honey (or your favorite sweetener)
2 whole eggs, at room temperature
1 scant teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
6 tablespoons raw sugar (also called turbinado sugar)
4 ounces milk chocolate chips
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
⅔ cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
3 tablespoons multi-colored sprinkles
Preheat the oven to 410°F.
Note: Before starting the batter, make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature.
In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs with ½ cup granulated sugar until they're pale yellow and foamy. Add the honey and vanilla paste.
In another bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder. Sift the dry ingredients. Using a spatula, add them to the egg mixture and stir well.
Cream the butter with the remaining granulated sugar and add to the egg mixture.
Place paper liners in each of the spaces of two 18-cavity mini-cpucake pans and fill each one with about 2 tablespoons of génoise dough.
Bake for 5 minutes at 410°F, then lower the temperature to 350°F and bake for another 6-8 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
For the chocolate frosting, bring the heavy cream to a boil. Turn off the heat, then add the milk chocolate. Stir until fully melted and combined. Transfer to a stainless-steel mixing bowl and refrigerate the chocolate ganache for at least 2-3 hours. Cream the butter with powdered sugar. Add the vanilla extract. Add the milk chocolate ganache and whip until fully combined.
Transfer to a piping bag. Pipe the chocolate frosting onto the mini cupcakes. Top them with the colored sprinkles.
Refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 2 days ahead!
To guarantee quality baked goods, use the best quality butter you can find.
I used milk chocolate, instead of dark chocolate so it would suit children's palates better.