I have important Valentine’s Day stuff to talk about today.
It’s all about the red and hearts and love.
Okay. Not really.
Well…maybe the love part, actually.
You might have noticed (if you follow me on Facebook or Twitter) that I didn’t socialize much this weekend. That’s because I was taking it easy and geeking it up all weekend.
With The Big Move coming up, I’m trying not to stress too much, so I took it easy this weekend. Friday I was doing two of my favorite I’m-not-working-at-all-today things: watching a movie and talking to my sister.
Eventually the loud bangs and screams got the better of her and she was all like, “What on earth are you watching?!”
“What is that??”
I was like, “It’s a sci-fi, killer alien, action movie.”
And then she was all weird and said, “WHY are you watching that?!”
And it was like SHE DOESN’T EVEN KNOW ME!
Actually. Not really. She did ask me why, but it was more of a I-know-you-like-these-movies-and-TV-shows-but-I-don’t-think-I’ll-ever-understand-it kind of ‘why.’
Which is when I proceeded to tell her the story of the first time I watched Pitch Black.
I was 20 years old and I was going to the movies with a whole gaggle of girls that were a couple of years younger than me. They couldn’t decide on a movie so I suggested Pitch Black. To be perfectly honest, I had no idea what it was, but figured it was some kind of dark suspense movie or something.
We all get in the theater, spread along the row, giggling, munching sweets and popcorn, when the theater went dark, the previews played, and all the schmancy studio logos flashed on the screen before a pan along the top of a ship floating through space scrolls by.
I was instantly hooked, but I sensed that my friends weren’t yet convinced.
I sat with my eyes glued to the screen throughout the entire movie and when it was over, I thought it was pretty good. I mean, it was no Oscar winner, but it was a fun, edge-of-your-seat, the scary-carnivorous-alien-bat-things-are-gonna-get-you kind of flick.
None of the other girls seemed to concur. It was at that moment that I realized I wasn’t like other girls (clearly, I was a self awareness, geekery late bloomer).
I mean, I like all the glitter and girliness that comes with a movie like Moulin Rouge, but I also love to watch the action and imagination that you see in Star Trek.
And since starting my blog, I know now that I’m not alone. And I LOVE IT!
So this Valentine’s Day, I’m loving you guys because whether you’re of the geekier persuasion, or more of the glittery kind, I’m glad you’re here. And I’m glad you’re cool with my split personality. Thank you and happy Valentine’s Day! I got you jewels. Made out of chocolate. Because I know what I’m doing here.
I was first inspired to make these chocolate jewels after seeing this on Pinterest:
It’s just a simple red velvet cupcake with a large chocolate nonpareil on top, but as soon as I saw it, the nonpareil looked like a little jewel to me, and that was it. I knew I needed to make a simple, gorgeous, last-minute Valentine’s Day cupcakes.
Alright, so first thing’s first; I had a lot of trouble finding large chocolate nonpareils for my little project today, and I was pretty sure that I was going to have to make my own. In the end, I found some, but I decided that it would be beneficial to show you guys how to make them yourself, just in case.
Then I made them heart-shaped…cause it’s Valentine’s Day. See how I did that?
All you need is some bitter or semi-sweet chocolate in a decorating bag fitted with a large writing tip (I prefer a Wilton #7), some nonpareil sprinkles, and parchment paper. You can also use a zip top baggie with the corner snipped off, but to be honest, I’ve had way too many equipment failures there, so I don’t like to recommend it unless you’re desperate.
Anyway. To make homemade nonpareils, just pipe a circle mound (about an inch across) of chocolate onto parchment paper, cover it with nonpareil sprinkles, and chill until set. Easy peasy.
If you want to make sweet heart shaped ones, then pipe a teardrop shaped blob of chocolate on the parchment paper and pipe a second one right next to it. Viola! Chocolate heart. Cover with sprinkles and chill.
Now, as for making them into jewels, it couldn’t be easier. All you need are large and small (Sno Caps) chocolate nonpareils. Actually, you don’t need both, but I think they’re a lot more fun with both.
Now, you can totally stop right there, because these are shimmery and pretty and jewel-like as-is.
You could skip the luster dust step and just coat these in a little vodka or extract before disco dusting them, but I found that the coating of luster dust underneath the glitter helped keep the white of the nonpareils from showing through at all.
Now, all you have to do is bedazzle your cupcakes! I love adding the mini Sno Cap jewels with the larger ones; they look so festive and pretty. These are perfect for Valentine’s Day because you’re really killing two scary-carnivorous-alien-bat-things with one stone…you’re getting your Valentine chocolate and your jewels all in one. But these chocolate jewels would be gorgeous at Christmas or New Year’s, as well.
I jeweled pretty pink, red, and white marble cupcakes for my Valentine’s Day, and then I got all experimental with that yummy cake vodka that you saw up above and made the most delicious frosting in the entire world. If, understandably, you would rather not feed your children hard alcohol on Valentine’s Day, then I recommend my favorite buttercream. Either way, you’ll have some seriously delicious frosting to go with your seriously pretty chocolate bling. Enjoy!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Cake Vodka Buttercream
Makes about 24 ounces
1 cup (2 sticks or 226 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 lb. (about 4 cups or 500 grams) confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons (30 ml) Cake Vodka
1 to 2 tablespoons (30 to 45 ml) heavy cream (if needed)
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
Food coloring (optional)
In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter for 3 minutes. Beat in the sugar and salt until combined. Add the vodka and whisk on high for 4 minutes, until light and fluffy. If the frosting is too thick, add the cream, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
Stir in the vanilla and food coloring.
Recipe by Darla
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