Thursday, February 5, 2009

Why not stop and eat the roses?

If you're looking for a Valentine's Day gift that's a tad more creative than some sweets and a dozen roses, why not combine the two together and get a dozen (or a 1/2 dozen) lovely rose cupcakes?

I'll admit, I've had cupcakes on the brain since Elements of Style profiled an adorable cupcake boutique in Boston called Sweet (see here for post) yesterday and I think these would be such a cute and fun gift for Valentine's Day. Sugarbaby's Cupcake Boutique (located about 5 minutes from my house) is whipping up these lovely looking rose cupcakes just in time for Valentine's Day. A dozen will run you about the price of a dozen roses and are a nice alternative to flowers for those of us with allergies and a sweet tooth (like me). Of course, if you're still sticking with your New Year's diet, you may want to share these around the office. And by the way, if you do decide to place an order, may I suggest getting them in red velvet? Not only would the red color be festive, but I've sampled most of their flavors (purely for test purposes, of course) and red velvet is definitely the standout. Both the vanilla and strawberry cakes are too dry for my taste. And honestly, there's nothing more disappointing than a dry cupcake.

Also, I just have to post a few pictures of Sugarbaby's interior from their website:

Sometimes I absolutely kick myself for not coming up with the "cupcake boutique" concept myself. I mean, I can make some pretty mean cupcakes and these ventures appear to be quite successful (even in these trying economic times). Besides, how fun would it be to get to work and bake in a shop as cute as Sugarbaby's? Sure, it's super girly and a bit over the top, but I think that's part of it's charm. It's like a Victorian ice cream parlor got an update from Lily Pulitzer. The last picture is of their "party room" and I think a place like this would make a wonderful venue for a little girl's birthday party or even a baby shower. Of course, Sugarbaby's fun and unique venue may help it compete with Sprinkles, the wellspring whence all cupcake boutiques have sprung forth, arriving in Houston at Highland Village in April. Hurrah!

While I'm not adept enough a cake decorator to mimic Sugarbaby's rose tops, I may try whipping up some cupcakes for Dave for Valentine's. Sure mine may not be as pretty, but the home-made factor (and I'll admit, the cost-saving factor -- Dave is pretty cheap) will win me some major brownie points. When I bake cupcakes I use Nigella's fairy cake recipe, which is super-easy and can be made in a blender or food processor (makes for easy clean-up). Also, if you use Nigella's recipe, I would suggest doubling it as I've found it a bit scant. Additionally, since you're using cake flour, the cupcakes will rise a lot in the oven, so don't overfill or you'll end up with a bunch of baby brioches. To make the cupcakes a bit more interesting, I'll often add in some almond extract to the batter and dollop in (no more than a tablespoon) of raspberry preserves into the middle each individual cupcake before popping them into the oven. For frosting, Nigella uses a royal icing, which I'm not a fan of, so I'd just make a vanilla-almond buttercream* instead and color it pink for the occasion.


*- For the baking-challenged, buttercream is quite simply just butter and powdered sugar, creamed together until you get the consistency you want. I usually start with one and a half sticks of butter, start creaming it in a mixer, adding in powdered sugar until I get it how I like it.


Anonymous said...

Looks fabulous! Makes me want to scarf down some cupcakes.... Yummy. Too bad we don't have anything like that in Hamburg where I live... Although come to think of it it's better for the hips if something like that is NOT 5 minutes away! LOL!

Jody Harrington said...

Note to self:

Get thee down to Sugarbaby's Cupcake Boutique and buy some of these for El Jefe for V'day.

Averill said...

SBJ -- It IS better if these sorts of places aren't near your house (or work or along your commute). It's really dangerous!

QG -- I think you can preorder these roses online. If you'd do end up ordering, let me know and I can swing by and pick them up!

Anonymous said...

What tip did you use for the flower ones at the top?

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