Valentine’s Day Cupcake Love or Adventures in Valentine’s Day Baking With The Guppy!

Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone!

I wanted to make something sweet and tasty for Valentine’s Day to share with my collegues at the school where I teach, but I also wanted to have some extra “whatever” for our little family. Still recovering from the cookie extravaganza over the holidays, yet needing something easily portable, the logical thing to do was to go with cupcakes (actually, “when in doubt, go with cupcakes” is one of my many little mottos, along with “What would Xena do?” and “If it ain’t rainin’, you ain’t trainin’!”).

The Guppy and I set to work to make some special Valentine’s cup cakes. We get very excited about cupcakes as I’ve mentioned before, and I know I will have to aquire a copy of Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. I tell myself I’ve been resisting because I just can’t have too many sweet recipes lying around…mind strong, body weak…must make yummy treats…but in reality it’s the over-seas shipping that’s been keeping me from ordering it. I have, however, made the “fauxstess cupcakes” from her Vegan With A Vengeance and even though I didn’t do all the steps, found them to be just perfect. We frosted them with her “Coconut Heaven” icing last time, but I wanted to decorate somehow involving the Valentine’s Day theme, so I went ahead– oops! I mean we, the Guppy and I that is, and made the chocolate ganache icing and the “Royal Icing for Squigglies” but at the risk of totally offending cupcake-loving Moskowitz, used it to make (un-intentionally) funky-looking hearts. Don’t tell her, please.


Guppy helping mum

Doing a little math (I hear friends and loved ones snickering. That’s not nice.) I realized that the yeild of 12 cupcakes would be a bit juste if I was to share cupcake love with collegues and the fam, so I decided ever-so-spontaneously to double the batch. No problemo. Moskowitz even assures me in her super-book that this recipe doubles really well. Yeah, I bet it does, when you’re not baking with a 2-year-old.


Finger Lickin’ Good Batter, Mum!

Truth be told, the Guppy is really into cooking, baking and of course, tasting. She’s very easy to have as a helper, you just have to be sure to continually give her jobs to do. The only trick with that is making sure that the jobs will last long enough to distract her while I finish the task at hand. It all worked out pretty well, the only real problem was that my individual cupcake doses of batter weren’t as equal as I’d have liked, so they came out with varying heights.


No Food Worries With Vegan Beaters!
No Food Worries With Vegan Beaters!
So I would assign varying tasks to the Guppy such as “put all these measuring cups in this big bowl” or “please help Mumma count all these apples in the fruit basket”.
Have you ever been to the circus? Seen one on television? Are you familiar with the Chinese Plate Spinners? No matter how talented you are, eventually you’ll have so many pates spinning that you’ll just have to let a few fall in order to tend to those in front of you.
Some plates did indeed fall. But no one was hurt.
When I decided to double the batch I forgot to do the most basic of baking protocols- make sure I had enough of everything to do the double (as I’ve said before, I’m new to this). I didn’t. I had to substitute brown rice syrup for the maple syrup for the ganache icing. No biggie. Other tiny problem? My tablespoon dissappeared. No biggie. Just double-up on the half-teaspoon. Ok, but when you’re already doubling the recipe that means you’ll need 20 half teaspoons of soy milk for the ganache or 28 half-teaspoons of cocoa powder for the cupcakes…do you see where I’m going with this? (I again hear family and loved ones chortle as they picture dyslexically-inclined Shellyfish counting cocoa powdered spoons while counting apples with the Guppy. You shouldn’t make fun of me.)
The good news is, the cupcakes, while I cannot vouch for their actual cocoa powder content, were splended, the ganache very thick but in a good, decadant-fudgy way, and I found the tablespoon later in the evening when sweeping up the kitchen.
The only sour note is my poor Guppy woke up in the middle of the night with a 104f fever, so I had to call in sick to work and thus not share cupcake love with collegues. The best laid plans of mice and men… oh well, more cupcakes for us as Mr. Fish declared!