February 12, 2017


 As I'm sure you all know, Tuesday 14th February is Valentines Day!
Even though I know a lot of people don't "do" Valentines day, there's always time for chocolate, right?!
So we have put together a few different sweet treats that you can share with your loved ones on Valentines, or your best girl friends on Galentines Day!

We have Raspberry and Chocolate Cupcakes, Chocolate and Cherry Cheesecake Brownies, Cookie Dough Bites and Mini Amaretto Chocolate Tarts.
Everything on here is so so delicious and perfect for Valentines. And even though they were a very last-minute thing, we cannot get over how pretty the little tarts are, they are SO ADORABLE! 
So, are you ready for all this chocolatey goodness?

Raspberry and Chocolate Cupcakes

Pink vanilla sponge with a hidden raspberry, topped with dark chocolate buttercream and pink chocolate decorations.

Ingredients: (for 10-12 cupcakes)
4oz caster sugar 
4oz butter
2 eggs 
1 tsp vanilla extract 
1 tsp baking powder 
4oz self-raising flour 
pink food colouring

for the chocolate buttercream...
4oz butter
8oz icing sugar
50g dark chocolate, melted

for decoration...
white chocolate 
pink food colouring 

Before you do anything, if you want to make the chocolate decorations it's best to do that now so they have time to set.
We tempered our chocolate to make sure it would be hard at room temperature. To do this chop up the chocolate into small pieces and place about 1/4 into the fridge. Melt the other 3/4 either in the microwave or over a pan of hot water and bring it up to 45°C. When it reaches this temperature, quickly take it off the heat, add your cold chocolate and stir to reduce the temperature down to 26°C as quick and you can. When you have it down to 26°C, you want to bring it back up to 32°C but make sure not to heat it up any higher or you will have to start all over again. We stirred food colouring in at this point, but we think it actually works better and stays harder without food colouring, but if you want to give it a go then feel free. 

Pour your chocolate into a piping bag and cut a small hole into the end. Pipe your decorations of choice onto greaseproof paper then set aside or refrigerate to harden.

Preheat your oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas mark 6 and line a cupcake tray with 12  cupcake cases.

To make the sponge, beat together the butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, vanilla and baking powder and combine. Lastly, add in the flour and food colouring, and combine to make a smooth batter. Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases and bake for 20 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Set aside to cool.

While the cupcakes are cooling, it's time to make the amazing chocolate buttercream. Simply beat together the butter, icing sugar and melted dark chocolate. 

Once the cupcakes are cool, cut a small hole out of the top of each cake, and fill each with one raspberry. You can now pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes using a piping bag and a star nozzle. Then top with sprinkles and your white chocolate decorations.

Chocolate and Cherry Cheesecake Brownies

(We used this recipe from the Sainsburys website.)

Ingredients: (for 15-20 brownies)
150g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
200g plain chocolate
275g caster sugar
5 medium eggs
75g plain flour, sifted
300g soft cheese

Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4 and grease and line a square or rectangular baking tin with greaseproof paper.

Combine the butter and chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir continuously until melted, making sure the bowl doesn't touch the water. Leave to cool, and then stir in 225g caster sugar. Beat in 3 eggs, one by one, then mix in the flour and set aside while you make the cheesecake mixture.

In a separate bowl, whisk the soft cheese with the remaining 50g caster sugar and 2 eggs, until creamy. 

Here the recipe says to drop alternate spoonfuls of each mixture into the prepared baking tin, however our cheesecake mixture was way too thin for this (who knows why?! but it turned out absolutely fine). So our method was drop spoonfuls of the brownie mix into the in and then pour the cheesecake mixtures into the gaps. Using a spoon, swirl the mixtures together to create a marbled effect. Scatter the cherries on top (and poke some inside if you like) and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes. Set aside and slice into pieces when cool.

Cookie Dough Bites

Chocolate chip cookie dough dipped in milk chocolate.

Ingredients: (for 20 bites)
1/2 cup plain flour 
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 tbsp caster sugar
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp milk
milk chocolate chips
1 bar of milk chocolate

In a bowl mix together the caster sugar, brown sugar, and flour then beat in the melted butter and vanilla extract until it starts to come together. At this point, it will probably resemble crumbs and not a dough. Stir in the chocolate chips and continue to stir. Add in the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together in the consistency you want.

Place the dough onto a floured surface and roll out to around a 1.5 cm thickness. Then cut the dough into your desired shapes, placing them onto a greaseproof lined tin as you go. Chill in the fridge for around 10 minutes. 

While the dough is cooling, you can melt your milk chocolate in the microwave and prepare your decorations. You can decorate these however you like so we went for a mix of ways. If you want them entirely covered, then dip them into the chocolate on a fork and tap on the side until all excess chocolate has dripped off. Or you can half dip them, or pipe onto them or just simply leave them as they are. Decorate with sprinkles and leave in the fridge to harden until you are ready to eat them!

 Mini Amaretto Chocolate Tarts

Ingredients: (for 18 mini tarts)
18 mini pastry cases (ours are from Waitrose)
25g butter 
25g brown sugar
100ml double cream
100g dark chocolate
40ml Amaretto
raspberries for decoration

We bought our pastry cases to save time but please feel free to make your own.
To make the ganache filling, add the butter, sugar and cream to a pan and heat gently until the butter has melted. Then, break the chocolate into small pieces and add to the heated cream. Stir until the chocolate has fully melted and then stir in the Amaretto.

Spoon the ganache into the mini pastry cases and put into the fridge to set a little before decorating with raspberries and sprinkles.

These cherry cheesecake brownies are insane. The cheesecake bit may look slightly suspicious at when you look closely but trust us it is yummy, and it goes soooo well with the brownie! And the brownie itself is divine and chocolatey and gooey (if you time the baking right). If you don't like cherries they would be just as delicious with raspberries or other berries or without anything at all.
Even though these little tarts were pretty last-minute, they are INCREDIBLE! We absolutely love Amaretto so that combined with a rich chocolate ganache is a perfect mini tart. The raspberry on top really helps to make sure you're not too overpowered by rich chocolate and it also looks super cute. These are one of the most adorable things we have ever made!

We have been looking for a reason to make cookie dough bites for a while and this was the perfect occasion, they look super cute in little heart shapes. Cookie dough is always incredible whether it's in ice cream, hot from the oven or dipped in chocolate. And these are safe to eat raw and so tasty that you just want to eat them all in one go! We think they would be a really cute little gift for someone who loves cookie dough.
Lastly, we have the cupcakes which as always are delicious. After remembering how in love we are with white chocolate buttercream after our last bake, we knew we needed to try it with dark choc and it DEFINITELY did not disappoint! It is hands down the best chocolate buttercream ever! Oh and in case you're wondering, the sprinkles are from Ebay.

Thank you so much for reading our post!
We're sorry it turned out to be a complete essay of a post, but we just couldn't miss any of these yummy treats out!
They are all equally DIVINE!
What are your plans for Valentines? 
We're probably just going to sit and eat all of this!
Please follow us on Bloglovin', Instagram and like our Facebook page 'Sharkett Sisters', if you want to see more of us, and see what we are up on our weekends! 
Make sure to check out our Instagram story because we love to put anything cool that we find while exploring on here!
(All social media links are at the top of the page or in a box to the side!)
See you soon,

Lots of love, Antonia and Imogen x

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