Usually on a Thursday, I try and post advice or a “how to.” Today, in honor of Valentine’s Day coming up, I thought I’d write about a special treat:
Champagne Cupcakes with PASSION Fruit Icing.
I’d also like to pass along FIVE TIPS for adding more PASSION to your love life!
PASSION TIP NUMBER ONE
The very first way to add passion to your love life is to remember faithfully things like Valentine’s Day and anniversaries. (I have been married to my husband for 25 years, so I’m a total expert in this area.)
(Pete just pointed out we’ve been married for 28 years.)
(I just told Pete to mind his own business. I WAS ROUNDING OFF.)
(Pete just pointed out if I were rounding off, then we’ve been married 30 years.)
(I just told Pete if I wanted to make myself sound OLDER, I would have said 30. I was rounding off in a downward direction. That’s how I do it, Buttinsky!)
PASSION TIP NUMBER TWO
Never call names or fight. Also, along these lines, it’s important you never go to bed angry. (Instead, I recommend going to bed “steamed” or “ticked off.”)
PASSION TIP NUMBER THREE
Try and keep up with current events so you’ll have something to discuss on dinner dates. Introduce topics your dinner partner enjoys, news items that show you’ve been paying attention. Prove you are interested in his favorite things, and you will show how much you really care about him.
Here’s an example:
You: Honey, I’m so glad your team won the Super Bowl.
Husband: Do you even know who won the Super Bowl?
You: Um, I think it was Donald Trump, wasn’t it?
Husband: No, that was…
You: Wait! Wait! I got this! It was Ted Cruz!! Donald Trump claimed victory despite his second-place finish, accusing Ted Cruz of stealing points through shady political dealings, which had something to do with deflating balls. Second is the new first!
Husband: I think you’re mixed up and a little behind.
You: Oh right, that was Iowa. Old news. Peyton Manning won!
Husband: Sort of, but I still think you…
You: No, I’m up on this! Peyton Manning is retiring from football, throwing his hat in the political ring and endorsing Hillary in an attempt to boost her “like-ability.”
Husband: OK, now you’re just making stuff up.
You: No, I read about it. Everything I said is true. I’m only sorry Sarah Palin isn’t involved, because Tina Fey is so much more fun to watch than Larry David. I just love football.
See if I’m right: He will thank you for your interest.
PASSION TIP NUMBER FOUR
Disregard silly agreements.
Let’s say you have a conversation in which both parties agree “not to get presents this year for Valentine’s Day” because you “just renovated your kitchen and have no leftover finances.”
That’s an example of a silly agreement regardless of its sensibility. Disregard it. (Especially if you are the husband.) Love is not sensible.
(I am personally hoping for the Twice-Charmed, Sophia-Vergara-shaped, two-stone diamond ring from the Exploding Hearts Collection at Kay Jewelers. Fingers crossed.)
PASSION TIP NUMBER FIVE
Add passion fruit to your cupcake icing!
What I’m really driving at with this informative post is that I made Valentine’s-Day-themed vegan cupcakes, the recipe for which I found in an old Washington Post article, and I wanted an excuse to show you how they turned out!
The secret ingredients are champagne and passion fruit!
This is what passion fruit looks like:
And inside, it looks like this:
And if that’s not surprising enough, a raspberry is baked inside each cupcake:
Fill muffin tin halfway with batter, add a raspberry and fill muffin tin the rest of the way with more batter:
It’s a cupcake full of surprises!
- For the cake:
- 2¾ cups flour
- 2½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1⅔ cups sugar
- ½ cup non-hydrogenated vegan margarine (I use Earth Balance)
- 2 teaspoons egg replacer (I use Enger-G Egg Replacer)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup soy milk
- ¾ cup champagne or sparkling white wine
- 18 to 22 fresh raspberries (from 1 pint) or more for decorating
- For the frosting:
- 1¼ cups non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening (I use Spectrum brand)
- ¾ cup non-hydrogenated vegan margarine (I use Earth Balance)
- ½ cup passion fruit concentrate (or ¼ cup puree from fresh fruit)
- 3½ cups confectioners' sugar or more to get the right consistency.
- For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Combine the sugar and margarine in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat at medium-high speed for about 5 minutes, until softened and combined, stopping to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Combine the egg replacer, vanilla and soy milk in a small bowl, and stir to dissolve the egg replacer. Add the champagne and mix until combined.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low, and slowly add the dry ingredients and soy milk mixture, alternating between the two, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.
- Place liners in 18 cupcake wells and fill a generous half full with the batter. (If you have extra batter, make more cupcakes.) Insert 1 raspberry in the center of each cupcake and place more batter on top. Fill to ¾ full, total. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Place the cupcake tins on a cooling rack to cool completely, then invert the tins to remove the cupcakes.
- For the frosting: Combine the shortening and margarine in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes, until completely combined, stopping once or twice to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl.
- Add the passion fruit concentrate or puree. Reduce the speed to medium and mix until incorporated. Stop to scrape down the bowl, then reduce the speed to low and add the confectioners' sugar a little at a time. When the confectioners' sugar is incorporated, scrape down the bowl, increase the speed to medium-high and mix for about 2 minutes, until the frosting is uniform and fluffy.
- When ready to frost, transfer up to half of the frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip, or to a resealable plastic food storage bag with one corner snipped off. Pipe a generous layer of frosting onto each cooled cupcake, adding more frosting to the bag as needed.
Happy Valentine’s Day!!