Faith Kramer's Little Cakes of Love
Faith Kramer's Little Cakes of Love

Valentine’s Day sweets: bonbons and little cakes for your one true love

Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day or not, why not surprise someone you love with these chocolate treats sometime soon? (Or maybe just give yourself the gift of chocolate.)

The flavors I crave can be found in both of these recipes, but if your loved one likes a different flavor of jam or ice cream, change up the recipes as desired.

Use the gluten-free Almond Cupcake recipe for the chocolate-frosted and marmalade-filled cupcakes, or substitute any homemade or purchased unfrosted cupcakes. Use nondairy ingredients to make the cupcakes parve.


Little Cakes of Love

Makes 6

  • 6 baked and cooled almond cupcakes (see below)
  • 2 Tbs. plus 2 Tbs. orange marmalade
  • Chocolate topping (see below)

Use a small knife to cut a circular “plug” (1-inch wide) almost to the bottom of each cupcake (do not pierce bottom). Remove and reserve plugs.

Fill each cavity with a teaspoon of marmalade. Top with reserved cake plugs, trimming plugs and gently pushing down so tops of cupcakes are level. Brush off crumbs. Spread tops lightly with chocolate topping. Garnish each with a teaspoon of marmalade.

Almond cupcakes: Heat oven to 325 degrees. Line 6-hole cupcake tin with paper liners. In large bowl, beat 2 large eggs with ½ cup sugar and 1 Tbs. water. Stir in ½ tsp. vanilla and 1 Tbs. orange marmalade. In a second bowl, stir together ¾ cup almond flour, ½ cup gluten-free all-purpose baking flour mix, ¼ tsp. salt and ½ tsp. baking powder (sift if lumpy.) Add dry to wet in batches, stirring well to combine between batches. Fill liners two-thirds full. Bake until puffed and golden and toothpick comes out mostly clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in liners on rack.

Chocolate topping: In a small pot, heat 3 Tbs. milk or coconut milk on medium heat just until milk boils, then turn heat down to low and stir in 6 Tbs. dairy or parve semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips and 1 Tbs. sugar. Stir until melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Let stand until cool. Place in refrigerator, stirring occasionally, until just thickened and spreadable, about 30 minutes (do not make in advance).


Berry Ice Cream Bonbons

Makes about 16

  • 2 cups raspberry ice cream (16 oz.)
  • 16 oz. dark or milk chocolate flavored melting wafers (see notes)
Faith Kramer's Berry Ice Cream Bonbons
Faith Kramer’s Berry Ice Cream Bonbons

Line two baking sheets with waxed paper or parchment paper. Freeze until cold. Let ice cream soften slightly. Scoop out into 2 Tbs. blobs or rounds onto cold sheets, making sure bonbons don’t touch. Return to freezer until hardened or overnight.

Remove first sheet from freezer. Loosen bonbons but leave on sheet. Place a flat metal rack over large platter. Put wafers in microwave-safe bowl and microwave on medium power for 30 seconds. Stir well. If needed, microwave again for 15 seconds. Stir well. Repeat until smooth.

Working very quickly, use fork to lower one bonbon into chocolate, flipping with second fork to completely coat. Lift out with forks. Let excess chocolate drip into bowl. Use forks to place on rack flat side down. Repeat with remaining bonbons on sheet. Transfer with forks back to lined baking sheet, making sure bonbons don’t touch. Return sheet to freezer. Take second tray from freezer; loosen and coat with chocolate as described above. Return second sheet to freezer. Freeze until hardened. Remove from sheets. Store in container in layers separated by wax paper. Keep frozen until a few minutes before serving.

Notes: Chocolate melting wafers (also called candy melts or wafers) are available in supermarkets, crafts and baking-supply stores. If chocolate hardens before all the bonbons are dipped, place chocolate bowl over a pan of simmering water and gently reheat.

Faith Kramer

Faith Kramer is a Bay Area food writer. She blogs about her food at clickblogappetit.com. Contact Faith at clickblogappetit@gmail.com.