My Valentine’s Days in Review
Picking out the perfect box of Valentines at the grocery store was a very important process. Plain old puppies or kittens wouldn’t cut it. You need the Lisa Frank ones or Little Mermaid. Taking them home and dumping them onto the living room floor was next. You have to read each kind and make sure you weren’t giving your best friend the lame one with the worst picture.
Your signature had to be be perfect and every ‘i’ needed to be dotted with a heart. School parties were still cooler than cool and drinking punch at your desk and doing math problems with conversation hearts was pretty much the best thing since coming to school in your Halloween costume.
Awkward awkward awkward. Do we give Valentines out? Oh my gosh, awkward. Your mom gets you a little box of chocolates so you wouldn’t feel the sting of a candy-less holiday.
Freshman and Sophmore Year: You disliked every girl that is walking around with a. a huge stuffed animal b. a bouquet of supermarket flowers or c. a gigantic heart shaped balloon. Candy grams have replaced the simple boxed Valentines which is a shame really. Making a personalized mail box for your desk was so awesome. When was a dashing, cute, and kind boy going to notice you? Is kissing really that fun? Gigantic balloon couple gets really into it and it’s gross.
Junior and Senior Year: Boys were cute, you still wrote about kissing in your diary and you were coordinator of the Disney themed Valentines banquet where the baked potatoes wouldn’t bake, you lip synced Beauty and Beast Songs, and believed you were going to live happily ever after with your boring boyfriend. You also played the “Heart Game” where all morning you couldn’t talk to the boys or else they would claim your paper heart and all afternoon you snatched away their paper hearts with gusto. (Adorable side note: I still have my now husband’s paper heart from the year he talked to me at lunch time.)
College: College boyfriends aren’t really that nice. Diary entries turn poetic and dramatic. You read a lot of Jane Austen and bought valentines chocolate the day after when it went on sale. Why are girls still toting around obnoxious large pink and red balloons? Roses are so clique.
Now: I just want to bake all the things, love my husband, and buy the Valentines Merchandise from Target. And make sure I produce the world’s tastiest and prettiest cakes.
My sweetie tends to complain a little if I make too many sweets at once. If I had my way I’d make cookies one day, a cake the day after, and creme brulee the next. This cake is a great way to fix that because it isn’t too sweet. Because there is no frosting the super cloying factor isn’t there. It’s simple, but flavorful with maraschino cherry bits, chocolate flecks, and maraschino juice to give it a nice pink tint for Valentine’s day. It’s a perfect dessert. Also- isn’t my bundt pan beautiful?? My wonderful mom gave it to me for Christmas and I’ve been dying to make something in it. It just makes that little pretty-craving girl inside oh-so-happy.
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 6 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1½ Tablespoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1¾ cup milk
- 6 egg whites
- 12 oz jar of maraschino cherries
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- ½ tsp cherry extract
- 2¼ cup sugar
- 1½ sticks unsalted butter
- ¾ cup mini chocolate chips
- Powdered sugar for dusting, optional
- Whipped cream for garnish, optional
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a bundt cake pan.
- Drain the maraschino cherries, reserving the juice for later. Chop the cherries very finely and set aside on paper towels to drain slightly.
- Sift (really sift, you want the dry ingredients to be as light and fluffy as possible) flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
- In a medium bowl beat the egg whites, 3 Tablespoons of maraschino cherry juice drained from the jar. milk, almond extract, and cherry extract.
- In a mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Keeping the mixer on medium speed, add the dry and wet mixtures intermittently in three parts. Fold in the chopped cherries and mini chocolate chips.
- Bake 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let sit 5 or 10 minutes and then turn out onto a plate and let cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar for serving with a dollop of lightly whipped cream if desired.