Today, Heroes and Heartbreakers welcomes Beth Ciotta—not to mention her sweet treats—to the site. Beth's Fool for Love pits a chef-in-training with a sassy attitude against an all-business guy, and the crumbs fly! Thanks for joining us, Beth!
Knowing I’m presently obsessed with all things “cupcake,” a friend emailed me a statistic attached to an invitation to enroll in a cupcake-making class.
“Cupcakes are so popular in America that the top three Internet searches are cupcakes, hunky firemen, and hunky firemen kissing cupcakes.”
I don’t know if that “search” holds true to this day, but you have to love that hook! Cupcakes just naturally goes along with romance and hot men, don't you think? Sweets in general are (or can be) deliciously sexy. Think of all the romantic and/or sexy scenes you’ve read in books or seen in movies involving melted chocolate or whip cream or honey or . . . you get the picture. But did you also know that certain sweets are aphrodisiacs?
Chocolate is perhaps one of the most famous in a scrumptious list of stimulators. There are copious amounts of studies on the how and why eating chocolate may, or may not, boost one’s sex drive. Personally, I think it depends on the situation and the treat itself. Depending on the situation, chocolate can be downright orgasmic.
Honey, nicknamed by some as “the Nectar of Aphrodite,” is rumored to be one of the most seductive foods in history. (Use your imagination.) Bananas and strawberries also make the list and all of these “love” foods can be included in a cupcake recipe.
It gets better!
Several spices are purported aphrodisiacs. Here are just a few as whimsically described on RomanceStuck.com.
- Chili Powder - Highly flavorful and often very hot. Its intensity can add to yours.
- Cinnamon - Sweet but stimulating, cinnamon increases blood flow.
- Ginger - Another flavorful, hot spice that can add a jump to your love life.
- Nutmeg - A spice with a complex aroma that excites the imagination.
- Vanilla - The smell alone increases blood flow and is especially enticing for older men.
And these are just a few of the spices that could, um, spice up your love life via your next batch of cupcakes! All this research got my brain spinning on the ultimate sexy cupcake (other than any cupcake involving a hunky fireman). Google is my best friend and pointed me to an aphrodisiac-inspired recipe as created for the “Match Making Party” episode on the wildly popular Food Network show, Cupcake Wars. Click over and feast your eyes. Better yet, bake up a batch and surprise your man or lady.
CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE
Recipe courtesy Chloe Coscarelli
Chocolate, strawberries . . . Serve with a bottle of chilled champagne and this strikes me as the perfect recipe for a romantic evening.
Interested in something a tad more hot? How about a cupcake recipe that incorporates dark chocolate, marshmallow fluff (oh, yeah!) and several sexy spices, including chili powder! Please enjoy this original recipe developed by a good friend of mine, Honorary Cupcake Lover Beth Bliss. Oh, and just in case you use too much chili pepper, maybe have a hunky fireman standing by to put out the fire.
HARVEST CHEATER CUPCAKES
Recipe by Beth Bliss
These cupcakes cheat in nearly every way: made from a mix, frosted from a can . . . The only thing honest about these cupcakes is the homemade whoopee pie cream hidden inside.
Makes 20 nicely-domed standard-size cupcakes—because I cheated and filled them ¾ full instead of 2/3.
- 1 box “moist” style yellow cake mix (15.25 oz. box)
- 1/3 c. vegetable oil
- 1 c. canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
- ½ c. water
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- ½ tsp. allspice
- ½ tsp. powdered ginger
- ¼ tsp. cloves
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
Bake at 350 for 20-24 minutes. Done when they spring back to the touch, or when a cake tester or toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
SECRET CENTER (WHOOPEE PIE) FILLING
A little dab of these goes a long way; only about a teaspoon goes in, but the sweetness offsets the spices and pumpkin nicely.
- 1 cup vegetable shortening, such as Crisco (butter-flavored shortening might work, too)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 cups (one 7-oz. container) marshmallow fluff (aka marshmallow crème; often found near ice cream section of grocery store)
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract (not “flavoring” – only extract will do!)
- Small pinch table salt
Blend in mixer until light and fluffy. Using a paring knife or apple corer, cut out a plug from the center of each cupcake. Using a silicone spatula, shovel filling into a pastry bag with large-opening tip, or into a ziplock baggie and snip a hole in the corner. Pipe about a teaspoon into each cupcake. Don’t fret if it spurts out a little. That’s life.
- 1 can milk or dark chocolate frosting
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. chili powder (more, if you want a serious kick)
Mix using hand-held or stand mixer until spices are incorporated.
Images courtesy of Beth Ciotta