Pump up the passion with Valentine's treats - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Pump up the passion with Valentine's treats

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Pastry Chef Meghan McGarry has garnered acclaim for her trademark dessert makeovers. (Source: Buttercream Blondie) Pastry Chef Meghan McGarry has garnered acclaim for her trademark dessert makeovers. (Source: Buttercream Blondie)
While it may appear complex, the "Love Monster" cupcake is easily adaptable for all skill levels, McGarry says. (Source: Buttercream Blondie) While it may appear complex, the "Love Monster" cupcake is easily adaptable for all skill levels, McGarry says. (Source: Buttercream Blondie)
As use decorate, each cupcake will begin to take on a personality of its own, according to McGarry. (Source: Buttercream Blondie) As use decorate, each cupcake will begin to take on a personality of its own, according to McGarry. (Source: Buttercream Blondie)
"These cake frites take classic red velvet cake to a whole new level, and the dipping sauce adds a pop of flavor that balances the dessert beautifully," McGarry writes on her blog. (Source: Buttercream Blondie) "These cake frites take classic red velvet cake to a whole new level, and the dipping sauce adds a pop of flavor that balances the dessert beautifully," McGarry writes on her blog. (Source: Buttercream Blondie)
McGarry's vanilla bean blondie cheesecake was created when the chef hooked up two of her signature desserts. (Source: Buttercream Blondie) McGarry's vanilla bean blondie cheesecake was created when the chef hooked up two of her signature desserts. (Source: Buttercream Blondie)

BOSTON (RNN) - Whether you're celebrating love with that special someone or condemning it with your best friend, there's one thing that can improve any Valentine's Day: the perfect dessert in your stomach.

"The best way to let the people in your life know you care about them this Valentine's is with something sweet," says Meghan McGarry, expert pastry chef and praised Buttercream Blondie blogger.

To celebrate love's big day, McGarry has given three classic desserts makeovers, each inspired by a different level in relationships.

"I love pink things and hearts - two Valentine's Day staples - and so it's an excuse for me to be more over-the-top than usual," the Boston-based chef says of her always exciting new takes on classic desserts.

As her reputation has proven, if you follow McGarry's guaranteed-to-wow recipes this Valentine's Day, your desserts won't just sparkle (literally), they'll also have you counting down the days until the next February 14.

The Beginning

"When you first like someone, you feel wonky, distracted, all out of sorts," McGarry says, calling to mind her first crush as she grew up in the Bronx. "You think, 'When is he going to call?'"

That feeling of infatuation we all remember too well is what inspired McGarry's first and most basic Valentine's Day dessert - the "Love Monster" cupcake.

"This is a fun way to say, 'I like you,'" McGarry says. "It's a dessert that's delicious but not all that serious."

The treats, which represent the little monsters inside us all, are an exercise in decorating. A basic cupcake is transformed into a monster before your eyes, as you pipe dyed buttercream frosting on top of traditional cupcakes, then give them a jolt of personality with candied mouths and heart-shaped eyes enhanced with eye-popping disco dust.

"Once you start adding the decorations is when these cupcakes begin to take on a life of their own," McGarry says. "This is a dessert that really gets to show off your creative side."

No one way is right when making these tasty confections, McGarry says, so don't worry about your baking skill when choosing this recipe. While McGarry forms her monster's eyes with fondant and toothpicks, for example, you can easily substitute lollipops.

For this reason, McGarry points out that her cupcakes are a great project for kids, too.

"A little bit of imagination and disco dust go a long way," the pastry chef says.

Taking it to the next level

"The second dessert is not only more serious, it's more decadent, too. It's something sweet you can share with that special someone," McGarry says. "At this point in the relationship, you're definitely exclusive."

McGarry's red velvet cake makeover is designed for Level II relationships, those that aren't new but rather more personal and more established.

"Red velvet cake frites is my way to zhush up a classic and take it to the next level," McGarry says. "If you're looking to take your relationship to the next level, this might be just the dessert for you."

For McGarry, the deep-fryer is not an everyday appliance. Rather, it's reserved for special moments, like Valentine's Day. To make her frites, McGarry first bakes a traditional red velvet cake in a loaf pan, freezes it and slicing it up into pieces, which are then dipped in funnel cake batter and cooked to golden perfection.

The success of the dessert lies in its ability to remain light and fluffy in spite of being fried, McGarry says.

"It's like adding a soft, little pillow around the red velvet cake," she says. "It's so incredibly light."

In order to take the frites to that next level of love, McGarry chose to pair them with a dark chocolate Southern Comfort sauce.

"It cuts the sweetness and gives you a nice little pop of flavor," the pastry chef explains.

This is the perfect dessert to share with your sweetie. If you're single, don't fret. Just keep them all to yourself, or serve them to your friends if you're hosting a girl's night out.

Some things are just meant to be

The final dessert McGarry envisioned for Valentine's Day was recently released on the first anniversary of her immensely successful Buttercream Blondie blog. The same amount of love that goes into McGarry's blog went into this dessert: a vanilla bean blondie cheesecake.

McGarry's alter-ego Buttercream Blondie is, of course, inspired by her colorful, chocolate blondies, which have a reputation as Boston's finest. McGarry reinvented her own signature dish by hooking it up with her oft-requested vanilla bean cheesecake. The result is a flavor that's instantly timeless.

"These two things were destined to be together, just like some people are destined to be together," the pastry chef says.

To show that someone special that you really care about them, McGarry recommends baking the cheesecakes in heart-shaped springform pans and topping them with a heart-shaped mound of rainbow sprinkles. To make his and hers versions, you can also die half of your cheesecake batter pink.

"The flavors hit your mouth, and you think, 'This was meant to be,'" McGarry says.

While Valentine's Day may come and go, dessert doesn't. In the coming weeks, McGarry will unveil new treats on her blog, including giant peanut butter cookies.

"You don't need a special occasion like Valentine's day to make desserts shine," McGarry says. "I'm glittering and glamming up your favorites every week online."


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Recipe: Red Velvet Cake Frites

Updated:

Valentine's Day is the perfect excuse to indulge your sweet tooth in a sinfully sweet dessert.

  • WAFB Online Poll

  • Which Buttercream Blondie dessert are you going to bake this Valentine's Day?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    "Love Monster" Cupcakes
    42%
    18 votes
    Red Velvet Cake Frites
    23%
    10 votes
    Vanilla Bean Blondie Cheesecake
    35%
    15 votes

YouTube: Red Velvet Cake Frites

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