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Heart-Shaped Cake

Heart shaped cake

I know we just passed Thanksgiving and now we’ve started the countdown to Christmas. But I’m already looking forward to Valentine’s Day.

Why? Because to me, pretty cakes shaped like hearts taste SO much better than regular cakes.

Heart shaped cake

Heart shaped cake© Yuna РFotolia.com

I am not one to romanticize any holiday.¬† They were a much bigger deal when I was a kid, when time went by much slower. Now, life goes by so fast that I’m always like, “Didn’t we just celebrate Christmas last month?”

And last week, after Thanksgiving, it seemed like I would find myself in the mood for Christmas food. I love going to parties where only hors d’oeuvres and desserts are served. I love eating cookies and candies people only make once a year. And although I like the word “Christmas,” I really don’t care if it’s called a “Holiday Party” and guests go out of their way to be politically correct. As long as the mood’s festive and the food’s good, I’m having a great time. Most years, as soon as Thanksgiving hits I’m already craving peanut butter balls, rich chocolate fudge, creamy egg nog, cookies shaped like snow men…

This year, all I can think about this week are heart-shaped cakes. The kind you usually find in abundance at bakeries the week before Valentine’s Day, usually discounted about 70% on February 15th.

I don’t know what caused my most recent craving, but I remember when this fascination of mine began. I was in college, walking through the student union between classes like I did every day, and there was a large area where all types of vendors would set up tables. On Valentine’s Day that year, they were selling these little pink heart-shaped cakes for five dollars each. And I have to admit, they tasted terrible. The icing was probably made with a dye that wasn’t fit for human consumption, as evidenced by the odd, bitter taste it left in my mouth. But it gave me great joy to buy that cake and take it to my boyfriend. And even though the boyfriend didn’t work out, and he eventually became someone I wished I’d never met, that memory sticks with me. And it’s a good one. One of the only good ones I have from that relationship.

As I write this, I’m wondering if there really was some kind of chemical in the icing that changed me forever…and not in a good way…

Oh well. Can’t change the past. I love pretty heart shaped cakes and I hope Valentine’s Day comes quickly.

These are some recipes I might try, after I buy a heart shaped cake pan. I can’t decide between chocolate, red velvet, or something new.

Strawberry Heart Cake from Taste of Home

Chocolate Chiffon Cake from Joy of Baking

Heart shaped cake without a heart shaped pan, from Better Recipes

I think this may be the winner… step by step instructions from “Retired with No Regrets” blog – Chocolate Cream Cheese Marbled Cake!

I think I’m actually pretty easy to please. I’m not one who’s ever demanded to be taken out to dinner on Valentine’s Day. For me, it was always a much bigger deal when I was single. My single girlfriends and I would make plans to get together at someone’s apartment to watch non-romantic movies, eat fattening food, and drink wine. Anything to take our minds off the fact that all the happy couples we knew were out having lovely dinners together.

We’d always end up having ridiculously fun girls’ nights, by the way. Now that I think about it, they were probably much more enjoyable than those dinners the “happy couples” were having.

I did so much more for V-Day when I was single than I’ve ever done, married. And it’s always been my choice. Every year we talk about it, and every year I have to convince my very romantic husband that no, I really just want to stay home and watch TV. Even if we made dinner reservations, the thought of going to a crowded restaurant where the staff is trying to get you in and out as fast as possible is highly unappealing. The best thing I could have is a night in.

This year, all I want is a heart shaped cake. And by writing this blog post, maybe a certain someone will see it. And hopefully I’ll get that cake much sooner than Valentine’s Day.

 

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