Iced Malted Cherry Coffee

Styling by Libbie Summers
Photography by Chia Chong

When you didn’t get quite enough sugar on Valentine’s Day, this deliciousness will do the trick! A little jolt of espresso, a lot of malted milk, the slightest cherry and a whole lot of goodness! 

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Iced Malted Cherry Coffee
(a dessert coffee drink)

What you need:
1 cup brewed espresso
1/2 cup malted milk powder
2 teaspoons cherry syrup (yes, that “cherry syrup”)
Whipped cream (I colored mine pink)
Ice

What to do:
In a large Mason jar, add hot coffee and malted milk powder. Place the lid on the jar and gently shake the contents until the malted milk powder is dissolved. Place jar in the refrigerator to cool for 30 minutes. Remove from refrigerator and add cherry juice. Shake again. Pack two glasses with ice and pour coffee mixture over. Garnish with a dollop of freshly whipped cream and a dusting of malted milk powder. Serve immediately.

Libbie’s Food Styling Props: Burlap Coffee Bag I poached from Perc coffee while we were there doing a podcast, Vintage Mason Jar with Zinc lid purchased from Habersham Antiques Market, Hermes Ribbon from where else, Vintage silver iced tea spoon purchased from an Antique shop in Annapolis, MD that I can’t remember the name of (it’s on Maryland Avenue and the owner is British), black straw liberated from a coffee shop in North Carolina that I would rather not mention since their significant straw loss could be traced back to me.

Never Fail Chocolate Soufflé

By Libbie Summers

Dear Scared of Soufflés,
I’d like to introduce you to Never Fail Chocolate Soufflé. I think you guys will really hit it off.
XO, 
Libbie

Chia Chong
Never Fail Chocolate Soufflé
makes 6

 

What you need:
1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
5 ounces BEST quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 large egg yolks, room temperature
6 large egg whites, room temperature
1 pinch salt
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon cocoa powder

 

What to do: 
Preheat oven to 375°. Liberally butter 6 individual soufflé ramekins and use the 3 tablespoons sugar to sprinkle the insides; set aside.

In a metal bowl over simmering water, melt chocolate (stirring often). Once the chocolate is melted, remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the egg yolks one at a time.

In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat egg whites with salt on medium high speed until they hold soft glossy peaks. Continue beating egg whites on high speed, gradually adding the remaining 1/3 cup sugar, until the egg whites hold stiff glossy peaks.

Gently stir 1/3 of the eggs whites into the chocolate mixture. Carefully fold in the remaining egg whites. The chocolate mixture should be full of bubbles, even colored and without egg white streaks.

Spoon your soufflé mixture into the prepared ramekins and bake for 12-15 minutes until risen with a crusty exterior.

Dust with cocoa powder and serve right away.

 

4 Ways To Give Someone the Flick This Valentine’s Day

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey and Candace Brower

Sure Valentine’s Day is the day when most engagements happen…but what are the stats on break ups? My thoughts are break ups should never be bad, I prefer if they were fun! Here are 4 fun ways to give someone the flick. 

1. Do it fresh…cut herbs

Ingredients:
Fresh Thyme, Chive, Dill, Mint and some Bay Leaf
Pink cardstock
Scissors

What to say:
ain’t got no THYME for you
quit you CHIVE talkin’
can’t even DILL
MINT to breakup with you earlier
you’re not my BAY, LEAF me alone

2. Take ’em to the farm

What you need:
Biting Wit
Card Stock (I used white)
Fun colored paper (I used gingham parchment paper)
Glue Stick
Printer
Glitter Tape
Scissors
Toy Barnyard Animals

What to do:
•Think of witty puns involving barnyard animals and print on card stock leaving plenty of room in the middle to accommodate the toy animal.
Some examples include:  “another valentine’s day and you still boar me.”, “wool you be my valentine?”, “i’ve got no beef with you, let’s be valentines.”, “some bunny loves you, too bad it’s not me. happy valentine’s day anyway.”, “you’re kind of a cool chick. let’s be valentines.”
•Cut a second piece of card stock just bigger than the first and glue on cute piece of colored paper (I used gingham parchment and yellow construction paper).
•Glue the printed valentine onto the center of the larger colored piece of paper.
•Cut a piece of glitter tape (or any tape) and tape the coordinating barnyard animal to the middle of the card.
•Use colored markers to adorn with hearts or sign your name or do whatever makes you feel better about yourself.
•Give away to those you love and love your sense of humor.

3. Surprise Them With A Twist on The Original
Waxy chocolates? NEVER.
Showy heart-shaped boxes filled with the unexpected, always.

What To Gather:
A few Empty Chocolate Heart Boxes (you can enjoy the chocolate later)
Fresh Fruit and Vegetables
Fried Chicken
Ice Cream
Sushi
1 stop at McDonald’s..

 

4. Make it sweet. Do it with a cupcake!

Get the recipe HERE!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Cinnamon Candy Baby Cakes

By Libbie Summers from my book Sweet and Vicious-baking with attitude, Rizzoli
Photography by Chia Chong 
Model: Anna Heritage

There’s something about a girl holding a cinnamon candy small cake topped with a hand cut paper heart that screams Valentine’s Day.
Hot and Heavy Baby Cakes from Libbie Summers' Sweet and Vicious-baking with attitude (Photography by Chia Chong)

Hot and Heavy Baby Cakes with Kiss Me Frosting
yields 4 triple-layer baby cakes/serves 12

Ingredients:
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons S&V House Blend Almond Extract or regular almond extract
2 3⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1⁄3 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3⁄4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
5 large eggs (4 separated, 1 whole)
1 1⁄2 cups crushed Red Hots cinnamon candies, plus more left whole for garnish
1 to 2 Atomic Fire Balls candy, crushed (I use a zip-top bag and a hammer)
Kiss Me Frosting (recipe to follow)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a heavy-duty 13-by-18-inch rimmed baking sheet (a half sheet pan) with parchment paper and set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and almond extract. Set aside.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt on low speed. Add the butter and mix just until a fine crumb forms. If a paste forms instead, that’s okay. With the mixer on medium speed, add 4 egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the whole egg and beat well. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the buttermilk mixture in thirds, beating well after each addition until the batter is fluffy. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Fold in the Red Hots. Pour the batter onto the baking sheet, evenly spread the batter with a spatula, and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Rotate the baking sheet once halfway through the baking process.

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the Atomic Fire Balls in 1⁄4 cup water. If you like a spicier syrup, add more crushed !reballs. Remove from the heat and let the syrup cool completely.

Let the cake cool completely in the baking sheet. Using a chopstick or skewer, poke holes in the top of the cake. Lightly brush it with the syrup and let the syrup soak into the cake. Use a 3 1⁄2-inch ring mold to cut 12 cake rounds (each cake will be three layers thick).* Frost the cake using a heaping 1⁄4 cup frosting between each layer. Frost the sides and top and pipe a small tree on top…just waiting for a cardboard star!

Kiss Me Frosting
(cinnamon buttercream)
yields about 3 1⁄2 cups

I get weak in the knees when I think about how powerful this frosting is. I have found nothing—nothing—that it doesn’t taste good on. Biscuits, baby cakes, bacon, and my husband’s sweet lips.

Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks ) butter, at room temperature 4 1⁄2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
2 tablespoons evaporated milk
1⁄8 teaspoon red food coloring
1 (6-ounce) box Red Hots cinnamon candies, pulsed in a food processor to crush

Directions:
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until fluffy. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the confectioners’ sugar. Increase the speed to medium and add the salt, vanilla paste, and evaporated milk. Beat for 2 minutes. If the frosting is too thin at this point you can add more of the confectioners’ sugar and mix for 30 seconds, or just until combined. If the frosting is too thick, add a bit more evaporated milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix for 30 seconds, or just until combined. Add the food coloring and mix until fully incorporated. Remove the bowl and use a spatula to fold in the crushed cinnamon candies. Refrigerate the frosting for 10 minutes before using. Frosting can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.
*this recipe also bakes up great as cupcakes

Watch the video to get in a French mood for baking!

A Nature-Inspired Valentine’s Day Party for Two

By Libbie Summers
Creative Assistant: David Dempsey
DP: Chia Chong
Editor: Candace Brower
PA: Anthony Lunsmann
Music: Madly, deeply from Melanie Ungar
Floral Design: Audrey Wagner for Carlstedt’s Florist
Cookies: Sugar Whisk Confections
Music: Madly, deeply from Melanie Ungar

My husband is a special man. One of those guys that instead of wondering how long the trays of homemade marshmallows are going to be covering the kitchen counters, he asks if he can make me a cup of hot chocolate. I wanted to do something special for him this Valentine’s Day as I would be traveling on the actual day. So, I set out to have the hot chocolate and cookie party of all parties…in the woods…with a lot of drama…and a camera crew.

His invitation read: Wear a tux and meet me where I drop you a pin.
This is what happened…


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Paper hearts with written messages on some of them (not all, I kept him looking) marked the path. 
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Then, he went through a paper heart curtain (learn how to make it HERE)
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Then, I had to get him to a bigger area, so it was decorated with pink paper lanterns to lead the way.
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Then, the tree. Imagine being a forrest and coming upon this tree. I love the unexpected.
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He Arrived!!! With the help of friends, I sat the sweetest little table in the woods. A quiet place
to reflect and let him know how appreciated he is.
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The most gorgeous and homespun chic chandelier hung over the table. I let Audrey Wagner work her flower magic. She turned to Carlstedt’s Florist in Savannah for the perfect shades of pink and green florals…
It turned out even more beautiful than I could have imagined. Audrey had been to this rodeo a few times, so she knew to keep it as light as it could be for hanging. We ended up hanging it on a tight rope between two trees. It was perfect.
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And these cookies! Stop it already. I asked Sugar Whisk Confections to make me a few “woodsy” heart cookies and “One that is gingham”. They were almost too adorable to eat…but we did.
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I made a thermos of Le Chocolat Chaud and poured us each a cup. As the sun started setting and the candle light was flickering, I looked across the table and knew the effort was all worth it. Everyday it’s worth it. Because I love this man and he looks great in a tux.
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Watch the story unfold…