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Valentine's Day - A New Business Opportunity?

Have you been thinking of starting your own business, but don't know where to start?

Do you want to start something that doesn't involve premises, rent, a huge cash flow and minimal risk?
Are you a decent cook?
Do you enjoy baking?

If the answer is yes - Why not try a cupcake business? - possibly one of the easiest and most basic items to bake, but the combinations and possibilities are endless. Cupcakes are great as they allow you to be as inventive or basic as you like. Now is the perfect time to start creating and testing or even gifting your ideas and inventions - Valentine's Day!

Why not use Valentines' as the perfect market research day, use your friends, families and small local businesses to test out the local market and get a feel for the possibilities and options you may have!

Here are some recipes to get you started and get the creative juices flowing:

A simple favourite that everyone can enjoy:

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup full cream milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups flour, plus 2 Tbsp for the Oreo chunks
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 2/3 cup sugar
3 large egg whites
1 packet Oreo Cookies or any alternative you fancy  (~45 cookies)

1. Preheat over to 350F. Insert cup cake cases into a medium cupcake pan. (Note- Try using fancy or colour themed cases for your cakes to enhance their visual appeal)
2. Half the Oreos. Place the biscuit with filling on it, filling side up, in the bottom of each case. Save the other half to put in the icing and for decoration.
3. Cut the remaining Oreo cookies into quarters. Cover with 2 Tbsp flour and set aside.
4. Cream the butter until fluffy. Add the milk and vanilla and mix.
5. In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
6. Add the dry ingredients to butter mixture. Mix well. Stir in sugar. With an electric mixer on low speed, beat for 30 seconds. Beat for a further 2 minutes on medium speed. Add the egg whites. Beat for 2 more minutes. Stir in the quartered cookies.
7. Fill the cupcake cases three-quarters full. Bake for about 20 minutes. Cool cupcakes in the tray.

8 oz cream cheese
1 stick butter
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
3-4 cups powdered sugar

1. Cream butter and cream cheese until fluffy.
2. Add vanilla extract. Slowly add powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached.

Assemble the cupcakes

1. Once cupcakes have cooled completely, add cream cheese frosting.
2. Sprinkle with crushed Oreos and place 1/2 of an Oreo on the frosting of each cupcake for decoration.

Have you got a recipe that you can add to profiletree? How about creating your own profile and start promoting your own business today? Starting out, and hoping to find work? Take the first steps to being self employed on ProfileTree today. Cooking for fun is great - cooking for money is even better!

The Ultimate Chocolate Lover's cupcake:

Nutella Chocolate Cupcake:

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2 ounces good grade bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup cocoa
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream

1. heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare standard muffin tray.
2. Add and mix  butter, chocolate, and cocoa in bowl. Microwave until  melted (about 1 minute). Set aside to cool, to lukewarm.
3. Stir in flour, baking soda, and baking powder in bowl.
4. Beat eggs. Add sugar, vanilla, and salt, beat until fluffy. Add cooled chocolate mixture and beat until well mixed. Add flour and sour cream beat well.
5. Spoon mixture into cases and cook for 15 minutes.
6. Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack (about 15 minutes). Cut centres out, fill with filling below.
7. Decorate with frosting. Crumble Ferrero Rocher Chocolate on top of the frosting.


4 tablespoons softened butter
1/2 cup of chopped hazelnuts and 1/2 cup whole ones for the top of the cupcakes
1/2 cup of Nutella
1 1/2 cups of Rice Krispies crushed
2 to 3 tablespoon of heavy cream
1 cup of confectionery sugar

1. Mix butter and Nutella together until well blended.
2. Add confectionery sugar Rice Krispies, mix together and add the heavy cream until a smooth filling not running but thick and workable.
3. Fill hollowed out cupcakes with the filling.

Ganache Topping

2 cups of semi sweet chocolate
3/4 cup of heavy cream

1. Heat cream in microwave until boiling, add chips keep stirring until chips are all melted.
2. Add crushed Ferrero Rocher chocolates on the top of the cupcakes after you have put the frosting on them.

Now you have the kettle on for a nice cup of tea - what not have a look at some other ideas for you to create  - click here to see more cooking gift ideas.


The perfect Valentine's Day Cupcake:

Red Velvet Cupcakes
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tbs cocoa powder
2 oz. red food colouring
1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp baking soda

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cup cake cases.
2. Mix the cake flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.  In a separarte bowl, mix food colouring and cocoa powder to form a thin paste without lumps; set aside.
3. Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla and the red cocoa paste.
4. Add one third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beat well, then beat in half of the buttermilk. Beat in another third of flour mixture, then second half of buttermilk. End with the last third of the flour mixture, beat until well mixed.
5. Then mix vinegar and baking soda. Add vinegar mixture to the cake batter and stir well to combine. Fill cupcake cups with cake mixture.
6.Place muffin tins on the middle rack of a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for approximately 20-22 minutes.
7. Cool the cupcakes in their tins (try not to sample any before 10 mins :-)). Remove and allow to cool before icing. Ice cupcakes with unique meringue icing (recipe below) and decorate with red sprinkles especially for Valentine's.



Meringue Icing:

5 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsps cream of tartar
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 to 3 drops pure almond extract

1. Bring some water to a gentle simmer in a saucepan, large enough to hold a standing mixer bowl above the water.
2. Mix the egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt together in the bowl until combined.
3. Set the bowl over the simmering water and whisk constantly until sugar is completely dissolved and mixture is smooth and hot to the touch, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat at medium-high speed until meringue is cool and holds a soft peak, 4 to 5 minutes. With the speed on low, add the vanilla and almond extract; increase speed to medium and continue whisking until mixture is glossy and holds a stiff peak, 1 to 2 minutes more.

A delicious cupcake for Coffee Lovers:

Caramel Coffee Cupcakes

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup strongly brewed coffee, cooled to warm
1/4 cup milk
1 tbsp Kahlua
12 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp instant espresso
Cacao nibs, for sprinkling

Whipped Cream Topping
200g whipping cream
3 tbsp sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tsp Kahlua

Caramel Sauce
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
4 tbsp heavy cream

Make Coffee Cupcakes

1. Preheat oven to 350 F/175 C. Place cake cases in muffin tray.
2. Mix together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside. Mix coffee, milk, and Kahlua in a cup and set aside.
3. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat eggs in one at a time.
4. Beat in one-third of the flour mixture, then half of the liquid mixture. Then beat in another third of flour mixture, then the rest of the liquid, then the remaining flour mixture. Mix in the instant espresso.
5. Fill cupcake cases until 3/4 full.
6. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Allow to cool in the tray for 10 minutes. Cool completely before decorating.

Make Caramel Sauce

1. Warm the cream up in a bowl in the microwave.
2. Spread sugar evenly across the bottom of a heavy bottomed saucepan and put over medium-high flame. Watch carefully as it melts.
3. When it is browning, you can start to stir. When it looks like all of it has browned lightly, remove the pot from heat and stir in butter.
3. Return to heat and stir for a few seconds until smooth. Remove from the heat again and add the warmed heavy cream. Stir quickly until smooth. Set aside and allow to cool.

Make Whipped Cream Topping and Assemble
(When the cakes are cooled)

1. Whip the cream and sugar until soft peaks form. Add in vanilla and Kahlua and whip until medium peaks form.
2. Transfer to a piping bag, pipe on top of each cupcake.
4. Drizzle the cool caramel sauce over the cupcakes with a spoon.

Why not have a go at these recipes or creating your own? What have you got to lose?
Follow us on to read more ideas on starting, launching and developing your cupcake business. For some tips on setting up your skills profile click here why not create your own profile here to start on your journey.


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