Apparently approximately 150 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged every year, making Valentine’s Day the second most popular card-sending holiday after Christmas; lots of moola being made there. But I hope the cards with saucy hidden messages keep going for the next forever and a day. I love to shop for a card that has a special message for the one I love. I also love receiving cards, especially the intrigue of wondering who sent it, so keep the cards coming.
Now whether you are going to celebrate the whole month of love or just the day, I think it is important to make it special. A quote I read from Jay Leno recently made me laugh. He said, “Today is Valentine’s Day. Or, as men like to call it, Extortion Day.” However you see it, remember it has history.
The history of Valentine’s Day – and the story of its patron saint – is shrouded in mystery. We do know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. But who was Saint Valentine, and how did he become associated with this ancient rite?
I believe that the Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom, oh my, were martyred. One of the legends has it that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome and when Emperor Claudius II decided that single men would make better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men – what a beast!
Valentine thought that this decree was unjust, so he defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.
So, on a less depressing note then, we have to Keep St Valentine’s day alive for his sake, don’t you agree?
So let’s buy red roses, exchange small tokens of affection, sip champagne, dance cheek to cheek, whisper sweet nothings into each other’s ears, and let’s make whoopee…pies! Or make handwritten notes; if you are brave enough to put your name to it.
Let’s Make Whoopie… Pies!
Rose & Raspberry Whoopie Pies
- 125g butter
- 250ml castor sugar
- 2 eggs
- 5ml rose essence
- 500ml SASKO flour
- 5ml baking powder
- 2ml bicarbonate of soda
- 125ml buttermilk
- few drops of pink food colouring
- 375ml cream
- Fresh raspberries
- 250ml sifted icing sugar
- Water to mix
- A few drops of pink food colouring
- A few pieces of Turkish delight cut into small cubes
Cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Mix in essence. Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Add to the creamed mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Mix in enough colouring to make the batter pale pink.
It should form a stiff batter. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag with a plain 1cm nozzle. Pipe blobs onto a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Space the blobs apart to allow room for slight spreading of the mixture.
Bake at 180°C for 7-10 minutes until firm to the touch. Remove and cool. Sandwich two pieces together with the whipped cream, raspberries and pieces of Turkish delight. Top with a little glaze icing.
Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
- 125g butter
- 250ml brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 500ml SASKO cake flour
- 125ml cacao powder
- 8ml bicarbonate of soda
- 5ml vanilla essence
- 40ml red food colouring
- 200ml milk
- 125g thick cream ceese
- 80g butter
- 5ml vanilla essence
- 500ml sifted icing sugar
Cream the butter and the sugar very well. Add the egg and beat well. Add vanilla and food colouring to the milk.
Sift the flour, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda and add to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk mixture.
Spoon the mixture into a piping bag with a 1cm wide plain nozzle and pipe the mixture on to a baking try lined with non-sticking baking paper. Make sure to leave room for spreading.
Bake at 180˚C for 10-15 minutes until firm to the touch.
Remove and cool on the tray.
For the filling cream together the cheese and butter until smooth. Add the vanilla and mix well. Add enough icing sugar to make a frim icing.
Sandwich two halves together with the cream cheese.