by Jane Rodmell for All The Best Fine Foods, a ‘Certified Good Food Fighter

February is the month for little indulgences. Whether you’re planning to surprise your spouse, to dazzle your intended or simply to share some special time with friends and family, at All The Best you’ll find just the treats you’re looking for to bring smiles and sweet feelings. Our shelves are overflowing with specialty candies, hand decorated gingerbread and sugar cookies, adorable mini meringue hearts, sweetly decorated cupcakes and lots of irresistible chocolates.

In our kitchen, the pastry chefs are up to their elbows in chocolate batter, creamy frostings and pink meringue! They’re having fun creating lots of treats you’ll find hard to resist. Mini Conversation Heart Cakes in Red Velvet (four layers of red velvet cake with strawberry preserve filling and cream cheese frosting) or Chocolate Hazelnut Chiffon (four layers of hazelnut cake with chocolate hazelnut mousse filling, hazelnut butter cream frosting and chocolate glaze) provide super indulgence for two. 
Our decadent Chocolate Caramel Pecan Torte is a totally sinful dark chocolate cake with layers of gooey sea salt caramel and pecans. The Chocolate Heart Cake has layers of moist deep chocolate-flavoured cake with chocolate frosting and is the perfect cake for the whole family to enjoy. There are also red velvet baby cakes with cream cheese frosting and a dusting of pink and red sugar.

The subject of the perfect red velvet cake (as with brownies and butter tarts) is cause for great debate among passionate bakers. The original recipe was published in the United States in the mid-1900s. The dark reddish- brown hue of the moist, chocolatey cake comes as a result of the reaction of red anthocyanin pigment in cocoa powder with an acidic ingredient such as buttermilk. Many recipes enhance the redness with the addition of food colouring or grated cooked beets. Legend has it that red velvet cakes were a specialty served as dessert in Eaton’s department stores in the 1940s and 1950s. The recipe was jealously guarded and employees were sworn to secrecy. If any of our readers have this gem in their collection, we would love to hear from you. We hope you will drop by All The Best to taste our version.

Happy Valentine’s Day!