Valentine Craft and Bake Competition Winner 2012

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I really enjoyed running the Valentine Bake and Craft competition it has been such fun. There were so many fantastic entries to the competition that we really did have a hard job trying to choose a winner. Do see the post of all the entries as they are amazing. We spent an evening looking at all the entries with each printed and laid out across the lounge floor and we studied the pictures, the stories behind the post and marvelled at your creativity. After hours we came to a unanimous decision and now as I sit out on a windy balcony in Devon looking at the box which contains the oak heart trophy I know we made the right choice.

Congratulations to Janine from ChouxChouxBeDoo who is officially crowned the 2012 Virtual Valentine Bake and Craft winner. Her entry was very thought-provoking and she made sure she included the entire family which really caught the judges eyes and hearts. Well done Janine and I find it very fitting to go and put my boots on now to walk down to the village post office to send you your prize from the very place you visited countless times as a child but now live so far away from. Isn’t it funny how the World works? I guess this was just meant to be.

Enjoy and Happy Valentine’s Day x

Valentine Bake and Craft Competition Entries 2012

Update:  You can see the winner here.

The virtual sounds of plans, laughter, a few ‘ah ha’ moments and whoops of twitter joy have headed my way as people created their Valentine bake and craft entries bringing out their creative and romantic sides. Take a few minutes to look through these wonderful virtual entries and click on the images to visit their pages. Do stop and say hello as they don’t bite (as far as I know!) and there have so many more images and stories on their blogs all of which are a very good read and all are competing to win this handcrafted oak heart trophy. This competition has been a real learning curve for me but an enjoyable one.  All being well I do think it will be back on a yearly basis as I don’t think DH will want to make trophy’s every month but this way it keeps it special.  A big thanks to all who entered and bonne chance!

The winner will be announced on Feb 14th as an update to this post (wi-fi permitting!) so come back and see who won. The competition will be judged by an independent professional cake eater and lover of beautiful things and will be done in full X factor style with photo’s of all the work, hours of indecision, caffeine overload but will lack the far flung visit to judges houses – although with these entries you are all welcome for tea anytime!

Triple Valentine Wedding Cake by @Rhixx (twitter only entry – no link to blog / website)

Valentine wedding cakeAmazing @Rhixx used her baking mastery to create this Valentine wedding inspired triple tier cake
Valentine ringCreative artisan Perles de Bijoux used the calling of beautiful sparkly Swarvoski crystal beads and wove them into a Valentine inspired ring of love
Made with love
Made with love is the story behind the meeting of husband and wife and surprising your man with a romantic packed lunch which also includes a heart shaped chocolate cake from talented Homemade by Fleur
Triple Valentine
We don’t do Valentines Day is the story behind this beautiful craft and bake inspired entry from amazing crafter ChouxChouxBeDoo which also includes cake and cupcakes none the less.
I Heart Cupcakes
Underneath their unassuming exterior lies a secret…a hidden heart! and this entry comes aptly from Laura Loves Cakes which also includes full instructions so you will never have to wonder again!
Valentine Whoopie Pies
A 21st Birthday prompted this entry for Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Marshmallow Icing and this delightful entry comes from Aga Girls and was inspired by Hummingbird Bakeries.
Luuuvvv Biscuits
27 years of marriage and being alone this Valentine inspired the creation of Luuuvv Biscuits and this delightful entry comes from inspired The Daisy Cake Co who was also the winner of the Hotel Chocolat box so she will be able to enjoy those in peace this Valentines!
Red Velvet Cupcakes
The intrigue of red velvet cupcakes proved too much for My Culinary Adventures who was unable to resist any longer which is good as they are perfect for this Valentines Day competition.
Custard Cream Hearts
A brand spanking new blog and it’s first post none the less was the entry with Custard Cream Hearts from All for Scone! who has been meaning to begin a blog and this competition spurred her into action which is amazing. A great first post – happy blogging and good luck!
An amazing entry of Valentine Raspberry and White Chocolate Cake from Baking Beats with his stylish creation complete with the ultimate Malteaser explosion I mean what’s not to like!
A teeny tiny entry of Valentine Fairy Slippers from Janice Pattie with her so cute fairy slippers which are oh so adorable. I just wish my feet were tincy wincy enough for these (sigh).
A fantastic swarm of cute little bees on the top of Nigella’s Chocolate Honey cake is the entry from the biggest Baking Addict I know. She truly lives up to her name and her cake is smothered in ganache. The bee’s look to cute to eat although I would have to give in due to the chocolate!

An unusual combination of half Carrot and Chocolate Cake Hearts which are lovingly smothered in an orange cream cheese icing is the entry from Baking Bachelor. A truly unique combination which includes love heart messages and as he now has lots of these treats he can delight many a lady with these!

A Review and Hotel Chocolat Giveaway

Win your Hotel Chocolat ‘Head Over Heels’ box featured and reviewed below! Full details are at the bottom of this review – Good Luck.  The winner of the box was the Daisy Cake Company who can be found here – congratulations and enjoy!

Review Of Hotel Chocolat (all views are my own and I have not been paid for this review – click to see my disclosure rules). We are always happy to review products fairly so please feel free to contact cakeboule at gmail dot com.

Hotel Chocolat sent me the ‘Head over Heels’ selection from their beautiful valentine range. Immediatley I choose a small selection of Hotel Chocolat virgins whose first words were ‘Who’s Hotel Chocolat?’ but after a quick google were up for the challenge. These ladies are self confessed chocolate addicts who aim for vast quantities to hit the chocolate spot rather than quality (Thorntons probably being the highest on their list so far) and none of whom would ever dream of paying £25 for a box of chocolates. So Hotel Chocolat this is going to be your toughest taste test yet as these are hardened testers who enter this review unconvinced by prestigious brand chocolate and pretty packaging as all they are looking for is a chocolate kick. Will you transform these normal unconvinced everyday girls into Hotel Chocolat lovers and make them fall ‘Head Over Heels’ or will you be blown out the water faster than a nerd on a first date?

Mission : “Would you be happy to get this box for Valentines Day?”

The Mission Testers:
ProTester Big Bump – religiously eats chocolate by the bag full (one is never enough) and prefers dark strong chocolate flavours to satisfy her intense cravings. In younger years she has been known to carefully peel out chocolate from her Mother’s Easter egg without disturbing the foil so nobody would know it had gone (ingenious!).
ProTester I’m in Charge – set out the chocolate tasting rules with expert military precision and for that we were grateful. She has been known to sneakily eat her son’s chocolate bars when really desperate for her chocaholics fix but got caught out when she forget to hide the wrapper. She prefers milk chocolate to dark generally.
ProTester OCD (note taker) – one of those annoying people who can stop after one chocolate and still has half an easter egg left festering in the cupboard which flew out of the cupboard and hit her on the head recently.

Testing Procedure: Each chocolate was cut into 3, smelt, centres licked and then sucked into oblivion.

The Box Test – If you were left these what would you think?

Pro Tester Big Bump: I’d know someone had brought me a quality gift just by the feel and look of the box but I would still not believe they cost £25 – I would have to google it to see how much they were.
ProTester I’m in Charge: The layout of the box and chocolates says quality and there is not a hint of tackiness at all.
Pro Tester OCD: How much! I like to have things I can keep but I would keep the box as it so pretty but I would never dream of paying that much for a box of choclates so I am not convinced.

Opening the Box: Bowled over or Chocolate flop?
ProTester Big Bump: menu given is well crafted and on quality card stock continuing to make you realise this is not your ordinary box of chocolates that you would find in Aldi. The menu lacks a gluten free symbol which would be very helpful to those who are coeliac.
Pro Tester I’m in Charge: Opens the box, wafts her hand towards her nose and breathes in the aroma deeply (similar to the dog version of I am going to smell you before I lick you). The smell of dark, rich chocolate aroma hits you with force as you pull off the outer layer. The chocolates are beautifully presented with an interesting combination of decoration and colour. You don’t see this in a box of milk tray.
ProTester OCD: The smell is divine – they should make plug in air fresheners that go through the different chocolate smells.

The Chocolates : Worth the Money or Never Repeat Again?

Strawberry & Black Pepper
An unusual combination which had a very rich with a very smooth strawberry truffle with the bite of black pepper as a punchy aftertaste like pleasure and pain rolled into one chocolate. ProTester Big Bump: This was the odd ball but lovable.

Champagne Truffle
Hardness of the chocolate is balanced well against the smoothness of the intoxicating hit of champagne and you can literally feel the fizz and bubbles in your mouth – how do they do this? ProTester Big Bump: I hate milk chocolate and champagne but I could literally eat my body weight in these. Can they make champagne that tastes like this please!

Praline Truffle
This smelt as if hundreds of hazelnuts have been roasted and packed into this elegant truffle. The centre was smooth and so crammed full of hazelnut flavours that you would expect the centre to have bits of nuts in it yet this was beautifully smooth. ProTester OCD: Ferrero Rocher pales into insignificance.

Half Time Report: After just 3 chocolates the testers reported that normally they have to eat one large chocolate bar to really hit the chocolate spot and then are left thinking ”OK, what can I have next?. All felt their chocolate spot had not only been satisfied but it had been seductively massaged and caressed in a way they never knew existed.

Amaretto Amour
There are only three words for this: Oh My Goodness! Packed full of amaretto kick but in a smooth, dreamy eye closing and happy sigh experience. Pro Tester I’m in Charge: It is as if you have been tangoed with a slap of Amaretto and if I were to be tangoed there would be no better way than this. Whooo Whoooo! (Note: She was so excited by this one I was surprised not to see her bra being swung above her head whilst whooping with joy).

Milk Chocolate Truffle
ProTester I’m in Charge: Nice, but if i had this one first I might have been disappointed as the other flavours are so uniquely different and a true experience but this was an anticlimax (must have been all the whooping after the last flavour). ProTester OCD: This was like a contestant on X Factor: good but forgettable.

Raspberry Rapture
Zingy , refreshing and who knew a chocolate could be refreshing? A well-balanced blend of centre to chocolate ratio (yes the girls are getting technical now!). ProTester I’m in Charge: This reminds me of lost Summer family memories of picking raspberries and eating them in the garden with the heat beating down on our little faces. ProTester Big Bump: Raspberries can be a disappointing fruit as they can be watery and lack flavour. This has more raspberry flavour than a raspberry but not in a sickly overpowering way.

Bakewell Tart
We expected something different with this one which although exquisite did not deliver quite what it promised. ProTester OCD: Very similar to the Amaretto Amour which is good as that one was amazing but I expected a little more cherry which was lost as the amaretto overpowered it (hence no bra swinging on this one).

Black Cherry Truffle
This was saved to last as this was ProTester Big Bump’s most desired. Pro Tester Big Bump: I put this one on a pedestal in my mind and when you do that it usually falls flat and doesn’t live up to expectations. This however truly did, if this was a man it would be David Boreanaz as it is sultry, cocky with its flavour and yet still a smouldering smoothy. Baby also really enjoyed this one as he/she gave an almighty kick of adoration.

Mission Conclusion: “Would you be happy to get this box for Valentines Day?”

Despite originally saying no we would not be impressed by a box of chocolates all testers agree a resounding Head over heels – YES YES YES! Decadent chocolates, beautiful quality packaging that offer a truly a luxurious taste experience perfect for special gift , occasion or girly night. The testers reported they will certainly be going to look around for a Hotel Chocolat shop soon and quickly googled the nearest location to chocolate stalk. Men out there – take note you will most definitely be loved by buying these as a gift.

ProTester Big Bump: I would be very happy if my husband brought me these and for once I would not sit and eat the whole lot in one go as they scratch the chocolate itch quickly and in a truly satisfying way.

ProTester I’m in Charge: There have been occasions when I really wanted to treat someone for a special occasion and I never know what to get. Now I would buy them a box of these as it would really showed how much they meant to me. I’m off to look at the nearest shop!

ProTester OCD: I didn’t think I would be won over , I truly didn’t but I have to admit these are exquisite and worth every penny. I said I did not want an Easter egg this year (last years still uneaten!) I said I wanted sprinkles instead but this has changed my mind I want a Hotel Chocolat one pleeeeeasssse.

Hotel Chocolat Giveaway

Win your own box by entering the competition to win the ‘Head over heels’ selection box worth £25 by popping over to my facebook page where you will see competitions on the left side or click here to go directly to the competition page. Tell me something (a post or picture ) that made you smile on my blog and you have your first entry! You do not have to be on Facebook to join in – you can still click on this link and enter with an email address – the chocolates are worth every bit of effort I can assure you!

Winners will be announced on the Facebook page widget after the competition has closed and you will need to contact me by email (cakeboule at gmail dot com) to give me an address to send directly to Hotel Chocolat so they can send you the winning box. If you sadly do not win – do have a look at the Hotel Chocolat range and make yourself very happy or someone else.

Small Print: I have no control over how long it itakes Hotel Chocolat to post out the winnig box so please be patient.

FAQ – Entering a Rafflecopter Competition (via Facebook)
What is rafflecopter? Watch this video
Do I have to have a Facebook account? No you can enter directly with an email address
Do I have to do all the things? No just answering the first question is all you need to get an entry – the extra things just count as extra bonus points towards winning.
How to find URL of a tweet – click here

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Chocolate Toffee Cookies

Vanilla Fudge and White choclate truffles

Cake Pop Art or Chocolate Heaven

Virtual Valentine Craft and Bake Competiton 2012

Valentines Day is special (get ready to pass the sick bucket) as it is our wedding anniversary yes groan all you wish.  This year I am surprising Mr H with a holiday away and I can honestly say I can’t wait but I can say that as I know where we are going.  As I am unlikely to bake on that day (being away and all) I thought it would be great to get in the spirit with a virtual valentines competition (remember my New Year’s resolution about making more memories).  

Fun Bake and Craft Competition
This is just for fun competition showcasing photographs and blog posts from insanely clever crafters and bakers like you.  Be as creative as you like there are no hard and fast rules.  If you believe in Mayan predictions there will not be another one as the World is going to end in 2012 so this could be your last chance! 

I will feature all entrants with a photograph of their entry and links to your blog post or facebook page to showcase your hard work.  There is a small prize and of course the ability to brag to friends you won.  As this is a self funded blog and I have no sponsors but rumour has it the prize will be a stylish heart trophy beautifully handcrafted in oak. 

P.S: I would love to say my husband chose this date for our wedding as he is the complete romantic but I would be lying.  In reality it was purely (as I found out during his speech) for no romantic reason at all but to ensure he got a continual 6 week reminder after New Year.  He told the entire room ‘if I remain oblivious to hearts and roses in shop windows from Jan 1st  then the queues in garage forecourts and supermarkets across the land by panicked men would give me a final reminder’.  He followed this with ‘at least I will not be the man who forgot his wedding anniversary’ (thanks a lot for the romance Mr H). 

Competition Rules of Entry 
Want some inspiration?  Look at my Valentine inspired gallery on pinterest

Main Entry  – Using a Blog / Website

  • Make sure your entered item is featured on one of your pages / posts.  Tell your viewers that it is for the virtual valentines craft and bake competition 2012 with a link to this post on the competition
  • Sign up to follow my blog to find out the results and of course to see the entrants and winner
  • Add cakeboule as a tag on your post / page that you are submitting
  • You can add me to your beloved blog roll / website links if you wish but it is not necessary – join or add me because you want too.


  • Feel free to like the cakeboule page and share it with others to share out the Valentines love (got to get in the spirit)

Bonus Retweets on Twitter

  • Follow me on twitter for competition updates @cakeboule
  • Post your entry on twitter. 
    • use a shortened link to your post and mention me @cakeboule
    • Add #ValentineBakeCraft
    • I will retweet you and your post when I get chance
    • E.g @your name entered WP.657.890 to @cakeboule for the #ValentineBakeCraft competition

General Rules

  • Make anything you wish as long as you feel it says Valentines day to you
  • Please email your photographs (no more than 2 so make sure they are your favourite) to
  • Please include the link to your post as well as your name (but I will only publish you as your blog / web page name where possible)
  • The deadline is February 4th so that I have time to showcase your entries in a blog post with links to all your hard work before 14th February
  • The winner will be announced on the big day itself (wifi connection permitting)  which is 14th Feb in case you did not know / live under a rock.
  • The small prize will be sent out to the winner by post if within the UK (overseas entrants are welcome to join in but I am not sure how much it will cost to ship the prize internationally but will find out.  Disclaimer – I accept no responsiblity for the state it arrives in or if it gets there I can only do my best)
  • Bragging rights are completely allowed for the winner