This Valentine's Day, two Boise businesses are baking up treats that eschew the holiday's ubiquitous chocolate-and-strawberry motif.
Lilly Jane's Cupcakes is experimenting with an unusual ingredient for Feb. 14: beef tallow. Owner Margaret Lagerstrom has created the Honey Bee My Valentine cupcake, which is topped with frosting made from Snake River Farms' American Kobe-shi. Lagerstrom said the beef tallow can be substituted one-for-one for butter or shortening.
"The cake is a vanilla cake, and I added cinnamon, honey and lemon," she said. "And then the frosting is a honey cream cheese frosting, and it has the tallow in it, as well."
Lagerstrom said the beef tallow frosting stays softer than her standard buttercream, which can get a thin crust on the outside as it sits throughout the day. The tallow adds some subtle savory notes.
"You can't taste it initially, but you do get a little bit of a hint afterwards of the beef flavor," Lagerstrom said.
Lilly Jane's will be selling Honey Bee My Valentine cupcakes at its two locations—664 S. Rivershore Lane, Ste. 164 in Eagle and 1020 W. Main St., Ste. 111 in Boise—Thursdays and Saturdays through February. Lagerstrom suggests pre-ordering cupcakes for Valentine's Day, which she says is the shop's "craziest day of the year."
If you want to spice things up even more, Guru Donuts is cranking up the heat on a couple of its Valentine's Day offerings. The Hot Lips donut, for example, is topped with a chocolate Sriracha glaze.
"We're going to doll up the Sriracha a little because Sriracha can be kind of savory when you first bite into it," said co-owner Angel Moran. "So we're probably going to add a little bit more of the pineapple juice notes that are already in the Sriracha, so we'll bring out the sweeter side. But it's still a slow burn; it does have a nice finish of the heat."
Guru has also created the Stupid Cupid, a donut with a vegan Red Hot cinnamon glaze.
"That one's a square donut and it has a blush, baby pink color... It's actually a hot cinnamon oil that we get from the Co-op; it's an all-natural cinnamon flavor," said Moran.
Guru Donuts will carry these flavors, along with a couple of other specials, through the end of February at their storefront, 204 N. Capitol Blvd. The donut shop will also host musician James Orr on Saturday, Feb. 14, from 9-11 a.m., to serenade sweethearts.