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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Okay so you had to know this was coming. This couldn't be known as "the week of cupcakes" without Red Velvets. I don't dare call myself a master cupcake connoisseur without having them in my repertoire simply because they are one of everyone's favorites. Recently, however, I've seen so many versions that are just so WRONG and its driving me crazy. Does anyone actually want to take a bite of something that is so red it nearly looks radioactive???!?! I don't think so. All of these fire truck red disasters further inspired me to show you, aka the world, what a Red Velvet is supposed to be like in all of its glory. Getting to this road, however, was not easy. Red Velvets differ from classic cupcakes as they contain a mix of baking soda and vinegar, that we all know *thanks to all of our paper mache volcanoes* fizzes and expands/reacts when mixed together. Putting this reactive mixture in a cupcake is a delicate balance to achieve and I've had quite a few attempts turn out gummy and gross. But those days are over because I've found a recipe that's officially joined my archives. The cake is sweet, carries hints of chocolate, and maintains it's rich namesake color without being toxic/unedible looking. My favorite part of this cupcake however has got to be the frosting. Classic Red Velvets get topped with a cream cheese frosting, so that is what I did. Except I did it a little differently. Usually cream cheese frosting is heavy and super thick, but I made it as fluffy and light as can be because the cake is moist and dense enough. I'm telling you, you'll eat this by the spoonful.

Red Velvet Cupcakes, makes 12, *recipe slightly adapted from Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook

4 tbs butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg
3 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tbs red food coloring
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup plus 2 tbs all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp distilled white vinegar

SICKENINGLY GOOD Cream Cheese Frosting
 6 tbs softened butter
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbs heavy cream

Recipe: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a bowl fitted with an electric mixer cream the butter and sugar until well combined. Add in the egg and beat on high until fluffy, about 3 minutes. In a separate bowl combine the cocoa powder, food coloring, and vanilla, and mix together to make a paste. While on low speed, add this "paste" into the rest of the batter. Next add 1/2 of the buttermilk and mix until well incorporated. Then add the salt and 1/2 of the flour mixture. Go back and forth between adding the buttermilk and flour until both are completely used and mixed in. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. On low speed add the baking soda and vinegar. Once combined, mix on high speed for about 4 minutes until the batter is nice and thick. Fill your GREASED cupcake pan/liners 3/4 of the way full.
See its actually RED, but not toooooo red.
Bake the cupcakes for 20-25 minutes until a tester is inserted and it comes out clean.

Leave in pan to rest for about 7 minutes. Remove from pan and cool to room temperature, then put in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up if frosting immediately.

For the frosting: Beat together the butter and cream cheese on high until totally combined. Turn the mixer on low and add in the heavy cream and vanilla. Gradually add the powdered sugar. Once fully incorporated turn the mixer on high and beat for 5 minutes. It will become SUPER fluffy, so be patient and keep beating!

Assembly: Pipe/slather/slop a GIANT mass of frosting onto your very cooled cupcake. Garnish with white chocolate shavings if desired.
 and i mean its just so pretty. looks like white chocolate snow.
Los Lonely Boys once asked "How Far is Heaven?" The answer: RIGHT HERE

vavavavooom for velvet

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