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Red Velvet Cupcakes

Happy Valentine’s Day!

This was my first ever attempt at baking red velvet cake, and I decided to do cupcakes.  They were quite wonderful – lovely and red!  I think by now I’ve washed all the red food coloring off my hands.  And the kitchen counters.  Oh, and there was a layer of cocoa powder in there too. Umm, and powdered sugar.  Yikes!

This recipe comes from The Repressed Pastry Chef, and the link to the recipe is here.

Allison’s Amazing Red Velvet Cupcakes
adapted from the NY Times Red Velvet Cake recipe
1 cup cake flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 ounce red food coloring
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk (I used fat-free)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon white vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 12-cupcake pan with cupcake liners.

Whisk cake flour, cocoa and salt in a bowl.

Place oil and sugar in bowl of an electric mixer and beat at medium speed until well-blended. Beat in egg.

With machine on low, very slowly (VERY SLOWLY) add red food coloring.  Take care: it may splash!  Add vanilla.

Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk in two batches.  Scrape down bowl and beat just long enough to combine.

Place baking soda in a small dish, stir in vinegar and add to batter with machine running.  Beat for 10 seconds.

Divide batter, filling each cupcake tin about 2/3 full.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Em’s Magnificent Cream Cheese Icing

adapted from the June 1998 Epicurious.com Cream Cheese Icing recipe
1 8oz package cream cheese, room temperature, divided into 3 parts
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
1 tablespoon shortening
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar

Beat sugar and butter in large bowl until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla and combine very well. Add the first third of the cream cheese and combine well. Add the shortening and combine well.  Add the remaining cream cheese one piece at a time, combining very well after each. Gradually add the sugar and combine thoroughly until light and fluffy.  (Here is the part where I should tell you that I did not follow these steps at all…I just threw everything in a bowl and beat it together all at once.)

These cupcakes were incredibly moist and delicious.  The texture was not crumbly.  You can definitely detect the chocolate, and the cream cheese icing…well, it was to die for!  The only thing I would do differently if I make these cupcakes again is use less red food coloring.  They ended up being a very deep, dark red and I really do prefer a lighter red velvet cake.

It was unanimous: everyone loved them, especially my children, who always leap at the chance to eat a cupcake.  I completely understand why red velvet cake isn’t something one would ordinarily make every day – unless, of course, you have a bakery – because it is a complicated, not to mention messy, process.  I am so glad I gave these a try!

Until next time,
Muncho Mom

Categories: Food

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