Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Red Velvet Cupcakes

To me, Red Velvet Cupcakes are just pure indulgence. The soft, dense crumb is so smooth and luxurious. The hint of chocolate against the sour notes of the cream cheese icing is balanced well. And the colour, well the sensational boldness of the red is an eye catcher every time. Pretty much I feel like royalty in the presence of Red Velvet Cupcakes! 

I made these as a practice run for a party that is coming up, and I must say I am super impressed by the recipe. I used a recipe from Joy of Baking and although it didn’t make many, they were so divine it was probably a good thing because between me and D we ate them all in a day. 

At the time of decorating I couldn’t decide between a round or star piping nozzle but now I think the star one looks better. In hindsight I would try to use less icing on the cupcakes as I went a little overboard and I don’t want to the icing to overpower the cupcake itself but just compliment it. I also added sprinkles for decoration but I am still undecided as to wether I will use them for the party I guess it will depend on what papers I use.

This recipe calls for Cake flour which isn’t exactly readily available to the home baker but there is a way you can substitute it. Basically Cake flour has less protein than bread flour and so for every cup of Cake flour you need, use 3/4 cup plain flour + 2 tbsp corn flour.

All in all this recipe is dead easy and the finished product is gorgeous. Give it a go and you won’t be disappointed.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Adapted from Joy of Baking, icing adapted from Baking Better

What you will need

1 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 cup or 57g unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp red food colouring
1/2 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp baking soda

250g cream cheese, room temperature
125g butter, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups icing sugar

What you will need to do

Preheat oven to 175*C and line 12 muffin tins with cupcake papers. Set aside.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder in a bowl and set aside. In another bowl, beat butter until soft then add sugar and cream until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until combined. Scrape down bowl sides and add vanilla, beat until well combined.

In a small bowl whisk buttermilk and red food colouring. Mixing slowly, add the buttermilk and flour mixture alternately until just combined. In a small cup combine the vinegar and baking soda and let it fizz before adding it to the cake mix. Fold in quickly.

Divide the mixture between the 12 cupcake papers and smooth over the tops with the back of the spoon. Bake in preheated oven for approximately 18 - 23 minutes or until tops spring back when touched or toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Cool the cakes in the pan for 10 minutes then remove and place on wire rack. Make sure they are completely cooled before icing. To make the icing, beat the butter until soft then add the icing sugar. This mix with be pretty stiff, add the vanilla and salt and beat until creamy. Add the cream cheese and mix until just combined and you cannot see any lumps. Don’t over mix or your icing will become liquid. I let my icing cool in the fridge for a bit to harden up a bit before piping but you can pipe straight away. Fill a piping bag fitted with your preferred shape and pipe swirls of icing onto the cupcakes. Finish with sprinkles if desired.

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