Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

The other day Nick was commenting on how much he misses The Little Cupcakes shop in Melbourne.  Since it's holiday time and I have plenty of time to spend on cooking, I decided to surprise him with some of his favourite flavoured cupcakes- Red Velvet. 

 Fun fact:  red velvet cupcakes originally were not coloured with food dye but were red due to the unprocessed cocoa reacting with the buttermilk making a rich deep browny red colour.  Nowadays it is increasingly difficult to find unprocessed cocoa so food dye is the way to go.  

Tip:  use a hand electric beater for majority of the method - this helps make the cupcakes fluffier.

This recipe makes about 30 cupcakes.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

 - 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (unsweetened)
- 1 bottle of red food dye (approx. 3 teaspoons)
 - 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
 - 1 1/2 cup sugar
 - 1 heaped teaspoon baking powder, sifted
 - 2 1/2 cups plain flour, sifted
 - 1 teaspoon salt
 - 2 eggs, at room temperature
 - 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
 - 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
 - 1 teaspoon baking soda, sifted
 - 1 teaspoon white vinegar
 - 120 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
 - 180 grams light cream cheese (preferably block rather than spreadable), at room temperature
 - 2 cups icing sugar (do not use icing mixture - it is not the same thing!)

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees.  Place cupcake liners into the muffin tins
  2. In a small bowl mix together the cocoa and red food dye - ensure there are no lumps
  3. In a large bowl beat butter and sugar until creamy and light.
  4. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
  5. Add cocoa paste and vanilla essence, beat well.
  6. Add baking powder, salt and 1/3 of the flour.  Beat well
  7. Add half of the buttermilk.  Beat
  8. Add 1/3 of flour.  Beat
  9. Add the rest of the buttermilk.  Beat
  10. Add the rest of the flour.  Beat
  11. In a separate bowl add vinegar and baking soda (don't worry if it fizzes - this is normal).  Mix this into the cupcakes batter.
  12. Fill the muffin tins 3/4 full.  Place in oven for around 20 minutes.  Check them by placing a skewer into one of the centre muffins and checking if it comes out clean.    Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack
  13. For the icing - beat together the butter until creamy and light.  Add the cream cheese and continue beating until fluffy.
  14. Add the icing sugar a cup at a time and beat until the icing mixture if very fluffy.  
  15. Once the cupcakes are cooled, pipe the icing onto them.  Enjoy :D
Note that this icing must be refrigerated.

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