Sunday, April 11, 2010

Red Velvet

This week a friend of mine had an overlap of both her birthday, and an election for an organization she belongs to at the law school. To celebrate, she decided she decided she wanted to make some red velvet cupcakes. To keep with the election theme, she wrote “Pick Flick” on top of the cupcakes (a reference to the movie Election, and yes, it says “FLICK” though on some of them the L and the I run together a little...) It’s been a month or so since I made my last batch of cupcakes, so this was a good way for me to get back into form (bet you didn’t know you could lose your cupcake making form, but you never know). Anyway, as a base we used the Magnolia Bakery recipe. I have to say, I’m often not a big fan of red velvet cakes, I think they’re just overblown vanilla cakes, but these had a really nice flavor, excellent crumb, and were very moist. I would strongly recommend them. Instead of the vanilla frosting recipe called for, we instead made a cream cheese frosting, which is appropriate for red velvet as far as I’m concerned. All told, I still don’t think red velvet cupcakes top my list of desirable cakes, but if that’s what you’re after, this recipe is the way to go.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Makes 24 cupcakes

3 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
6 tablespoons red food coloring
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1. Preheat oven to 350 and line cupcake tins. Sift cake flour and set aside. In the bowl of a mixer cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the eggs one at a time, beating completely after each addition.

3. In a small bowl whisk together the red food coloring, cocoa, and vanilla extract. Beat into the butter mixture and beat well.

4. Stir the salt into the buttermilk. Alternate adding the buttermilk and the flour in three parts, mixing until just combined. In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar and baking soda, and stir into the batter, mix well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

5. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 cups full, and bake for 20 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Set aside to cool

Cream Cheese Frosting

12 oz. low fat cream cheese, room temperature
½ stick butter, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 cups powdered sugar

1. Cream together the cream cheese and the butter

2. Add the vanilla and the powdered sugar, beat until combined.

3. Frost cupcakes

Beth piping "Pick Flick" onto the tops of the cupcakes

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