Sunday, 17 February 2013

Red Velvet Cupcakes.

Well, being the great blogger that I am I only just realised that my Valentines Day post never actually posted. As I was quite pleased with what I had written though and don't really feel like writing it all again I think I'm just going to go with it. So, Happy 3 days late Valentines Day everyone! Am I getting away with it? Yeah, I don't think so either. Nevermind, enjoy the recipe!

First and foremost, Happy Valentines Day! (Sorry again that it's now the 17th of February :/.) These cupcakes are red which, I think makes them at least a little bit valentines day-ee don't you? (I guess it doesn't really matter now :P.) Although, my Hummingbird Bakery cookbook actually lists them under Halloween so, take that as you will :/. I promise I’m not a hater of Valentines Day and all things romantic though. I must admit though that this week I was much fonder of Pancake Day on Tuesday! Who wouldn’t love a day dedicated to eating pancakes though? It’s heaven. I’d just like Valentines Day a hell of a lot more too if I wasn’t spending it alone with a tub of Ben and Jerry’s and a DVD of the notebook. At least I can say Ryan Gosling was my Valentine ;), it’s just a shame that thousands of other girls will be saying exactly the same thing. Anyway, I’m only joking, that is not my Valentines plan… Seriously, it’s not. Don't get me wrong though I sure wish it was. I’d love to gorge myself on a deep pan pizza for one and top it off with a nice Gu pudding for afters but, for me work calls L. Cue crying. I work two nights a week, how is it even possible that I can’t cope with two nights a week? I don’t know but, somehow it is.

Anyway, on to happier times. Earlier in the week I made these Red Velvet Cupcakes using the recipe from my Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days cookbook which, I got as a Christmas Present from my best friend Michelle, thanks Miv! It’s a really amazing cook book and I actually love it so much already that I now want to plan a trip to London purely so I can go to the Hummingbird Bakery and taste their cupcakes. The Red Velvet Cupcake is their most popular flavour too so, I thought I’d try it first and I also want to start baking a few more classic cupcakes like a basic vanilla and a carrot cake cupcake so, I thought a Red Velvet Cupcake would fit with that plan. I wasn’t sure what to make of this cupcake originally as it called for a whole bottle of red food colouring to be tipped in which, worried me a bit but, I went with it. It didn’t help either that foolishly after mixing together the bitter cocoa powder, the tangy vanilla essence and the chemically tasting food colouring I very stupidly licked the spoon. Oh god! Big mistake. Never do that but, ofcourse you wouldn’t, who in their right mind would? I was left with bright red teeth and the most disgusting dry, tacky, bitter taste in my mouth. Never again.
Don't be alarmed though, this recipe when finished creates amazing moist and soft red cupcakes and the cream cheese frosting is sweet, sugary and delicious. I’d never had a red velvet cupcake or cake before as it’s very American so I don’t really often see it over here in the UK. As such I didn’t really know what to expect from the flavour and I’m still not even sure if the flavour I got is correct as I have nothing to compare it too. Nonetheless my Mum, Dad and nephew all absoloutely adored them so hopefully I did alright. These cupcakes have a slight and very mild chocolate flavour to them and they are very sweet so, perfect if you have a sweet tooth which, I'm pretty sure we all do. As I said my Mum, Dad and nephew all love them and they've all had 2 or 3 each now so they've got to taste pretty good.  It is a lovely cake and the sponge is unbelievably light and soft. Not to mention they look gorgeous and classy with their deep, rich red colour. I think it's safe to say I've found my go to Red Velvet Cupcake recipe, afterall I can’t open a Cupcake Shop without one can I? Thanks very much Hummingbird Bakery!

Makes about 15-18 cupcakes

For the sponge-
120g (4oz) unsalted butter, softened
300g (10 1/2oz) caster sugar
2 large eggs
20g (3/4oz) cocoa powder
40ml red food colouring (such as Dr Oetker)
1 tsp vanilla essence
300g (10 1/2oz) plain flour
1 tsp salt
240ml buttermilk
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
For the frosting-
100g (3 1/2oz) unsalted butter, softened
600g (1lb 5oz) icing sugar
250g (9oz) full-fat cream cheese (such as Philadelphia)

1. Preheat the oven to 190C, Gas mark 5, and line a muffin tin with muffin cases.
2. Using a hand-held electric whisk or a freestanding electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Break in the eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition and mixing in the scrapings from the sides of the bowl.
3. In a separate, small bowl, stir together the cocoa powder, food colouring and vanilla essence to form a paste. Add the paste to the batter, mixing thoroughly until the paste is completely incorporated.
4. Sift together the flour and salt in another bowl, then add the flour to the batter in two batches, alternating with the buttermilk and mixing thoroughly after each addition. Lastly, in another bowl, mix the vinegar and the bicarbonate of soda together by hand and add it to the cake batter, mixing until it is fully incorporated.
5. Spoon the batter into the paper cake cases, so they are two-thirds full, using any remaining batter to fill up to 6 more cases in another tin. Place in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes or until the sponge bounces back when lightly pressed. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before you frost them.
6. Using the electric whisk or freestanding mixer with the paddle attachment, and mixing on a low speed, beat the butter and icing sugar together until no large lumps of butter remain and the mixture is sandy in texture. Add the cream cheese and mix together slowly until everything is incorporated, then increase the speed to medium and beat the frosting until it is soft and fluffy.
7. Cover all but one of the cupcakes with 2 tablespoons of the cream cheese frosting, smoothing it down with a palette knife and making a swirl in the middle of the frosting for a decorative finish (or pipe the cream cheese frosting onto the cupcakes).
8. Place the remaining cupcake in a food processor and blitz into fine crumbs, then sprinkle the frosted cupcakes with the red crumbs. Enjoy!

Thankyou for reading!
Love Courts x

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