Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Red Velvet cupcakes

This recipe is rather American and the result is very sweet but also rather yummy. This came to me third hand, based on Hummingbird bakery's recipe.

For the cakes
  • 60g butter, at room temperature
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 10g cocoa powder
  • Red food colouring (enough to make the mixture really red!)
  • ½tsp vanilla extract
  • 120ml buttermilk
  • 150g plain flour
  • ½tsp salt
  • ½tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1½tsp white wine vinegar
For the icing (reduce by 1/2 if only making 6 muffins instead of 12 cupcakes):
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 125g cream cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3. Grease and line a deep-holed muffin tin (6 holes) or shallow bun tin (12 holes). You can line with paper cake cases or squares of greased greaseproof paper (5in x 5in works for muffin tins) which form "tulip" cases.
  2. Cream the butter and the sugar until very light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until thoroughly mixed.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla extract together into a paste. Add that to the cake mixture and beat until thoroughly combined. The mixture should be red, not brown, by the end. If it isn't red, add a bit more red colouring.
  4. Pour in half the buttermilk and beat (or whisk with an electric whisk). Add half the flour, and continue to beat, then add the rest of the buttermilk, followed by the rest of the flour, beating continuously until the mixture is lovely and smooth. Lastly, add the salt, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar (yes, really). Continue to beat for one or two minutes.
  5. Pour the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20–25 mins, or until springy. A skewer/cake tester should come out clean. Lift the cupcakes out of the tin and cool on a rack.
  6. Now make the icing: Soften the butter - it wants to be lovely and soft but not quite liquid. Cream in the icing sugar - start with a wooden spoon and once the sugar is mostly in, blend together with a whisk if possible. Add the cream cheese and beat the mixture until it is completely incorporated and has turned fluffy, at least 5 mins. Beware not to overbeat it though, it might get too runny.
  7. When the cupcakes are completely cold, spread the icing over them with a spoon.
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