Friday, February 25, 2011

Red Velvet Cupcakes for Valentines Day

I was trying to figure out what to make for Valentine's Day to bring into my office.  I started thinking, chocolate, then red velvet cupcakes in sweet silver liners with bright white frosting and more chocolate.  If you can believe it the original recipe called for twice the amount of red food coloring, but I thought 1 oz of left it them just the right shade of red for Valentine's Day.  These cupcakes turned out moist and fluffy with smooth, whipped cream cheese frosting. 

Red Velvet Cake is something of a mystery and their are several urban legends behind the history of it.  Either way someone has it right.  Enjoy!

*A helpful hint for all those who are busy, as we all are.  If you know in advance that you need to make cupcake say the next day, after an 8-hour work day, go ahead and measure out your dry ingredients (flour, salt, etc in one and sugar in another) the night before and store in airtight containers.

Red food coloring and cocoa powder mixed together.

Butter and sugar.

Red Velvet Cupcakes:

2 1/2 cups cake flour (all-purpose flour will work if it is what you have)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 oz red food coloring
1/2 cup/ 1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs (1/2 cup egg substitute) at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk at room temperature
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line cupcake tin with 18 liners and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

2.  In a small bowl mix together red food coloring and cocoa powder until there are no lumps, it will be on the thicker side.

3.  In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, salt and baking powder, set aside.

4.  In another large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar using either a whisk or hand mixer.  Next, mix in vanilla, eggs and cocoa mixture until well incorporated, scraping the bowl at least once with a spatula. 

5.  Alternating between the buttermilk and flour mixture, slowly add each to the butter-sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Do not over mix.

6.  In a small bowl mix together vinegar and baking soda.  Add it to the cake batter and mix in.  Using either a tablespoon or a small ice cream scoop, scoop 2 spoon fulls of batter into each cupcake liner until they are each 3/4 full.

7.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until tester comes out clean.  While baking begin to prepare chocolate.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

8 oz 1/3 fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar

1.  With a mixer cream, together cream cheese and butter until smooth and well combined.

2.  Mix in vanilla.

3.  On a lower speed, mix in powdered sugar one cup at a time.  If frosting begins to appear dry, taste.  It is okay to not use full amount of powdered sugar.

Semi-sweet - White Chocolate Pieces:

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips

1.  Set-up two double boilers. (I just use two sauce pans with about one inch of water in the bottom with two metal mixing bowls on top).  Add the semi-sweet chips to one bowl and the white chocolate chips to the other. Slowly melt over medium high heat.

2.  Once melted spread the semi-sweet chocolate on a baking sheet until it is approximately 1mm thick.  Then pour melted white chocolate on top, mix to form design and spread until entire mixture is 1mm thick.

3.  Place in freezer to harden approximately 10 minutes. Remove from freezer and let sit at room temperature for 1 minute.

4.  Using a pizza cutter, cut chocolate into desired shapes and place on cupcakes.


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