Friday, July 22, 2016

Recipe: Red Velvet Cupcakes

Who in the right mind would resist a healthy dosage of red velvet cupcakes? Oh well, to be honest, I can't think of anyone. These cupcakes usually fly off the shelves of bakeries, because these babies are so darn pretty with their velvety red colour and cream-cheese frosting. And the best thing? It's suitable for every occasion! Add a sugary heart for Valentine's Day, pop a whole mandarin orange for Lunar New Year (just kidding), or just sprinkle some Oreo crumbles to make it a real crowd-pleaser. 


What's unique about these red velvet cupcakes (adapted from Joy of Baking) is their mild cocoa flavour (well, other than their red), which is way lighter than the classic chocolate batter. This red velvet cupcakes are moist and light, which comes from the beautiful reaction of baking soda and vinegar. Also, the cream-cheese frosting serves as a great addition, adding some tangy sweetness to these babies.


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Difficulty: Relatively easy
Yields 8-10 cupcakes

Ingredients

red velvet cupcakes
1 1/4 cup cake flour, sifted
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp quality cocoa powder (preferably unsweetened)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk*
red food colouring
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp white rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)

cream-cheese frosting
1 1/4 cup icing sugar
225g cream cheese
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

Sugar hearts (optional)
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*if you do not have buttermilk, add 1/2 tbsp of lemon juice and top the rest with milk until it is 1/2 cup. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, the mixture should coagulate slightly and it's ready for use.


Steps

1. Preheat oven to 175C. Line muffin tray with muffin liners (how many depends on how big are the muffin liners).

2. In a mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder.

3. Using an electric mixer, beat the softened butter and sugar together until light and creamy. Mix in the egg.

4. In a separate bowl, add the red food colouring slowly to the buttermilk. Mix until a desired red is obtained.

5. Mix in 1/3 of the flour, followed by 1/3 of the buttermilk, and so on, until all the flour and buttermilk are well-incorporated into the batter.

6. In a small bowl, mix the baking soda and vinegar together. The mixture will fizz, fold into the batter immediately.

7. Divide the batter equally in 8-10 muffin liners, leaving approximately 1-inch of vertical space for the batter to rise for each cupcake. Bake for 18-23 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes up clean. Set aside and let cool completely.

Your work is not done yet, there's still the cream-cheese frosting to prepare! 

8.Using an electric mixer, mix the cream-cheese and butter until light and creamy. Add the icing sugar in small additions, followed by the vanilla extract. Chill the frosting until needed.

9. Decorate using a star tip, or if you're a lazy ass like me, just spoon it on top of the cupcakes, and top it up with a sugar heart (if you are feeling a lot of love, just sprinkle the whole packet of sugar hearts on them). It will look just fine, like a French lady.


 ANDDDD there you have it. Impressive-looking. Tasty. Cupcakes.