Would Like to Bake: Red Velvet Cupcakes

1 Jul

Red Velvet Cupcake

According to that font of all knowledge, the perennially useful Wikipedia, Red is used as a symbol for guilt, sin and is associated with sex. Now these cupcakes are certainly sexy, guilty and sinful. But please, don’t let that put you off. A-ha, I know you, as if it would!

Pinched from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook you will need:

*60g unsalted butter at room temperature   *150g caster sugar   *1 egg   *10g cocoa powder   *20ml red food colouring (Dr. Oetker if you can find it)   *1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract   *120ml buttermilk   *150g plain flour   *1/2 teaspoon salt   *1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda   *1 and a 1/2 teaspoons of white wine vinegar   and for the Cream Cheese Frosting:   *300g icing sugar   *50g unsalted butter   *125g cold cream cheese.

This makes twelve(ish) cakes.

To make:

Stir It Up...

1.  Pre-heat the oven to 170Oc or Gas Mark 3.

2. Put the butter and the sugar in a bowl and beat until light and fluffy. If using an electric whisk then start beating at a medium speed and then turn the mixer up to high. Slowly add a beaten egg and beat until it’s all well incorporated.

3. In a separate bowl, mix the cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla extract to make a thick, dark paste.  Add to the butter and sugar mixture and mix thoroughly until evenly combined and coloured.  Scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a spatula and add to the mix. DO NOT LICK THE SPOON (See picture below.)
4. Turn the mixer down to a low speed and slowly pour in half the buttermilk. Beat until well mixed and then sieve in half of the flour. Add the rest of the buttermilk, mix and then add the flour.  Beat until it’s all smooth and perfectly combined. I bought my buttermilk from Waitrose but I was worried about how many shops would stock it.

She Wore Red Velvet

5. Turn the mixer down to a low speed and add the salt, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar.  Beat until really well mixed and then turn up the speed again and beat for a couple of minutes. 
6. Spoon the mixture into the paper cased which you have laid on a baking tray. I used double-cases so that they would hold their shape but if you have a 12-hole cupcake tray then that’d be perfect. Make sure you don’t over-fill the cupcake cases (2/3rds full).
7. Bake in a preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes or until the sponge bounces back when touches or a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
8. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly and then pop them onto a wire cooling rack and leave to cool entirely.
9. When the cupcakes are cold start to make the cream cheese frosting.

All that whisking can make your kitchen resemble a blood-bath!

10. Beat the butter (at room temperature) along with the icing sugar. Take your cream cheese (I used full-fat Philadelphia) out of the fridge and add to the bowl and then beat until it’s light.  Keep beating the frosting for about five minutes until it’s smooth but thick. Be careful not to over-beat as it can get all runny.
11. Time to frost the cakes. I spooned a big dollop on each cake and then used a fork to make swirls and loops in the mixture.
12. Add a little sprinkle of cocoa on top of each cake and get ready to indulge.
So, apart from the fact that my vest was totally covered in red-colouring spatters, my kitchen resembled a CSI-investigation Crime Scene – I have expected Horatio to turn up, nudge his Raybans and say “here’s what we’re going to do… the washing up..”- and my tongue burnt from that overdose on Dr. Oetker… they were fun and easy to make.

Red red cake


2 Responses to “Would Like to Bake: Red Velvet Cupcakes”

  1. Belleau Kitchen July 6, 2010 at 11:17 am #

    look at your tongue! looks so delicious… can’t wait to bake these! try adding beetroot to a risotto and see what happens… like eating red worms!

    • wouldliketoeat July 22, 2010 at 10:25 pm #

      Mmmm. I bloody love beetroot. Red worms though? Might need to eat in a dimly-lit room… x

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