Nothing gets me going like a good recipe and a new dish to bake. The planning, the excitement when the dish looks like its working out, the joy of seeing my family and friends gobble it up and eagerly looking forward to what I can bake next, everything about baking makes me happy (the messy kitchen counter top aside :p) Here's a peek into my kitchen, my cooking, my wonderland.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Gimme red

Red velvet cupcakes, plain without trimmings, but regal regardless
I've always been in awe of red velvet cupcakes, mostly cuz the name sounds so fancy and royal. I mean, red and velvet, separately conjure up some wow images in your head, put them together and add cupcake to it and you've got heaven on a plate :)
The real tempter was when I had my first red velvet cupcake at Candies in Mumbai with my bro. Ever since, I've been wanting to make this sinful beauty. Tried it after months of eating it and waited with bated breath after making the cupcakes and making my own buttermilk, mind you :)
But as luck would have it, boom, the powers that be put a spanner in the wheels of my plan by shutting down the power supply in my area the minute I put these beauties in the oven. Thankfully, I had a second batch to rely on and the residual heat in the oven carried forward the baking process considerably enough to make the first batch bake well too. If you ever get stuck in a similar situation, I've found that mixing a teeensy amount of baking soda in the batter and mixing it again before baking (when the power comes back on) helps them rise beautifully. The result, was stunning but I decided to go all the way and decorate it with blue and white cream cheese frosting. Indulgent, aint I? :p 
I mixed up a few recipes I found online with some steps of my own.. So without any further ado, here's how you can go about making these red beauties. 

1 cup flour (maida)
2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
1/2 cup castor sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
60 to 80 grams unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
Red food colouring
Salt to taste

For the cream cheese frosting, you will need:
180 grams cream cheese that is at room temperature
200 grams icing sugar
100 grams unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Making buttermilk:
If you can't find plain buttermilk in the stores (I found only the masala variety everywhere I went), you can make your own buttermilk. Simply add half a teaspoon of lemon juice to 3/4th cup of milk, mix well and leave to rest for about 15 minutes before using.

Making the cupcakes:

  • Preheat oven to 180 C
  • Beat the butter till fluffy (1 minute) and beat in the sugar as well, till fluffy (2 mins)
  • Add the eggs, beating after each addition and beat in the vanilla essence and red food colouring too. You can add as much as you like to get the desired hue. 
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt and alternatively add the flour and buttermilk mixture to the batter, starting and ending with the dry  mixture. 
  • Just before you pour the batter into the cupcake liners, mix the vinegar and baking soda together and add that fizzy mixture to the batter and mix it in. (This helps make the red look brighter, some say)
  • Pour into your liners (1/2 to 2/4th full) and bake for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out dry. 
  • Cool the cupcakes before decorating them.
Go wild with colour combos and patterns. Experimentation is the key...

Making the cream cheese frosting:
  • Beat the cream cheese and butter till smooth.
  • Add in  the vanilla essence and then, the icing sugar bit by bit, beating till it is well incorporated. You can add more or less depending on the consistency you want.
  • Divide the mixture onto two halves and colour accordingly. 

Ending on a pretty note


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