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Red Velvet

May 14, 2010

Project is in, there’s a cake in the oven, I’m curled in a ball in the corner of the sofa, exhausted, deflated, knowing its not quite over yet. I should feel elated, but all I feel is trepidation, so much rests on this one piece of work, a piece of work has been on my mind, one way or another for a year.

Deadlines lead to baking, the simple, the quick, procrastination baking. Earlier this week that was Red Velvet cupcakes, that all-American classic, which has intrigued me for a while. Nonetheless, I had never tried one. The first time I saw the red velvet cupcake recipe in the hummingbird bakery cookbook I wanted to try it, its taken me a long time though, the unusual list of ingredients put me for for a long while.

The cupcakes were wonderful, while you could only taste the chocolate if you were looking for it, the buttermilk gave the cupcakes a beautiful, velvety texture and the cream cheese icing made a beautiful combination. My cupcakes were a little heavy on the icing, the icing is very sweet and the cake rich, so they don’t need too much.

Red Velvet Cupcakes (from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook)

makes 16-18

60g unsalted butter (softened)

150g caster sugar

1 egg

10g cocoa powder

1/2 tsp red paste food colouring, dissolved in 20ml water (or 20ml liquid food colouring)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

120ml buttermilk

150g plain flour

1/2 tsp bicarb of soda

1 1/2 tsp white vinegar

Cream butter and sugar with an electric whisk, or wooden spoon, until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg.

In a small bowl mix together cocoa powder, food colouring and vanilla to make a paste, add this to the butter mixture and mic thoroughly until combined. Beat in the butter milk and flour until everything is well incorporated.

Add bicarb and vinegar, beat until well mixed then spoon into cupcake cases

Bake for 15-20 mins.

Cream Cheese Icing

300g icing sugar, sifted

50g unsalted butter (softened)

125g cream cheese, cold

Beat the icing sugar and butter together, add the cream cheese and beat for 5 minutes until light and fluffy.

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