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Friday, May 13, 2011

Red Velvet Cupcakes for Trudy

So today my future Mother-in-Law, Trudy, is coming to town to visit, help me find a wedding dress, and do other wedding-related planning. She requested that I make the red velvet cupcakes that I had made for Karin's birthday for her visit.

Only one problem... when I made the cupcakes the first time, I forgot to save the recipe that I used. So I searched around a bit and found something that seemed fairly close to what I used before. You'd be amazed at all the variations in Red Velvet there are out there. I eventually found I used a recipe from Food Network (usually a good source). Here it is...

Fabulous Red Velvet Cake

Recipe courtesy Gale Gand
·         1 cup vegetable shortening
·         2 eggs
·         1 1/2 cups sugar
·         1 teaspoon cocoa powder
·         2 ounces red food coloring
·         2 1/2 cups cake flour
·         1 teaspoon salt
·         1 cup buttermilk
·         1 teaspoon vanilla extract
·         1 teaspoon baking soda
·         1 teaspoon vinegar
·         White frosting, recipe follows


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the shortening, eggs and sugar. In a separate small bowl, mix together the cocoa and food coloring. Add the paste to the shortening mixture. Sift the flour and salt together over parchment. Add to the batter alternately with the buttermilk in 3 additions. Add the vanilla extract. Fold in the baking soda and vinegar. Pour the batter into 2 greased 9-inch cake pans. Bake for 30 minutes or until an inserted cake tester comes out clean. Let cool on a cooling rack. Invert the cakes from the pans.

 So, this is the cake recipe I used (it talks about making a layered cake, I made cupcakes - same temp, ~23 minutes for normal sized cups, makes about 18 full cupcakes), but as I was finishing up, I found the recipe I used for Karin's cupcakes... which is here (also from Food Network):

·         Vegetable oil for the pans
·         2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
·         1 1/2 cups sugar
·         1 teaspoon baking soda
·         1 teaspoon fine salt
·         1 teaspoon cocoa powder
·         1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
·         1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
·         2 large eggs, at room temperature
·         2 tablespoons red food coloring (1 ounce)
·         1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
·         1 teaspoon vanilla extract
·         Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe follows
·         Crushed pecans, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil and flour 3 (9 by 1 1/2-inch round) cake pans.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In another large bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla.
Using a standing mixer, mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined and a smooth batter is formed.
Divide the cake batter evenly among the prepared cake pans. Place the pans in the oven evenly spaced apart. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through the cooking, until the cake pulls away from the side of the pans, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
Remove the cakes from the oven and run a knife around the edges to loosen them from the sides of the pans. One at a time, invert the cakes onto a plate and then re-invert them onto a cooling rack, rounded-sides up. Let cool completely.
Frost the cake. Place 1 layer, rounded-side down, in the middle of a rotating cake stand. Using a palette knife or offset spatula spread some of the cream cheese frosting over the top of the cake. (Spread enough frosting to make a 1/4 to 1/2-inch layer.) Carefully set another layer on top, rounded-side down, and repeat. Top with the remaining layer and cover the entire cake with the remaining frosting. Sprinkle the top with the pecans.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
·         1 pound cream cheese, softened
·         4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
·         2 sticks unsalted butter (1 cup), softened
·         1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand-held electric mixer in a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, sugar, and butter on low speed until incorporated. Increase the speed to high, and mix until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. (Occasionally turn the mixer off, and scrape the down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.)
Reduce the speed of the mixer to low. Add the vanilla, raise the speed to high and mix briefly until fluffy (scrape down the bowl occasionally). Store in the refrigerator until somewhat stiff, before using. May be stored in the refrigerator for 3 days.
Yield: enough to frost a 3 layer (9-inch) cake

This is the frosting recipe I used, but I halved it (had plenty for all 18 cupcakes, but I don't go frosting crazy like some people) and I used 1/3 fat cream cheese (I have my limits). The frosting was nice, light, and sweet, but not too sweet. 

Yeah, a little Christmas-y with the green wrappers, but whatever. It does make a stark contrast with the red cake and white frosting though.

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