Red velvet cupcake

Howdy everyone ~

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I am in a very cheerful mode, thanks to the recent snowfall that dawned upon England for the past few days, and particularly since yesterday where I live. I went to bed the night before, with a really faint hope of snow that has been predicted for days and the next morning, I was woken up real early by my friend’s exclamation: ‘Gosh!’. Yeah, what a scene outside my window, a thick layer of snow of about 5″ formed super quickly overnight. And so, I started my weather activities for the whole day, ranging from texting my friends, mom & Meo,  jumping excitedly in and out of the house, to going to the park with my friends, having good laugh, great sightseeing & snowball fight before we approached the near-frozen state and crawled back in an awful form, trembling.

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Anyhow, no matter how many times I see snow, no matter how cold it might get and how I hate it so much the next morning when the road gets all dirty and slippery, I still get all eager and happy watching those little snowflakes falling from the sky. It turns my usual surrounding into this winter wonderland, looking all white and different. I would slip into that dreamy state where I recall the imagination that I had from childhood, reading those fairy tales of Brothers Grimm and Andersen, of a winter I might never have a chance to experience. This is exactly it, that dreamland of mine which appears only once a year.

Once upon a time in midwinter, when the snowflakes were falling like feathers from heaven, a queen sat sewing at her window, which had a frame of black ebony wood. As she sewed she looked up at the snow and pricked her finger with her needle. Three drops of blood fell into the snow. The red on the white looked so beautiful that she thought to herself, “If only I had a child as white as snow, as red as blood, and as black as the wood in this frame.” Soon afterwards she had a little daughter who was as white as snow, as red as blood, and as black as ebony wood, and therefore they called her Little Snow-White. And as soon as the child was born, the queen died.

Little Snow White – Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm

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So there they are, my little snow whites, the fairest of them all, as white as know and as red as blood, none other than red velvet cupcakes. This is the one cupcake that never ceases to mesmerise me with its blood-red colour and that uniquely tender, moist texture with a hint of cocoa, topped with (undoubtedly) cream cheese. It’s the true beauty of the inside and outside. Ironically, loving it as much as I do, the one and only red velvet cupcake that I’ve ever bought was from Magnolia Bakery (thanks to Carrie Bradshaw :D). It was amazing, the best cupcake I’ve ever had. Of all the replicates that I attempted afterwards, the one recipe that I love is from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook. I haven’t had the chance to try out from the bakery itself though, but the recipe obviously produces very good ones, so I have to note down: “Try red velvet cupcake the next time you’re in London”. It’s London vs New York now 😀

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Red velvet cupcakes

Make 14 (or more) cupcakes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 tbs unsalted butter (~ 60g), at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbs cocoa powder
  • 2 tbs red food colouring (I use Wilton gel colour, so just a little bit and it goes a long way)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (could be made by: 3/8 cup milk + 1/4 cup white vinegar, left for about 15 minutes until it achieve a consistency of yogurt)
  • 1 cup + 2 tbs all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp distilled white vinegar

METHOD:

  • Preheat the oven to 160 C
  • In the bowl of a standing electric mixer with a paddle attachment (a handheld electric mixer works well for me, though the creaming is indeed a bit messy), cream butter and sugar on medium speed until they are light and fluffy (about 5 mins)

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  • Turn the mixer up to high speed and slowly beat in the egg until they are well incorporated
  • In a small bowl, mix cocoa powder, red food colouring & vanilla into a fine dark paste. Add to the butter mixture until evenly combined and coloured

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  • Turn the mixer down to low speed and slowly pour in 1/2 of the buttermilk, beat well but not overmix
  • Add 1/2 of the flour and beat until incorporated. Then pour in the buttermilk and repeat the process until the flour and buttermilk are finished
  • Turn the mixer up to high speed for a smooth, even batter
  • Turn it down to medium speed and add in salt, baking soda and vinegar (you could see the bubble here, it’s chemistry all over again ^^). Beat until well mixed, turn the mixer up to high speed again for a few minutes

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  • Divide the batter evenly and fill 2/3 of the cupcake liners. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the toothpick comes out clean. Left cool in racks, waiting to be frosted

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Cream cheese frosting

INGREDIENTS:

  • 75 g icing sugar
  • 50 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 200 g cream cheese, cold

METHOD:

  • Again, cream icing sugar and butter until light and fluffy (Beware: this could be messy)
  • Beat in the cream cheese until well incorporate. Do not over mix, otherwise the cream cheese would become runny
  • Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes however you like

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Red velvet cupcakes have this dense and moist texture, especially eye-catching with that bright red colour. It turned out beautifully all I wanted to do was to keep taking photos and photos only. This is so gonna be my wedding cake (if I ever have one :D)

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