Thursday, August 16, 2012

Red Velvet Cupcakes and Travis' Birthday

So today is Travis' birthday and as always on his birthday he has to work a double shift. It appears that his birthday will always fall during move in. So I thought I would surprise him with Red Velvet cupcakes. Red Velvet cake is his favorite and since I am taking this to his work I figured cupcakes was the way to go. The recipe I use is from Better Homes. The same recipe that my grandmother has used for years (I have her old copy of Better Homes).

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Ingredients: eggs, cocoa powder, red food coloring (a lot), flour, salt, shortening, sugar, vanilla, buttermilk/sour milk, baking soda, and vinegar.

Bake: 350 F for 20 min (30 for a cake)

The 2 eggs have to sit for at least 30 min to reach room temp. Now this seems silly but really is important to the texture of the final cake.  The recipe also calls for a cup of buttermilk, which I don't keep in the house. Thankfully you can make sour milk and no one knows the difference. So to start this mix a tablespoon of vinegar and add enough milk to make 1 cup. Set this aside for latter with the eggs. You should also preheat your oven and prep your baking dish. For cupcakes I just added wrappers. If you are doing a cake you want to flour the cake. For anything chocolate based I flour with cocoa powder instead. No white marks and extra chocolate.

The milk looks normal but it really is sour milk.

Now you have to sift flour. You will need to sift 2 cups of flour with 1/2 tea of salt. I do not have a sifter despite my repeated pleas for one for birthday/anniversary/christmas/just because. I am forced to use a colander. It actually works pretty well, its just kind of a pain in the butt. Set this aside for latter as well.

Buy a shifter. This works but can be messy.

Now for the real fun. Beat 1/2 cup of shortening for 30 seconds. Yes shortening. I like Crisco, but that's just me and tradition. Mix in 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar and 1 tea. vanilla. I have always been warned not to beat too much but then I didn't beat enough and ended up with dry cakes. If your cake is dry trying beating it more. I use a Kitchen Aid and I strongly recommend scrapping not only the sides, but the very bottom where the attachment meats the bowl.

This Measure-All cup from Pampered Chef is amazing
for sticky things like shortening and peanut butter.
Now add 2 eggs, one at a time and beat well after each. Next comes the chocolate and red food coloring. The original recipe says to mix these and set them aside before starting. This turns it into a paste and in my opinion it doesn't come out nearly as well as if I add them separately here. So add 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder and 2 oz (1/4 cup) of red food coloring. Yes I said 1/4 cup. This is why this cake is expensive. I strongly suggest buying the food coloring in bulk, like at Gordon Food Services. So much cheaper.

32 oz of food coloring means I can make this 16 times.

Add your flour mixture and sour milk alternately, mixing well. You can turn your mixer on and off like the instructions say. If you aren't afraid of a little mess you can just leave the mixer on a lower speed (2 for me) and slowly add the flour and milk. I like this way. Last up is adding 1 tea. baking soda and 1 tea. vinegar. Mix these together and then mix them into the batter.

The red color always weirds me out a little.

Pour into your waiting tins and bake at 350 F. I used one of my pampered chef scoops, the large one that is approx. 3 tbls. according to the web site. One scoop seemed to do fine. I baked them for 20 min.

Love that scoop.

After they cooled I frosted them. Usually I make my own frosting but I had a can of chocolate frosting in the pantry and I was hoping to leave soon.

I was planning on taking this bad boys to Travis to surprise him. Unfortunately he knows me too well and around noon he told me that if I was planning on surprising him not to. Oh well, it started raining soon after anyways so I figure at least I didn't get wet. Maybe I'll clean the house instead. Not likely.

1 comment:

  1. These look great - love the extra tips along the way!