Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Make A Wish

Tomorrow I will be turning a milestone age, and to celebrate the occasion, I baked some red velvet cupcakes. I decided on red velvet because the name itself conjures up images of pure decadence, don't you think? And I believe that decadence is something a girl ought to indulge in every once in awhile, especially on her birthday. Well, these cupcakes were not only decadent, they were also quite fun to make. The best part, aside from eating them, was adding the red food coloring and watching the batter turn a bright shade of crimson right before my eyes.

Red Velvet Cupcakes (makes 16 standard size cupcakes):
recipe adapted from Sylvia’s Family Soul Food Cookbook, by Sylvia Woods and Family
2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 and 1/4 cup buttermilk
2 ounces red food coloring
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
For the Frosting:
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened ( I used neufchatel cheese)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter or margarine, softened
1 pound box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and grease a 12 cup cupcake pan. In a medium bowl or on a piece of waxed paper, sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter. Beat in eggs one at a time. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk. Beat in food coloring and vinegar, then add vanilla. Fill cupcake pan with the batter until about 2/3 cup full. Bake for about 15-18 minutes (start watching cupcakes carefully at about 15 minutes), or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool on a rack.
For the frosting: In a large bowl, cream the cream cheese and butter. Beat in powdered sugar until fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Once cupcakes have completely cooled, frost them, and eat!