Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Red Velvet cupcakes

Ah September! What a month for Birthdays....we're only a week in and i already have very few pennies in my purse! Which brings me to the point of this weeks first cupcake recipe...Red Velvet cupcakes with vanilla buttercream for hubby's friend.

To make 12 standard size cupcakes you will need:

125g softened butter
125g caster sugar
100g self-raising flour
3 tbsp organic cocoa powder
2 tbsp milk
2 medium eggs (seperated)
2-3 tbsp red food colouring

For the buttercream topping
175g softened butter
350g fondant icing sugar
3 tbsp boiling water
Organic vanilla extract
Red sprinkles

Firstly pre-heat that oven to 190c (cooking times will vary depending on model etc)

Mix the caster sugar and butter until softened before adding the sifted self-raising flour, 2 egg yolks, sifted cocoa powder, 2 tbsp milk. Once these ingredients have been well mixed, fold in the whipped egg whites. Finally, for the magic of red velvet, add a few drops of red food colouring.

Bake in the oven for around 12-15 minutes until the sponge is springy. A good way to check if the cupcakes are done is to place a cocktail stick in the centre, if it comes away clean then they're perfect!

After you have cooled the cupcakes on a rack for around 30mins to an hour, its time for the yummy vanilla buttercream icing. Seriously, i excelled myself this time...the buttercream was amazing and as i'd 'accidently' made far too much, hubby and i thought it was only right to finish off the leftovers. More a case of licking the bowl and not the spatula...oh dear!

I think the main difference this time was using posh organic vanilla extract from M&S, this is a world away from the cheapy vanilla flavouring from the supermarket. Secondly, Silver Spoon have started doing a new range of icing sugars and the super glossy fondant variety seemed to work wonders!

So, Vanilla buttercream is super easy to do, simply pop the sifted icing sugar, vanilla extract, boiling water and butter into a large mixing bowl and whip until lovely a creamy. You can then pop the buttercream into an icing tube (i chose the star nozzle) or even use a knife if you don't have an icing kit, to decorate the cupcakes. This whole pro-icing lark is quite new to me and having recently received an amazing icing kit from Pampered Chef, i'm having quite a bit of fun practising!!

Finally decorate with red sprinkles to make it look all pretty!

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