The weekends are the best for baking. Not only do I crave some home baking during these days, but I actually have some time on my hands to make it. These red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting are decadent and delicious. I am using a recipe from Nigella Lawson's cookbook "Kitchen". You can even make this ahead and freeze the un-iced cupcakes.

I love the icing here as well. It's very creamy and rich, but at the same time (and I guess that's because of the lemon juice) very fresh. I'm not big into decorating food, but here no matter what you do with them after you ice them, they will look great. I used an edible silver coated ball, to sit snugly on the top of the cupcake.

click on the images for a bigger view

The batter is very intense colored and looks great. I used two spoons to get it out, but I think an ice-cream scoop will do the job better. And just in case you were wondering, yes i did lick the spoons! :)

As you can see, I didn't use a muffin tin as Nigella's recipe calls for. I just put the individual cases on a big tin and put them into the oven, and they came out fine. But a muffin tin is the better solution if you have it.

On the left: a baked cupcake cooling and waiting to be iced. You could absolutely use any icing you want. Chocolate icing with a cherry on top would go well too. On the right: a proud iced cupcake, waiting to be bitten into.

Here is the complete recipe:

For the cupcakes you will need:
- 250 gr (1 and 2/3 cups) flour
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder (sifted)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 100 gr (7 tbps) soft unsalted butter
- 200 gr (1 cup) sugar
- 1 tbsp red paste food coloring
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 175 ml (3/4 cup) buttermilk or runny yogurt (Nigella's recipe uses buttermilk, but since I didn't have it i used runny yogurt and it worked out fine)
- 1 tsp cider vinegar

For the cream cheese icing you will need
500 gr (1 lb) icing sugar
125 gr (4 oz) cream cheese
125 gr (1/2 cup) soft unsalted butter
1 tsp lemon juice

For the cupcakes:

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C / 325°F, and line your muffin tins with paper cases. (The amount of batter comes out to 2 tins)
2. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl.
3. In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar, beating well, and when you have a soft, pale mixture beat in the food coloring and the vanilla.
4. Into this colored mixture, still beating, add 1 spoonful of the dried ingredients, then 1 egg, followed by some more dried ingredients, then the other egg, followed by the rest of the dried ingredients.
5. Finally beat in the buttermilk/yogurt and the vinegar and divide this batter between the cases. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.
6. Leave them to cool on a wire rack and do not ice with the frosting until absolutely cold.

For the cream-cheese icing:

1. Put the icing sugar into a processor and blitz to remove any lumps.
2. Add the cream cheese and butter and process to mix. Pour in the lemon juice and process again to make a smooth icing.
3. Ice each cupcake, using a teaspoon or small spatula.

Un-iced cupcakes can be frozen, layered with baking paper, in airtight containers for up to 2 months. Defrost for 3-4 hours on a wire rack at room temperature. Frosting can be frozen separately in airtight container for up to 3 months; defrost overnight in fridge then bring to room temperature and beat briefly before use.

Thank you all for stopping by. I hope you will like the images and the recipe and if you haven't tried these yet that you will make them.


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