14 February 2012
Red Velvet Cupcakes; Cream Cheese Swiss Meringue Buttercream
I wanted to make a little something special for Valentines Day this year. We don't really celebrate this day too much. I have a really romantic husband. He buys me flowers every Saturday during the Farmers Market season, hauls me to a coffee shop in the dead of winter, puts his new contacts in (FINALLY) and tells me I still look great...no red roses can beat that.
That being said, John loves chocolate. Expensive, homemade, cheap, imported, milk, dark....it makes absolutely no difference, he loves it. So I decided to make him red velvet cupcakes. I'm a bit embarrassed to admit I have never made red velvet cake. It's so trendy these days, but the flavor never got me too excited. But this is not about me :) I upped the chocolate factor and got great results!
I used a combination of recipes for the cake itself, but the absolute best part of these cakes is the frosting. Cream Cheese Swiss Meringue Buttercream Can I get an "OMG" ?! This frosting defines romance, you will just want to lick it off the cake. A bit messy, a bit of work, but worth every dang minute.
RED VELVET CUPCAKES (PS the thought of all that food coloring grossed me out, so I omitted it; now they are chocolate velvet cupcakes)
2 1/2 cups flour
4 Tablespoons cocoa powder (dutched)
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons red food coloring
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all dry ingredients in large bowl and set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, vinegar, oil and blend until creamy, add eggs one at a time mixing until smooth. Add vanilla and food coloring. With your mixer on low speed, alternate adding dry ingredients and buttermilk until well combined and smooth. Fill baking cups and bake about 20 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Be careful not to overbake.
CREAM CHEESE SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
2 large egg whites
5 Tablespoons sugar
7 Tablespoons butter, room temperature
7 Tablespoons cream cheese, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cube butter and cream cheese in tablespoon increments.
In a COLD double boiler, combine sugar and egg whites. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally until mixture reaches 140 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and quickly begin whipping using a whisk attachment on your mixer on high speed. Add a cube of butter and allow to fully incorporate before adding the next, continue with cream cheese. Add vanilla last. Your buttercream will go through a series of looking curdled or separated, just keep going, it will all come together.
Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes, or spread with a knife. DEVOUR!
Happy Valentines Day!