Saturday, February 18, 2012

Red Velvet Cupcakes on Vday

          Hi everyone! Before anything else, I would  like to greet all of you *insert a wide grin here* a HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!  I know it's way past the 14th already but hey I just wanted to blurt that out. haha To set the mood for lurve, I'd like to share with you one of the things I love to do. I know what you're thinking.... you prolly guessed it was eating right? ha! You bet! Well that exactly leads me to this ---> BAKING! Even when I was still a kiddo, I've always rambled through whatever I could find in the kitchen and made anything edible out of it. Good thing my family seemed to like it...or were they just pretending? haha *wink  I've had it validated by my good friends and they happened to like it as much as my family did! yaaaay! So I'd like to believe that there's some truth to it!---I think :) haha  Aside from that, I've always thought of my mother as a Kitchen Fairy Godmother who whips up irresistibly delectable goodies in just a wink of an eye. Blame it on my fickle mind! haha And of course, why in the world would a pig like me bake?? Finally you got that right! It's because EATING IS MY HOBBY! hahaha Enough of the long introduction which I just had to insert to justify this addiction of mine! Ehem!

"What's VDAY without Red Velvet Cupcakes?"
That's what exactly I told myself when I woke up. And without even knowing why, I found myself  rambling AGAIN through the kitchen. Let me share this simple recipe which I modified a bit to suit my taste. 

What you need for the Cupcake Batter:

1 1/2 cups butter, *softened to room tempearture
2 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups vanilla yogurt
1 ounce red food coloring/ beetroot
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 1/4 cups flour
3 Tbsp. cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 4 muffin pans with cupcake cups. You may opt to use those with heart designs but as for me, I used plain white cupcake liners to make it look simple. 

2. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

3. Add eggs one at a time.

4. Combine yogurt, red food coloring/ beetroot and vanilla extract in a small bowl.

5. Alternate adding the yogurt mixture and flour mixture into the large bowl. 

6. Pour batter into lined muffin pans and bake for 15-20 minutes or a until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean. Cool completely. 

NOTE: If vanilla yogurt is not available, you may also use 1 1/2 cups of whole milk mixed with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. 

These cupcakes are oven-ready!

Traditionally, Red Velvet cupcakes are frosted with vanilla or cream cheese icing. I used the latter since I wanted a tangy taste to it. 

  What you need for the Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting:

16 oz. (two 8 oz. bars) cream cheese, cold
1 cup butter, *softened to room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp lemon extract 
7 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1. With the mixer on a low speed, beat the cream cheese and butter until blended well. 

2. Mix in vanilla and lemon extract.

3. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a cup at a time. 

4. Once all the powdered sugar is added, increase to a higher speed to whip up the frosting until light and fluffy.

 I added a hint of lime to achieve a pleasantly pungent cream cheese frosting. You'll never go wrong with cream cheese and lemon combined! I just have to warn you. It is insanely heavenly!

You'll know it's ready when soft peaks form. 

 Lastly, frost the cupcakes with a butter knife or pipe it on with a big star tip. Garnish with chopped pecans, fresh strawberries, heart-shaped candies or red sugar crystals if you like. 
    Voilà! Your cupcakes are now ready to be devoured by your loved ones! Enjoy!

I've also tried the conventional way of piping the icing forming a dollop of cream on top. Which one do you like better?

RVC's crimson red color was originally from the chemical reaction brought about by mixing cocoa powder with buttermilk/ yogurt. However, most bakers add food coloring to bring out the bright red color which sharply contrasts with the white cream cheese frosting. 

Don't you just want to try this oozing goodness in a cup?
Who says you can't gobble up RVC's all year long? haha
 Try it and see for yourself. Let me know how it goes and send me photos okay?