red velvet cupcakes
This latest batch are Nigella Lawson’s red velvet cupcakes (from Kitchen, her latest book). Red velvet cupcakes are basically regular cupcakes with a bit of cocoa, a lot of red colouring (there’s no getting around it, beetroot doesn’t work and it’s got to be red somehow) and an alabaster frosting – in this case, luscious, full fat cream cheese.
The batter is a shocking, massacre red, needing a ludicrous amount of colouring to achieve the shade – about half a bottle of red colouring. In fact, the cupcake is aptly named – the crumb is fine and smooth, the colour deep and sensuous – a lot like red velvet, funnily enough.
Red Velvet Cupcakes
Adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Kitchen
The recipe has been changed to liquid colouring (pillar box red) and been halved. The icing has more cream cheese and butter as I found it too sweet.
Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line 12 cupcake holes with liners.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together:
50g soft butter
100g caster sugar
When the mixture is pale and creamy add in:
25ml liquid red food colouring (I tipped in half a bottle of Queens pillar box red)
1tsp vanilla extract
When the egg is thoroughly mixed in, carefully add in:
10g cocoa powder (sifted!)
7g baking powder
3g bicarbonate of soda
Once the dry ingredients are just combined, beat in:
If the batter seems too dry or thick, dribble in a bit more buttermilk to loosen it.
Divide the vivid mixture into the cupcake liners and bake for 20 minutes – check for doneness at 18 minutes, just in case! Bring to room temperature before icing.
To prepare the easy-as icing, whizz in a food processor:
250g icing sugar
150g cream cheese
150g soft butter
Process to combine and down the funnel, drip down
a squeeze of lemon juice
The icing will become smooth and pale. Frost to your hearts content!
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