Monday, March 19, 2007

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Maileen came over and we made the most delicious Red Velvet Cupcakes. I saw a great recipe in the New York Times online and wanted to try it. It was from Elisa Strauss, the owner of Confetti Cakes in Manhattan. She was once a designer for Ralph Lauren but found her passion was in cake design Her cakes are really works of art!

So our success was in the cupcakes and our failure lay in the icing. To start out with I thought I would save some calories in a very rich dessert by buying light cream. I did not read the directions in the icing or I would have seen that the cream needed to be whipped therefore had to be heavy cream. As you can imagine, disaster ensued.

To compound the problem, the mascarpone/cream cheese combo did not seem to taste or smell very nice. I don't think I like mascarpone. Perhaps it is because I have not tasted it prepared properly. All we made was a very runny, strange tasting mess.

Luckily, we called Betty Crocker to the rescue! We had a lot of fun decorating our cupcakes (and watching America's Next Top Model in between). Mai brought over some wonderful sprinkles that perfectly complemented our red velvet theme. My favourite were the playing cards symbols. The black and red hearts, diamonds, spades and clubs looked super cool against the chocolate and vanilla icing! This was a great recipe and I recommend it (not the icing though). The substitutions I made were using buttermilk instead of vinegar because I didn't have any and I used some of my Wilton food colouring which is really strong. You can omit the food colouring to make chocolate cake but Red Velvet sounds so much cooler!

Mai took some awesome pics for me to post on the blog. Can't wait to do it again Maileen:)

I packed them up in my new 3 in 1 ultimate caddy that carries 12 regular and 24 mini cupcakes plus a regular rectangular cake if you pull out the tray! I know, its a little overboard but I totally love it and it prevented the designs from being ruined, plus I got 40% off at Michael's this week! Thanks for getting it for me Mom!

Can you spot the McCain Deep and Delicious inspired one? heehee!

Here is the recipe. I found out you have to sign in to view it in the NYT website.

February 14, 2007
Recipe: Red Velvet Cake
Adapted from "The Confetti Cakes Cookbook" by Elisa Strauss (Little, Brown, to be published in May).
Time: 90 minutes, plus cooling

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3½ cups cake flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa (not Dutch process)
1½ teaspoons salt
2 cups canola oil
2¼ cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) red food coloring
1½ teaspoons vanilla
1¼ cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons baking soda
2½ teaspoons white vinegar.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place teaspoon of butter in each of 3 round 9-inch layer cake pans and place pans in oven for a few minutes until butter melts. Remove pans from oven, brush interior bottom and sides of each with butter and line bottoms with parchment.

2. Whisk cake flour, cocoa and salt in a bowl.

3. Place oil and sugar in bowl of an electric mixer and beat at medium speed until well-blended. Beat in eggs one at a time. With machine on low, very slowly add red food coloring. (Take care: it may splash.) Add vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk in two batches. Scrape down bowl and beat just long enough to combine.

4. Place baking soda in a small dish, stir in vinegar and add to batter with machine running. Beat for 10 seconds.

5. Divide batter among pans, place in oven and bake until a cake tester comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pans 20 minutes. Then remove from pans, flip layers over and peel off parchment. Cool completely before frosting.

Yield: 3 cake layers.

3 comments: said...

Save one for me for tomorrow!!!!

Adonia said...

There were delicious... thanks

Mai said...

I had a great time! Thanks for inviting me!

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