Saturday, 18 September 2010

Red velvet mini cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I decided that this week, I would try a red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting. This is not my first attempt. I have tried these on one occasion before. Problem being they were the second ever cupcake I ever tried and made a rookie mistake of opening the oven way too soon. The looked like lovely domed mini cupcakes coming out of the oven, but within 30 seconds had sunk in the middle. I had read on a forum to remove them from the oven slightly over half the cooking time stated for normal sized cupcakes. So I took these out after 11 minutes which in hindsight was much too early, hence the impression of the Titanic!

This time I’m determined to get them right!

The recipe I’m using is from The Hummingbird Bakery. It isn't super chocolatey, but has a hint of Cocoa.

You Will Need
For the Cupcakes
o 60g / 4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
o 150g/ ¾ cup Caster Sugar
o 1 Egg
o 10g/1 Tablespoon Cocoa powder
o 20ml/2 tablespoons red Food Colouring (preferably Dr. Oetker Red Food Colouring, I used Goodalls Red food colouring)
o ½ Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
o 120ml/ ½ cup of Buttermilk
o 150g/1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of plain Flour
o ½ teaspoon Bicarbonate Of Soda /Baking Soda
o 1 ½ teaspoons of white wine Vinegar
o Baking Tray, spatula, ice-cream scoop
o 24 mini cupcake cases (plus enough for 5 normal sized cupcakes), Or if making full sized cupcakes, you’ll have enough for 12.

Cream cheese frosting:
o 300g / 2 ½ cups of icing/Confectioners sugar, sifted.
o 50g / 3 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature.
o 125g / 4oz cream cheese, cold (I used Philadelphia)

1. Preheat the oven to 170'C (325'F) Gas 3.
2. Put the butter and the sugar in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy and well mixed. Turn the mixer up to high speed, slowly add the egg and beat until everything is well incorporated.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla extract to make a thick, dark paste. Add to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly until evenly combined and coloured (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula). Turn the mixer down to slow speed and slowly pour in half the buttermilk. Beat until well mixed, then add half the flour, and beat until everything is well incorporated. Repeat this process until all the buttermilk and flour have been added. Scrape down the side of the bowl again. Turn mixer up to high speed and beat until you have a smooth, even mixture. Turn the mixer down to low speed and add the salt, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. Beat until well mixed, then turn up the speed again and beat for a couple more minutes.
4. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full or use an melon scoop for mini cupcakes or ice-cream scoop for full-sized and bake in the preheated oven for 16-18 mins for mini cupcakes or 20-25 minutes for full sized cupcakes, or until the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

For the cream Cheese Frosting (Which is delicious)
1. Beat the icing/confectioners sugar and butter in a freestanding mixer with paddle attachment (or use a hand held electric mixer) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together. Note: I used a handheld mixer and am just warning you to expect a cloud of icing sugar as soon as you switch on your mixer. It goes everywhere! Tip is to drape a tea-towel/cloth over the top of the mixer and over the bowl, (taking care not to obstruct any air vents in the mixer) until the mixture comes together.
2. Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until completely incorporated. Turn the mixer to medium high speed. Beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. Do not overbeat, as the frosting will become runny quickly and will be impossible to ice. If You do over beat, place the frosting in the fridge for 30 minutes, it should start to stiffen up again. Note: Instead of adding the cream cheese in the second step, I added it altogether at the start, this was due to the fact that there didn’t seem to be enough unsalted butter to make the icing sugar come together, so to save my kitchen from an icing sugar dust storm, I took the easier route!

Another tip, the cream cheese frosting really comes into it’s own the day after, So I suggest frosting them and then leaving them until the following day before eating!

Here’s a good youtube video to show you how to Frost cupcakes using a spatula.

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