They can be healthy, they can be very unhealthy. They can make someone’s day, they make awesome gifts – are you getting the idea that we have a lot of time for cakes? Especially cakes served on vintage plates with a lovely cup of tea (although Ian is firmly in camp coffee)! Big cakes, medium cakes, small cakes they are lovely!
Now you may remember Becksie promised to share the red velvet cupcake recipe she learnt at Denman college so today my friends here we go – this recipe is an adaption from the WI cookery school who………. Adapted it from the Hummingbird bakery cookbook (so its kind of third hand)! Oh and one more important thing to say is that Red Velvet cupcakes actually have a fascinating history of their own! In a cupcake case here it is: They date back to at least 1873, they originate from Southern America where in that time they liked to describe food is fluffy terms hence the velvet! The red originally came from the colour of the ‘red’ (what we call brown) sugar and the cocoa powder (which was processed differently from the cocoa of today). In the late 1880’s a gentleman by the name of John A Adams who owned a food colourings and extracts business found that his company were having a hard time. So he sexed up the familiar Red Velvet concept and added about 2 bottles of Adams colouring. This made the cakes redder than red and he made beautiful cakes that got displayed in cake shop windows! Then whenever any one purchased such a cake the recipe (listing all Adams colouring products as ingredients) was given away – his business flourished! (thank you Teresa Coen of the WI cookery school for teaching this knowledge to Becksie)!
Don’t worry this recipe just calls for a little food colouring and should you not want to include the redness you can just up the cocoa and have a more chocolately version. We know colourings aren’t great but these cakes are a treat not a norm and…….. in the future we will revisit this post with a healthier version that uses the humble beetroot to make the red magic happen!
So the recipe –
60 grams of unsalted butter at the same temperature as the room you happen to be in (please ensure this is not a freezer room otherwise this concept doesn’t work)
150 grams of light muscovado sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
A few drops of red food colouring (apparently the gel ones are best but we just had the liquid form – how much depends on the desired redness – basically go for it although we will say we think 2 bottles of Adams red food colouring is a little too much)
½ teaspoon of vanilla essence (our homebrewed one is now delightful)
125ml buttermilk (plain yogurt works just as well and if you don’t have any of this milk with some added lemon juice apparently does the same job)
150 grams plain flour
½ teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
1 ½ teaspoons of white wine vinegar or cider vinegar
For the frosting (in our view the best bit)
300 grams of icing sugar
50 grams unsalted butter (the room temperature thing applies here also)
125 grams cream cheese
Get that oven preheated to a respectable 170c
Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the egg slowly and incorporate it all together.
Add the cocoa, red colouring (if you’re using it), vanilla and mix until you have a lovely red mixture. Add half the buttermilk (or yogurt or lemony milk) and half the flour and mix until all incorporated. Add the rest of the buttermilk and flour and the bicarbonate of soda and mix, mix mix!! Then add the vinegar and mix gently until everything is well mixed.
Whilst they are cooking make your frosting – easy – cream together the butter, sugar and cream cheese (be sure not to over mix this you’re just trying to get a light fluffy all mixed together kind of thing)!
Let the cakes cool and whilst this happens store the frosting in the fridge.
Then………ice ice baby!