Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Back to Basics: A Red Velvet Revolution

For the longest time I thought I liked Red Velvet Cake/Cupcakes.   The reason why was because I LOVE my red velvet cake recipe.   But as I try other versions, I just didn't feel like I liked red Velvet.   It just doesn't really taste like anything!    My recipe involves a LOT of chocolate, so they have a very chocolatey taste.   However, I was determined to try another recipe to see if maybe it could compare.  When I was asked to make "regular" cupcakes for the end of the year lacrosse banquet, I thought it'd be a good chance to try out the new red velvet recipe.

Well needless to say, I was incredibly disappointed.   It just didn't taste like anything!   There are a couple reasons that this could have happened. First, I forgot to get buttermilk and after my 2nd trip to the store, I really wasn't interested in going again.  So I used this reccipe for a buttermilk substitute .    I just dont think it worked nearly as well as real buttermilk did.   I also accidentally used Dark Chocolate cocca powder... which I think probably should have made it better.   And like I typically do, I used apple cider vinegar in the recipe.  I think the combination of all the above and the fact I halved the recipe since I only needed 12 might have made the recipe less desireable.  But I still don't think the cupcakes tasted like anything!  They weren't bad, just didn't really have any flavor. The icing was definitely the saving grace on these babies.... and that recipe I didn't mess with! 

So what did I learn from this?   Well first, I don't really like Red Velvet cake.   And second,  I had a pretty awesome recipe from the Neely's so I really didn't need to change a thing!   Sometimes, when you find a recipe that works, you need to stick with it!  I'm glad I tried another recipe, but I was definitely less than pleased.

(yes, once again I dyed the "red" velvet blue... remember what can happen...)

Martha Stewart's Red Velvet Cupcakes
Makes 24

  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour (not self- rising), sifted
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon red gel-paste food color
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. 
  2. Whisk together cake flour, cocoa, and salt and set aside
  3. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed and using the whisk attachment, mix together sugar and oil until combined. 
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. 
  5. Mix in food color and vanilla.
  6. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and whisking well after each. 
  7. Stir together the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl (it will foam) and add mixture to the batter, and mix on medium speed 10 seconds.
  8. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. 
  9. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. 
  10. Cool completely before icing
Cream Cheese Icing

  • 1 stick butter,softened
  • 8oz cream cheese, softened
  •  6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • milk to bring to desired consistency
  1. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy
  2. Add in powdered sugar one cup at a time and mix fully.
  3. Add in vanilla and then milk 1 Tbsp at a time until it reaches desired consistency
  4. Ice cupcake as desired.

Cupcakes adapted from Martha Stewart
Icing from The Neely's 

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