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Friday, December 16, 2011

Adventures with Red Velvet Cupcakes

Several days ago I promised to post my experience with the recipe from My Recipes for Red Velvet Cupcakes. I have to tell you that I am not a big fan of Red Velvet cake. I am a true chocolate lover. I don't understand the red part or the use of very little chocolate. However, after making these cupcakes I understand why people are so fond of the RV cupcake. This was a wonderful recipe that ended up being light and delightful. I will be making this again! I am now a fan!

So, of course, my first apprehension when I approach a recipe is that I am baking at high altitude. What will I have to do to make this recipe work? What if I don't do the right thing? There are so many possible changes!!!  Which ones will I use?? Aaargh!

O.K. relax now. Think logically. Be a scientist. Calm... My decorating buddy Jessica always said there are two things she starts with when baking a new cake recipe. She always adds one tablespoon of flour to each cup of flour required in the recipe. She also raises the temperature of her oven 5 degrees over the recipe's temp. She says this is usually all that is required at high altitude. O.K. I have a plan. I CAN do this!

Being the usual impatient and foolhardy baker that I am, I decided (against my better judgement) to go ahead and double the recipe. That way if they turned out I would have enough for Mike's office. Lazy, huh? Could have really backfired on me. But it didn't!!

As a baker I now know why making a Red Velvet cake is so much fun. After the butter and sugar are creamed, you get to make a mixture of cream, baking soda, and vinegar!!! As a scientist even my third grade students know what you get when you mix baking soda and vinegar: gas!!! Yes, at my age I enjoyed watching the fizz and adding the light and airy liquid to the batter. That is what helps the Red Velvet rise and become porous! 

The recipe called for one container of red food coloring. First modification: I used red paste coloring. 3 big blobs.

Gee, that looks too pink! Guess I will try mixing in a little chocolate brown paste coloring...
Oops! Too brown! Two more blobs of red and I finally have a dark red color. Maybe a little too dark but at least much closer to the the color I think I want. First suggestion: follow the directions as they are written! Use the food coloring not a paste or gel. 

When the cupcakes baked up they looked a little red...don't they?

At least on the inside they are red. I will work on the color next time. That is what makes this a beautiful cupcake. Oh well, live and learn!

Now for the icing! You will not believe this white chocolate amaretto icing! It is to die for! Really! I would suggest you use it on everything! O.K. maybe that is too much but I really could put it on my cereal for breakfast, my turkey sandwich at lunch, and atop the meatloaf for dinner. YUMMY! It pipes on nicely and looks lovely with some edible sparkles and a little white chocolate candy to decorate it. 

I got these adorable little edible stars in gold, silver, and red the other day from Art Fire that were perfect for decorating these cupcakes. So fun and easy to use. Check it out. I was sooo excited when the box arrived. Smidge and Pinch even added some extras to my order. For free! Love this shop! Even the packaging was adorable!

Another aside. I'd never used a chocolate mold before and believe I am now hooked! How fun and easy is this?  I produced enough of these little babies for all 50 cupcakes and extras for my cookie plates. Oh, that reminds me, I'd better get that bark finished and one more cookie for the plates. Guess I'd better get back to my baking! 

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