Saturday, September 20, 2008

Reddish Pink Velvet

You know, I love trying new recipes but I've run into a predicament: if I make something that I've never had before, I don't know if it's RIGHT. That is to say, I'm not sure that I've made it in the usual way it's supposed to be. Now, I guess one could argue that as long as it's good, it's a success. But not me; I wouldn't argue that. That's silly logic.

So I got bored the other day and decided to try red velvet cupcakes. The first recipe I had saved was Paula Deen's and I thought, Hell, she's a Southerner; these should be as standard as they come.

The batter was pretty sticky looking and I only had one tablespoon of red dye on hand (who has that much liquid red dye sitting around??). So it looked like pink glue. They baked up fine but once I took a bite, they were kinda... plain. I was expecting a dense, dark and rich cake, akin to chocolate in its texture. This was kind of just regular, fluffy cake with a tiny hint of cocoa.

Needless to say I was disappointed and a little baffled. Surely this is not how most red velvet cakes come out... I've SEEN them; they're THICK. I sort of concluded that it must be this recipe that was less than stellar. I would like to try a different one but I've got to get to the store for more red dye. Maybe some other time; I wasn't terribly impressed with the taste so I'm not in a rush to duplicate.

Besides, it's FALL. Time for pumpkin and warm, yummy foods!

Source: Paula Deen

For the cupcakes:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 pound cream cheese, softened
2 sticks butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

For the cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.

Cook's Note: Frost the cupcakes with a butter knife or pipe it on with a big star tip.


Sara said...

Your cupcakes look great, I love red velvet! I never think about making them for some reason.

Grace said...

i may be embarrassing my southern ancestors, but red velvet cake has always freaked me out. there's just something about all that food coloring that turns me off. i like that your little buggers are reddish-pink--sorry they didn't taste so great. :)