Monday, 25 February 2013

Red Velvet Cupcakes

So, as per my previous post, I got stuck into baking from this book this past weekend and I must say, it all went down very well! I started with Red Velvet Cupcakes and I will definitely be making this recipe again. They were a big hit with us three, my sister, my niece & nephew, my grandparents, and our friends. Thankfully, I already have an exciting event to make these for which I'll be sharing with you all very soon (and how you can get involved). 

I haven't made red velvet cake at all before and I was delighted with how moist and delicious this version was. 

The recipe calls for butter but I used baking block margarine because I already had it in my fridge and, quite frankly, half the price! I think if you use it properly in a cake recipe you can't really tell. Obviously icing is a different matter. Buttercream has to be butter! The recipe dictated 'softened' butter but mine was hard out of the fridge. Hooray - a chance to try out a Mary Berry special tip! Mary says if you need softened butter, to cube it and pop it in a bowl, pour hot water over it then drain the water off and, voila, perfectly softened butter! I am pleased (but not suprised) to report that it works. 

The other change I had to make was to the food colouring. I only use highly concentrate gel food colours but the recipe cited Dr. Oetker as a good example of the type of food colouring and a measurement of 40ml. You have to mix it with the vanilla and cocoa powder to form a paste. So I just used a dollop on the handle of a teaspoon and added warm water from the kettle til I felt I'd added roughly 40ml and was a paste-like consistency. This worked absolutely fine and the colour was fab! 

The last part that was different was the yield. The recipe states 12-16 cupcakes but I got 14 large cupcakes as well as another 16 smaller fairy cake size! They recommend doubling the recipe for making a triple layer 23cm cake but I'm not sure you'd need to! 
I got to have some of the sciency fun that I mentioned before with this recipe - the rise is achieved by mixing bicarb with vinegar - I used distilled white vinegar although they stated white wine vinegar (shop didn't have any and as it's only a spoonful, I doubted it would matter... and it didn't.) It all fizzed up and then I stirred it into the batter last of all. 

These cakes are finished off perfectly with a spreading of cream cheese buttercream and red velvet cake crumbs:

Well, these are definitely a great recipe and one I will come back to time and time again. After all, it's been the Hummingbird Bakery's best selling flavour since they opened in London so who am I to argue with that?! Part of item one on my list is to follow recipes properly - it's pushing me to learn new skills and try methods that I usually wouldn't look at. I am learning a lot already which I love :) 

By the way, in the interest of full disclosure, you ought to know this is the equipment I am working with: 

I have no idea how old this Kenwood is but it has definitely seen better days and needs to retire! BUT it was free to me and belonged to my great Aunt (so is prob 40yrs old or so) and it's all I have for now. As for the scales, my digital ones are broken and these ones were a wedding present - my sister found them in a charity shop! Also, my oven is gas and has no markings on the dial so I have no clue of temperature!! If I can get result with this trio of clapped out second-hand equipment then these recipes must be good!!


  1. Well I love your mixer and your scales! And my oven has a mind of it's own too so you have my sympathy there. Cakes look fab!!

    1. I love them too but I wouldn't say no to a top notch mixer and definitely saving up for a new oven!!