Bit late with this blog post, but unless you’ve been hidden under a rock for the past week you’ll know that it was Valentines day on Monday.
Now, those of you that know me will know that I have a heart of stone and romance isn’t my thing. I am a bit of a cynic about the whole valentines thing. Quite possibly because I NEVER got that card or flowers (Of course I do now being happily married!) BUT this year I thought I would try and do something to get in the whole spirit of St Valentine.
I’ve never made red velvet cupcakes before and with them being pretty much the cupcake of choice at this time of year, I thought I’d give it a go…
|Ahh my heart’s softening up already!|
For those who don’t know what red velvet cake is, it is an American cake which is flavoured with cocoa and vanilla and is always topped with a creamy white icing, usually made with cream cheese. However, the most distinctive feature of red velvet is that the cake is bright red due to the use of red food colouring. The use of food colouring is a more recent things, originally the cakes gained a red hue due to the reaction of cocoa, vinegar and buttermilk, which all feature in this recipe. For more info, check out the Wikipedia page.
Anyway, history lesson over. I have a number of red velvet recipes but I decided to choose Nigella’s from her most recent book Kitchen as I have heard a lot of good things about this recipe. Because the recipe uses cocoa, I thought I could sneak this post into Forever Nigella too.
The recipe itself is pretty straightforward to make. I think I was most apprehensive about adding the food colouring – it calls for 1 tbsp of gel colour…usually you only need a teeny tiny amount of this colouring but I listened to Nigella and the result was the most fabulous coloured batter.
The recipe is said to make 24 cupcakes – I managed to squeeze out the 24, but 12 minis and 12 standard sized cakes.
Once baked, the cakes aren’t quite as vibrant, but a more muted shade.
The sponge had a lovely moist crumb which wasn’t too sweet. I think what really made the cakes was the brilliant lemony cream cheese frosting – Nigella gives the option of using cider vinegar or lemon juice in the frosting. Obviously I went for the lemon option as the thought of vinegar freaked me out slightly.
I piped the frosting on the cake, and although the looked nice – I thought they needed an extra something, an extra bit of love. So what better than some love hearts? Sometimes a little bit of schmaltz can be good! Is that my heart melting a bit? Maybe…