Today, I attempted to bake cupcakes. I’m not a baker material because I don’t follow measurements to the exact and I’m not patient. For baking, the cardinal rule no 1 is follow (repeat: follow) the measurement! My first attempt a year ago was a total flop. Wait a minute *flashback time*sad background music*, due to the mistake of not following measurements, my cupcake tasted horrible and looked terrible. Yes, those cupcakes were made to kill. So, after that horrendous experience, I stopped baking.
Since I started this blog, I have learnt to cook and have had more hands on experience and knowledge with food and techniques. So, naturally, baking is the next course that I wish to attempt. Again :)
The fun part about baking is the decorating. Baking, to me, is like art and a blank canvas that is waiting to be decorated :) No doubt, the texture and taste is important too but if it doesn’t look good, it wouldn’t taste good too.
Since I’m just a beginner baker, I followed this video recipe closely from Joy of Baking and the cupcakes turned out perfectly moist with small swirls of cream cheese frosting. My swirls are not as pretty because I’m still learning to pipe…but the taste and texture is ohhh-some. The red velvet colour basically comes from lots of liquid red colouring while the frosting gives you beautiful sweet tangy taste that goes so well with mild chocolate flavour of the cupcake.
The cupcakes will need to be refrigerated if you want to eat it over the next few days due to the cream cheese frosting.
Red Velvet Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting (adapted from Joy of Baking)
Makes 12 cupcakes
1 1/4 cup (125 gm) cake flour, sifted (see note)
1/4 baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp Dutch-processed or regular unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated or caster sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/2 tsp pure vanilla essence
1/2 cup buttermilk (available at Coles, milk section)
1 tbsp liquid red food colouring
1/2 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp baking soda
(Cream Cheese Frosting)
227 gm cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 tsp pure vanilla essence
1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted
2/3 cup cold heavy-whipping cream (with 35-40% butterfat)
1. Preheat oven to 180 Celsius. Line 12-muffin tray with cupcake liners.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, mix in the cake flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder. Using a wire whisk, lightly whisk them together, ensuring they mix well. Set aside.
3. To make the red velvet colouring, combine buttermilk and liquid red food colouring in a bowl. Slowly stir to mix them well and be careful not to let the colouring stain your table top or cloth. Set aside.
4. Pour the butter into an electric mixer bowl with paddle attachment and beat until soft and smooth (1-2 minutes). Scrape down the sides and mix in sugar and beat on medium high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Once a while, pause and scrape the sides into the mixture so it is whisked well together. Add the egg and vanilla essence. Beat until well incorporated.
5. With low speed, alternately add about 1/3 of the flour mixture and then 1/3 of the buttermilk into the butter mixture and whisk. Repeat the motion until both flour and buttermilk mixtures are finished. Consistently scrape down the sides so all the ingredients are mixed well. Slowly, you’ll see the mixture turning red.
6. In a small bowl, mix the baking soda into the vinegar. Almost immediately, you will notice that the mixture started to fizz. This helps to give the light airy texture to the cupcake. Quickly fold into the cake batter.
7. Using a cupcake scoop or ice-cream scoop, quickly divide the batter evenly into the 12 cupcake cups, filling up to 2/3 of the cups. Bake in pre-heated oven (I like to put the tray in the middle section) for about 20 minutes or tooth pick inserted into the centre and comes out clean. Leave to cool completely on a cooling rack. Do not pipe while the cake is still warm as it will melt the frosting.
8. To make the frosting, with an electric mixer (with paddle attachment), beat the cream cheese until smooth. Scrape down the sides and add the vanilla essence and icing sugar into the cream cheese mixture and beat until smooth and well incorporated. Now, switch to a whisk attachment and slowly pour the cold heavy cream (double cream) into the mixture while whisking. Whip until the frosting achieves stiff peak or until the right consistency that you’re looking for.
9. Transfer frosting into a piping bag attached to your favourite piping tip (the common tips are Wilton 1M, 2D or round) and start decorating! For frosting tips, you can view this video. Go wild with swirls and sprinkles :)
Note: I used a replacement method as I couldn’t find cake flour in Melbourne. Here’s the replacement method – to get 1 cup of cake flour, sift 1 cup of all-purpose flour into a bowl. Then remove 2 tbsp of sifted all-purpose flour and pour in 2 tbsp of sifted corn flour. Sift the combined flour again until it’s mixed well.