Week 2: Red velvet cupcakes

Divine. Despite the recent popularity of salted caramel, I could never pick up a batch of cupcakes from the shops without buying at least one red velvet cupcake. So, it seems appropriate that I give this recipe from Martha Stewart a try.

Makes 20 cupcakes

INGREDIENTS

For frosting

4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature

6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1 ¼ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For cupcake

1 ¼ cups cake flour (not self- rising), sifted

1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

½ teaspoon salt

¾ cup sugar

¾ cup vegetable oil

1 large egg, room temperature

½ teaspoon red food color (or enough to achieve a blood red shade for the batter)

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ cup buttermilk

¾ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar

DIRECTIONS

1) For the frosting, beat butter and cream cheese with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add sugar, ½ cup at a time, and then vanilla; mix until smooth. If possible, chill frosting in fridge before piping.

2) Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celcius. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cake flour, cocoa, and salt.

3) With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whisk together sugar and oil until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Mix in vanilla.

4) Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and whisking well after each. Add food coloring to achieve desired shade.

5) Stir together the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl (it will foam); add mixture to the batter, and mix on medium speed 10 seconds.

6) Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each two-thirds full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through and lowering temperature to 160 degrees, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 16 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

7) To finish, pipe frosting on cooled cupcakes.

At this point, I get the strange suspicion that my muffin pan might be a little smaller than the ones used by most of the bakers out there, as I seem to be getting more cupcakes out of the recipe. But then, I am not complaining.

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