January 26, 2012

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I am on cloud nine - yeah, totally! My hubby just declared, "Your cake tastes similar to the red velvet cake from CPK (California Pizza Kitchen)". "Amma, I think you should participate in cupcake wars (reality show on food channel)" - comment from my lovely little daughter. I am so glad about my decision to try red velvet cupcakes and the way they turned out!

Red velvet cupcakes are very special and I think it is one of the most popular cupcakes. As its name suggests this cake has a velvety texture that is moist and brilliantly red with a subtle chocolate flavor. When topped with cream cheese frosting, they make a scrumptious pair.

Instead of a regular cake, I decided to make cupcakes today. And Oh, did I forget to mention - "my daughter is so crazy about cup cakes especially with the frosting".

This cake would be a perfect surprise for your loved ones on valentines day! Go red & show your love with this red wonder - Happy valentine's day!!!!

Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes)
1 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour minus 2 1/2 tbsp (or) 1 1/4 cups of cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 oz beet juice (or) 1 oz food coloring (red)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk (at room temperature)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice (or white vinegar)
1 tbsp flax seed + 3 tbsp water (or 1 egg, at room temperature)

Pressure cook fresh beets (I used 1 medium sized beetroot) upto 2 whistles. Let it cool and peel the skin. Then, using a mixer grind cooked beets into a fine paste without adding any water. Set it aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin / cupcake pans with cupcake liners. Keep it aside.

Aspiring Li 'l Chef :)
Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt to create some air and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix beet pulp and cocoa powder to form a paste without lumps and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix 1 tbsp of ground flax seeds with 3 tbsp of water and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix lime juice and baking soda and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (I used my hand mixer). Beat in flax seed/water mixture, then beat in vanilla extract followed by cocoa + beet paste.

Divide the flour mixture into 3 parts. Add first part of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beat well, then beat in half of the buttermilk. Beat in the second part of flour mixture followed by second half of buttermilk. End with the last part of the flour mixture, beat until well combined.

Add lime juice mixture to the cake batter and stir well to combine.

Fill 3/4 th of cupcake liners with cake batter (give some room for cupcake to raise). Place cupcake pans in your preheated oven.

Bake for approximately 20 mins and cupcakes are done when a toothpick comes out clean!

Let them cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Frost & Enjoy!

What I liked about my cakes was its rich & deep flavor. Cake was not too sweet - tasted just right and with frosting, the taste was really striking. Though the color of the cake was not deep red, I thought beet gave it a natural red color which was really inviting. The cake was very dense & moist inside - definitely one of the best cakes that I have baked so far!

Recipe for cream cheese frosting to follow.

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