Friday, February 17, 2012

Red Velvet Cake/ Cupcakes

Well, its finally over. The marathon that starts mid-October and stretches through til after Valentine's Day. With birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, parties, and special events, now lengthened by my nephew's February birthday, sometimes I feel like I can't breathe for a few months of the year. Not that I don't enjoy it. I love parties, I love planning for parties and making the food, but I might over-extend myself a tiny bit.
Our next birthday isn't until July, and Easter is the next big food day. I think I can take a break.
If you take a break, and find yourself in the kitchen, you should definitely try this cake. And, if you are feeling like Mr./Ms. HomeEc, make your own buttermilk. Its super easy, and I can really tell the difference.

For homemade buttermilk:
1/2 cup buttermilk (purchased-it will act as a starter)
As cupcakes
2 cups whole milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
 Combine ingredients in a mason jar and leave out at room temperature for 24-36 hours, or until it coats the side of the jar when tipped. Keep in the fridge.

Red Velvet Cake

From Epicurious. View original recipe here.

3 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
6 tablespoons red food coloring (if using gel paste, use only 1 1/2 Tablespoons)
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 recipe cream cheese frosting (see below)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and lightly flour three 9- by 2-inch round cake pans, then line the bottoms with waxed paper.
To make the cake: In a small bowl, sift the cake flour and set aside. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a small bowl, whisk together the red food coloring, cocoa, and vanilla. Add to the batter and beat well.
In a measuring cup, stir the salt into the buttermilk. Add to the batter in three parts alternating with the flour. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not over-beat. In a small bowl, stir together the cider vinegar and baking soda. Add to the batter and mix well. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl, making sure the ingredients are well blended and the batter is smooth.
My first attempt at scroll-work. If you squint it looks really nice.
Divide the batter among the prepared pans. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the layers cool in the pans for 1 hour. Remove from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack.
When the cake has cooled, spread the frosting between the layers, then ice the top and sides of the cake with cream cheese frosting.

For cupcakes bake at 400 until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, 18-22 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting

12 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick butter, room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup white chocolate chips, melted

Cream the cream cheese and butter. Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until incorporated. Add melted white chocolate chips.

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