Tuesday, August 9, 2005

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting

Buttermilk is responsible for this cake's moist and tender crumb. You can buy buttermilk or buttermilk powder, or you can make your own by adding 1 tablespoon of white distilled vinegar, cider vinegar, or lemon juice to 1 cup (240 ml) of milk. Just let this mixture stand 5 to 10 minutes before using. .

Red Velvet Cupcakes

2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising)
1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. salt
8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp. liquid red food coloring
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk , at room temperature
2 tsp. distilled white vinegar
1 tsp. baking soda
Pinch of salt
Grease two muffin pans (24 muffins). Let your eggs and buttermilk come up to room temperature before starting (trust me on this one). Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift flour, cocoa, and salt into a bowl.

In stand mixer with paddle attachment, )or a hardy hand held mixer if that's all you have) beat butter at low speed until creamy. Add sugar; blend on medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally, until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add eggs 1 at a time, mixing well after each. Scrape bowl; add food coloring and vanilla.
On low speed, beat in flour mixture in thirds, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
In small bowl, stir together vinegar and baking soda. Let sit about 15 seconds to foam up. Gently fold into batter.
Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake 20 to 25 minutes. (check it at 20 minutes with a toothpick, if it comes out clean, they are done). Cool in pans 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges and turn them out onto a wire rack. Frost when completely cool.

  Cream Cheese Frosting with Vanilla Bean
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean pod
Directions Slit your vanilla bean in half and use the tip of your knife to scrape the vanilla bean paste from each side of the pod.

In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, the vanilla bean paste, then gradually stir in the confectioners' sugar. Store in the refrigerator after use. Makes enough for a large cake or two dozen cupcakes.

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