Quote: “Children, cakes and romance. I’m off to bed…for a snooze.”
There’s something about a red velvet cake that makes it so popular. It’s a visual delight: white creamy frosting contrasting with a striking red. Its taste is a simple one: a creamy, luxurious vanilla with a hint of cocoa. Dramatic without an assault on the taste buds.
If you are looking for something to make a loved one for Valentine’s Day then this is a simple one with a real wow factor. Whether a big cake or a small muffin you can’t fail. Follow the simple recipe below, or you can do what I did recently: make them, unromantically, with children (for their mummy and daddy) and throw in everything in a sugary frenzy.
Red velvet cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes
140g/5oz plain flour
2tbs cocoa powder
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
115g/4oz softened butter
140g/5oz caster sugar
1 large egg
125ml/4fl oz buttermilk
1tsp vanilla extract
1tsp red food colouring
140g/5oz cream cheese
85g/3oz unsalted butter, softened
280g/10oz icing sugar
55g/2oz granulated sugar
Red food colouring paste
You will also need a plastic food bag
Preheat oven to 180˚C/350˚F/Gas Mark 4.
Put 12 bun cases into a tray.
Sift dry ingredients into a bowl (sifting makes it light): flour, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa powder.
In a different large bowl, mix the butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy. Don’t over mix. Add the egg and the dry mix gradually so it doesn’t separate. Gently beat in the buttermilk, vanilla and red food colouring.
Spoon the mixture evenly into cases.
Cook on middle shelf for 15-20mins until firm to touch. A good test, if you are really unsure, is to put a knife or skewer carefully through the middle of one of the cakes. If it comes out clean then it’s done.
Place on a wire rack to cool.
To make the frosting, beat together the cream cheese and butter. Sift in the icing sugar and mix until smooth.
Place red food colouring and sugar in a plastic food bag and rub it between your fingers until it is all even in colour. If you forget to buy plastic bags then you can also place sugar and colouring into a glass bowl and mix.
Swirl the frosting onto the cake either with a spatula or a piping bag and nozzle. Sprinkle the red sugar on top in your desired creative style.
Extra treats: you can add delicate chocolate shapes and insert them into the top or place a walnut on each.