Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Today is the day of love and boy do I have a few things for you that I just LOVE! The first one is a new recipe for you to try out. How do Red Velvet cupcakes sound? Yahoo recently posted an article on the 8 essential ingredients that should be in every red velvet recipe. Here they are:

1. The cake must have some cocoa, but not too much because it is not a chocolate cake.

2. The cake must have red food coloring; beet juice does not add the right kind of red.

3. The cake must have cream cheese frosting.

4. There should be pecans. (This was news to me.)

5. You must use high-quality ingredients, including White Lily flour, a Southern specialty flour.

6. Precise measurements and meticulous attention to detail are key for this cake; therefore, it must be made in small, easy-to handle, family-sized batches. (Mass-produced batter just doesn't cut it. Sorry, large-scale bakeries.)
7. You must use a hand-held electric mixer, not a stand mixer: Larger machines can over-mix the batter, which sometimes prevents the cake from rising properly.

8. Red velvet cake batter needs vegetable oil, not butter or shortening. Oil yields a very moist cake.

Now, we have our own family recipe from my great grandma, but it includes a lot of the ingredients that you're not supposed to have in your recipe so I decided to give this one a try. Here it is.

Paula Deen’s Red Velvet Cupcakes from Food Network

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

1 pound cream cheese, softened
2 sticks butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

Chopped pecans and fresh raspberries or strawberries, for garnish

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy. Garnish with chopped pecans, fresh raspberry or strawberry, or sprinkles.

And finally here is my second favorite thing besides baked goodies. Fresh sheets off the line! We've been having some mild weather in the 50's so I decided to get some clothes on the line today and I'll be enjoying the smell of fresh air and sunshine when I crawl into bed tonight.


grampy said...

Amen to the fresh sheets. Save a cupcake for me! Love you, Nanny @ Gpa. G.

Jennifer said...

I've never been a fan of Red Velvet, my MIL makes it for everyone's birthday. So my hubby loves it. I just can't get past the shortening icing. A cream cheese icing sounds much more to my liking!

Lisa said...

My family loves red velvet cake. Since this is a Paula Deen recipe, it must have been really yummy. Great job decorating them. I have a sweet treat linky party on my blog called "Sweets for a Saturday" and I'd like to invite you to stop by this weekend and link your cupcakes up.

Gumbo Lily said...

The cupcakes were DELISH! Definitely a "do again."

No more sheet hangin' for awhile. Dang!