Minted Red Velvet Cupcakes
I used Rose Levy Berambaum’s Red Velvet Cake recipe as the inspiration for these perfect little cupcakes. My goal was to use up some imperfect peppermint bark I made during the holidays. I finely chopped the bark and cooked it into the cake and sprinkled it over the top of the frosted cupcake. The result was a lightly minted Red Velvet cupcake that I plan on making again. Below is an excerpt from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes and contains the Red Velvet Cake recipe. If you don’t own this book and you love to bake, I would strongly recommend it.
|Rose Red Velvet Cake
Serves: 8 to 10
Baking Time: 25 to 35 minutesI long resisted the charms of this cake, believing it to be merely a layer cake tinted red with a bottle of food coloring. But when several people on my blog sang its praises, I decided to investigate it more thoroughly. It turns out that there is more to this cake than its shocking color. This beloved southern cake is traditionally prepared with oil, a mere suspicion of cocoa, and a teaspoon of white vinegar, which raises the acidity of the batter and intensifies its color. The liquid component is usually buttermilk, which is thought to raise the acidity as well, although the baking soda normally used neutralizes most of the acidity and makes the crumb more coarse and the color darker. So, when I created my version of this classic, I used only baking powder to employ the full acidity of the buttermilk, making vinegar unnecessary. I also used half oil and half butter for the flavor-enhancing qualities of butter and the moist, softening quality of the oil. The resulting cake is as flavorful and tender as you can hope for and stays soft enough to eat even straight from the fridge. A heart-shape pan is perfect for Valentine’s Day. And the contrast of the white chocolate cream cheese buttercream against the red cake is alluring.Batter Ingredients
3 large egg whites, at room temperature (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons/3.2 ounces/90 grams)
Red food color, 1 bottle (2 tablespoons/1 ounce/30 grams)
Pure vanilla extract (1 1/2 teaspoons/1 1/2 teaspoons/1 1/2 teaspoons)
Cake flour or bleached all-purpose flour, sifted (2 cups/7 ounces/200 grams)
Superfine sugar (1 cup/7 ounces/200 grams)
Baking powder (3 teaspoons/3 teaspoons/3 teaspoons)
Unsweetened cocoa powder (1 teaspoon/1 teaspoon/1 teaspoon)
Salt (1/2 teaspoon/1/2 teaspoon/1/2 teaspoon)
Canola or safflower oil, at room temperature (1/4 cup/2 ounces/58 grams)
Unsalted butter, kept 65°to 75°F, or 19° to 23°C (4 tablespoons/2 ounces/57 grams)
Low-fat buttermilk (1/2 cup/4.2 ounces/121 grams)Special Equipment
One 9 by 2-inch heart-shape or round cake pan (8 to 8²⁄³ cups), encircled with a cake strip, bottom coated with shortening, topped with parchment cut to shape, then coated with baking spray with flour
Preheat the Oven
Mix the Liquid
Mix the Dry Ingredients
Make the Batter
Bake the Cake
Cool and Unmold the Cake
Dreamy Creamy White Chocolate Frosting Ingredients (Makes : almost 1 cup/7.6 ounces/216 grams) This is a great recipe but I used Kim Morrison’s Buttercream instead.
Melt the White Chocolate
Remove the white chocolate from the heat and, with the silicone spatula, stir until fully melted. Allow it to cool until it is no longer warm to the touch but is still fluid.
Make the Frosting
Highlights for Success
Compose the Cake
For a distinct chocolate flavor, you can use up to ¼ cup cocoa/0.7 ounce/21 grams, sifted before measuring, but decrease the flour by the same amount. The color will be a much darker red.
Kim Morrison’s Real Buttercream Ingredients
While syrup is cooking, beat egg whites with 2 tablespoons sugar until stiff but not dry.* (Extra- fine granulated sugar works best). Turn mixer off until syrup is ready.
With mixer running, pour syrup into the egg whites in a thin, steady stream, making sure not to pour directly onto beaters. Be careful, as hot syrup can burn if you. Continue to beat mixture until it is no longer hot.
Allow to cool to room temperature and then beat in the softened butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until all is incorporated. (Salted butter works fine. If you are using unsalted butter, add 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste.) The mixture will become thin and may look curdled at first, but will then become smooth as it beats. Lastly, beat in the vanilla all at once. (Use the best vanilla you can find. Artificial and white “vanilla” will ruin the delicate flavor.)
If not using at once, refrigerate the buttercream until needed. It will keep for 1 week in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator. To use, just bring it back to room temperature and re-beat to restore the texture. If you have trouble with the texture, getting it to room temperature and extra beating are the keys to making it smooth. Enjoy on your favorite cake!