February 12, 2015

Chocolate Cupcakes with Red Velvet Frosting

I have had this recipe from Spicy Perspective bookmarked for quite some time, over a year. I finally gave it a run this week. For whatever reason, my cupcakes failed horribly. They did that thing I hate where they don't dome nicely and instead spill over the sides, burn to the bottom of my oven and don't seem to set without being overbaked. Sometimes I just shrug it off when this happens, pry the remains out of the pans and attempt to cover the ugliness with frosting. This day I was so frustrated that I crumbled all the cupcakes into a bag and tossed it in the freezer. I was quite proud of myself for not destroying the mistake by eating it all ... it was that kind of day. So I made a second batch of cupcakes using a recipe I knew would work.

The frosting did not taste "red velvet" to me, but it was really good. Perhaps my mistake as I type this now is that I failed to add the cocoa powder. I guess I'll have to try again following the recipe more closely. I know my frosting is pink rather than red, but I apparently ran out of red gel food coloring without realizing it.

After all the hassle, I was quite happy with both the appearance and flavor profile of these cupcakes. Quite cute for the upcoming Valentine's Day. Too bad they'll all be devoured by then ...

Chocolate Cupcakes with Red Velvet Frosting
2 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 cup hot water
2/3 cup unsweetened baking cocoa (I used a dark variety)
3/4 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup butter, softened
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 1/2 tsp. cocoa powder
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. buttermilk
Pinch of salt
1 cup melting chocolate wafers

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place paper baking cups in each of 24 regular-size cupcake tins.

In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder. In a small bowl, combine water and cocoa.

In a large bowl, beat shortening on electric mixer on medium speed 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. On low speed, alternately add flour and cocoa, starting and ending with flour. Beat just until blended.

Divide batter evenly among cupcake tins, filling each 2/3 full. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in tins 5 minutes, and then remove cupcakes to cool completely on wire racks.

To make the frosting, beat together butter and cream cheese. Gradually add cocoa powder and powdered sugar. Beat in vanilla. Dissolve salt in buttermilk, and gradually beat in buttermilk. Beat frosting until smooth and desired consistency.

Once cooled, frost cupcakes. If you desire to garnish them, melt the chocolate wafters, and place in a squeeze bottle. Squeeze out hearts onto wax paper, making sure your lines are thick enough they won't break easily. Chill to harden, remove and place on cupcakes. Makes 24 cupcakes.

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