Red Velvet Cupcakes
Browsing through the spring trends it was impossible not to notice the asian influence. Starting with Miuccia Prada’s origami-like ornaments and looking at Emilio Pucci’s and Dries Van Noten new take on the traditional kimono, the inspiration for my first post was there!
I would have to admit that Prada’s Japonisme stole my heart, with its innocent almost hand drawn flowers. I had to find a way to incorporate them in my red velvet cupcakes no matter what! And it was fun… Like children in playschool surrounded by their own mess but still so happy and innocent! Hence, here I am on a Saturday afternoon enjoying my Prada-like cupcakes with a cup-well jar- of flowering green tea while delving into my favourite magazines with my love next to me taking a nap… Absolute joy! So take out your piping bags, mixers, bowls and get messy! Don’t forget to invite your girl friends. They will definitely appreciate your fashion talents….
You will need:
60g unsalted butter at room temperature
150g caster sugar
20g cocoa powder
40ml pomegranate juice (you can use food colouring for more intense colour. I just prefer natural ingredients)
½ tsp vanilla extract
150g plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1½ tsp white vinegar (you can also use the normal one)
1 x 12-hole cupcake tray, lined with paper cases
For the frosting:
black and red food colouring
300g icing sugar, sifted
125g cream cheese, cold
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3.
2. Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed (if you have a freestanding version you are very lucky) until light and fluffy and well mixed. Turn the mixer up to high speed, slowly add the egg and beat until everything is well incorporated.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, pomegranate juice and vanilla extract to make a very thick, dark paste. Add to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly until evenly combined and coloured (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula). Turn the mixer down to slow speed and slowly pour in half the buttermilk.
4. Beat until well mixed, then add half the flour and beat until everything is well incorporated. Repeat this process until all the buttermilk and flour have been added. Scrape down the side of the bowl again. Turn the mixer up to high speed and beat until you have a smooth, even mixture. Turn the mixer down to low speed and add the bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. Beat until well mixed, then turn up the speed again and beat for a couple more minutes.
5. Meanwhile, make the frosting by beating the icing sugar with the cream cheese together using a whisk until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Divide the mix in three different bowls and add the food colouring.
6. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely. When the cupcakes are cold, spoon the white cream cheese frosting on top and start decorating with the black and red ones using a piping bag.