Valentine's Day used to feel all nice & special while I was in college. We used to plan to wear something in red (or avoid to do so - depending on the mood of the season) to college and have a lot of fun watching the Romeos run after their Juliets to propose (confess their love to). Thankfully I got spared & had a pretty uneventful college life as far as Valentine's Day & it's controversies were concerned.
Although in India, poor Saint Valentine and his day (and lovers who like to celebrate this day) have been at the receiving end of petty politicians & moral policemen who say it's not part of Indian 'culture' to celebrate this day & have done all possible things to display their real culture (from destructing person & property to disrupting peace at large). Florists & greeting card/gift companies however rake in their moolah and red is clearly the colour of this season.
Red Velvet Cupcakes
Yield: 12 cupcakes
However, since I thought it was quite an uneventful day in my household, I decided to spruce up the atmosphere a bit by decorating it with red roses & baking some Red Velvet Cupcakes. Hubby was pleasantly surprised & we wound up the day with some special Val Day dinner at a nice restaurant. It was one of the nicest days of my life. When you start the day with no expectations whatsoever & it ends up with some lovely memories!
For the cupcakes:
1 cup (125gms) flour
1 tbsp (10gms) cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
60gms unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4th cup (150gms) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk or thin yogurt (not too sour) beaten well
1 tbsp liquid red food colouring
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp white vinegar (you can skip this & increase the baking powder by 1/2 tsp making it a total of 1 tsp baking powder)
To Make The Red Velvet Cupcakes:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and line 12 muffin tins with paper cup liners.
2. Sift together the flour & cocoa powder (and salt - if you intend adding it)
3. In a large bowl beat the butter till soft & then add the sugar & beat till light & fluffy for about 2-3minutes
4. Add the egg and beat till incorporated, add the vanilla extract and beat again.
5. In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk & the red food colouring.
6. Add the sifted flour+cocoa mixture and the buttermilk+red colour mixture alternately in 3 parts, starting & ending with the flour.
7. In a small cup combine the vingegar (if you are using it) with the baking powder & wait for it to fizz a bit & immediately mix it to the batter.
8. Quickly pour batter into the prepared muffin cups upto the bring and smoothen with a spatula.
9. Bake for approx 20minutes or till a toothpick comes out clean.
10. Remove, cool completely on a wire rack.
11. Decorate with cream cheese frosting (I used a simple granulated sugar with butter mixture because the cupcakes didnt even last until they cooled!!) & serve
To Make The Cream Cheese Frosting:
1. Beat the cream cheese till smooth, add the vanilla extract and icing sugar and beat till smooth
2. Add the heavy cream gradually till you get a thick enough consistency to pipe. Add more sugar or cream as required
Red Velvet Cupcake With A Butter & Sugar Topping