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It’s that time of year where love is supposedly in the air, there is red and pink everything, and the number of rose bouquets being purchased skyrockets. It’s Valentine’s Day weekend.
I’m not a huge fan of this particular hallmark occasion as I feel if you have a significant other, telling them how you feel about them shouldn’t have to wait until everywhere is adorned with paper hearts and chocolate.
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Yes, I’m a cynical person, but I‘m also a bit of a romantic who believes love is all around us, not just on Feb. 14.
I feel like girls seem to take Valentine’s Day to heart more than guys do. There are oodles of posts about “Singles Awareness Day”, how they plan to drink away their loneliness away with copious amounts of wine, and eat chocolate until they feel sick.
While those plans all sound like a good time, I prefer the tradition my best friend and I have created. Regardless of whether either of us are in a relationship, we spend a lovely evening together. I’ll make a nice dinner, some decadent dessert, we might have some wine, and then we spend the rest of the night watching chick flicks and drinking tea. Actually, these evening plans don’t sound very different than our usual Sunday night hangouts, but we make it a bit classier and indulge with some wine.
It’s a celebration of our undying love for food. As Valentine’s Day has a red and pink theme to it, I decided to incorporate that into treat. Red velvet cupcakes are really just chocolate cupcakes with some red food colouring, but the addition of vinegar and baking soda reacting together makes for incredibly light and fluffy cupcakes.
This pairs perfectly with the cream cheese frosting that is a little bit heavier, so the two weights of flavour work in harmony and balance each other out. With a flourish of grated chocolate and maybe some fresh berries on the side, dessert is sorted!
Red Velvet Cupcakes
Yields 12 cupcakes
– 1 ¼ cups (125 grams) sifted cake flour
– ¼ teaspoon baking powder
– ¼ teaspoon salt
– 1 tablespoons (10 grams) regular or Dutch-processed cocoa powder
– ¼ cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
– ¾ cups (150 grams) granulated white sugar
– 1 large egg
– ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
– ½ cup (120 ml) buttermilk
– 1 tablespoon liquid red food coloring
– ½ teaspoon white distilled vinegar
– ½ teaspoon baking soda
Ingredients (cream cheese frosting):
– 1.5 oz cream cheese
– ¼ cup butter
– 1 cup icing sugar
– 1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C) and line 12 muffin tins with paper cupcake liners.
2. In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder.
3. In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until soft (about one to two minutes). Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about two to three minutes). Add the egg and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.
4. In a measuring cup, whisk the buttermilk with the red food coloring. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk to the butter mixture, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour.
5. In a small cup combine the vinegar and baking soda. Allow the mixture to fizz and then quickly fold into the cake batter.
6. Working quickly, divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups and smooth the tops with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 18 to 23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.
7. Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes and them remove from pan. Let cool completely before frosting.
8. While the cupcakes are cooling, cream the butter and cream cheese together until smooth.
9. Add the vanilla and icing sugar, mixing until fluffy (about two minutes) adding more icing sugar or vanilla to gain desired consistency.
10. Frost the cakes, garnish with whatever decorations you desire. Enjoy!