Not-so-red velvet cupcakes
I’ve been contemplating trying my hand at red velvet cake for a while now. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little daunted – mixing vinegar and raising agents, then getting the mixture into cupcake cases in super-quick time before the reaction fizzled out? Hmm.
Finally I decided that the time was right. I turned to my most reliable source of baking recipes, The Joy of Baking and braced myself for a culinary disaster…
… and it all went surprisingly smoothly.
The recipe was straightforward enough to follow. I have to admit though, I balked at adding a whole tablespoon of red food colouring. My red food colouring is, of course, vegetarian and made with natural alternatives to cochineal (who want squished bugs in their sweets, right?). The downside of this is that it smells distinctly beetrooty so I completely wimped out and only added half a tablespoon to the mix. The result? Orange velvet cupcakes. Like a sort of mutant carrot cake.
Luckily they tasted absolutely fine. I had no cream cheese in the house, so I deviated from The Joy of Baking’s recipe and made a vanilla mascarpone icing that I had spotted at Lulu’s Sweet Secrets.
As the cakes are made with buttermilk, they are wonderfully moist. The small amount of cocoa powder means that they are lightly chocolate flavoured and not too rich – perfect for afternoon tea. The mascarpone icing is creamy and not too sweet, making it ideal for people like me who don’t like buttercream. I’d definitely recommend giving these a go!