Wednesday, February 25, 2009
This past week has been a little bit crazy. There's always work, and I've been trying to train for a 10K which I hope to run the end of next month (operative word being "trying"), and I was getting ready for an Oscar party a good friend was hosting--which turned out so nice and fun! I usually get sucked into the glamor of the Oscars, and the Academy Awards is the one award show I watch every year. One year in high school, I got to work at the Academy Awards bringing people up to the press box in the elevator. I was so thrilled, and I remember seeing Marisa Tomei that year, who had won for best supporting actress for her role in My Cousin Vinnie. She was surrounded by photographers and reporters, looking elated, and I fell in love with her dress (I think it was a Chanel?) and thought she was adorable (she looked great this year too). I've been an Academy Awards devotee ever since.
For the Oscar party, my friend laid out a red carpet with gold balloons in her house, and we invited some ("some" grew to be about 25) good friends, a number of whom have young children now--and for once, this was an event I didn't bake for at all. My friend who hosted the party made a chocolate cake with a frosting reminiscent of thick chocolate milkshake--thinking about it now makes my mouth water. It was all a little chaotic with kids and food everywhere, so I don't think I even really watched much of the Oscars at all. But it was worth missing to catch up with friends, at least as best I could amid the noise--though I was able to catch the last award (and, in my mind, the most important award) for best picture, which went to Slumdog Millionaire (hooray!).
So all that to say...I didn't bake anything new this past week at all. In thinking about what recipe I could possibly share with you for this post, I decided on red velvet cupcakes--which, in the world of cupcakes, deserves its place on the red carpet as far as I'm concerned. (Unfortunately, they don't look as red in the pictures as they did in real life.)
Red Velvet Cupcakes
(I don't remember where I got this recipe from)
Makes about 18 cupcakes
2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, Dutch-processed
1 t. salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 t. vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
2 T. red liquid food color
1-1/2 t. baking soda
1 T. apple cider vinegar
Preheat oven to 350F degrees, and line cupcake pans with paper liners.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt with a wire whisk. In another bowl, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy and light in color. Mix in eggs, one at a time, and vanilla, scraping down the bowl in between eggs. Combine the food color with the buttermilk, then add the buttermilk mixture and flour mixture, alternating between each mixture in 3 turns. Mix in the baking soda and vinegar until combined. Pour the batter into the cupcake wells. Bake on the middle rack for approximately 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the frosting, you can use a cream cheese frosting (but without the orange zest; and which I read somewhere is not the traditional frosting even though I've only ever had red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting), and garnish with chopped pecans on top.