As has been my mission the last year, I'm trying to keep things more real. I'm also trying to keep my family happy with the things that I make. For sweets, they generally like simple things like vanilla with chocolate frosting. This is sometimes frustrating since I like to be somewhat challenged in the kitchen. So, we usually compromise by finding a traditional recipe, and then I take some liberties to kick it up a notch. Allow me to introduce Red Velvet Cupcakes as adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens Recipe.
The Red Velvet Cupcake is a basic chocolate flavored, buttermilk based cake that is probably most famous for it's ridiculously obnoxious amount of red food coloring. I drastically reduced the amount of food coloring, and the results were still acceptable. In my opinion, it does nothing to enhance flavor, and the less chemical, the better.
Other than that, the recipe I used was a bit more fancy than your run-of-the-mill Red Velvet cupcake. It calls for a white chocolate cream filling and a mascarpone frosting. The white chocolate cream just adds to the delicious moistness that a buttermilk cake normally produces. The mascarpone frosting is what makes the cupcake gourmet! Mascarpone is an italian cheese that could easily be mistaken for a light, creamy butter. Don't let my use of the word "light" fool you. This ain't no light cheese, baby! It's made with a very high cream content milk. This isn't a dieter's cupcake.
Red Velvet Cupcake
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon red food coloring
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 ounces white baking chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, brought to room temperature
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 - 3 teaspoons milk
My family loved the cupcakes! We found them to be just the right combination of moist, sweet, and chocolately. I suspect that they'd be just as good without the filling, so in the future, I might skip that and stick with the basic cupcake recipe and mascarpone frosting only.
So, are there any desserts that you've kicked up a notch to make more "challenging", yet they still appeal to your whole family? If so, let me know! I'm always looking for more ideas.