Since then, red velvet has taken everywhere by storm and in my opinion is now usually over-hyped - especially since most places make a pretty average version; as long as it's a red cake with a basic cream cheese frosting, they're happy. Well, I'm not! There's a particular
chain bakery where I tried their red
velvet cupcakes about three years ago and I thought they were great. However,
I'm sure they've changed the recipe since to make mass producing them cheaper
and they've lost so much of the wonderful flavour in the process! Oh well,
they've also lost me as a customer so the joke is on them as they’ve lost my
custom from all of 10 cupcakes I’d normally buy from them in a year! Yup, 10 a
year! Read that and weep sub-par red velvet cupcake producers!! ;p London
Anyway, talking about average cupcakes, I recently (well, when I say recently, I mean over 2 months ago - yikes!) made some red velvet cupcakes as part of the batch of 60 cupcakes I made for a friend's engagement party. And I have to admit grudgingly that … ummm, well … they were not my best. In my defence, I never knowingly underbake but I didn't want to risk using my layer cake recipe in cupcake format in case it didn’t work and I had 30 bad cupcakes on my hand. So I decided to use this cupcake recipe along with the cream cheese frosting below from my precious Crabapple Bakery Cupcake Cookbook. The cake was good and everybody seemed happy but I know they were not as great as my original recipe. It was dryer and more cake-ey (not usually a bad thing, I know!). However, after having a very small bite of the Brown Betty red velvet cake at my friend's wedding, even my original recipe has some large boots to fill! It was so moist, it was almost wet! Apparently that is real Southern red velvet cake! If anyone has a recipe that creates cake that sounds just like that, please, please, pass it on!
I used the Crabapple frosting because it is thicker than my original frosting so makes for prettier looking cupcakes.
Other cakes on my so-unusual-sounding-I-can't-wait-to-try-them list include 7-up cake (another Southern American cake) and Guinness cake (Irish??). I will let you know how I get on with these and my quest to bake the perfect red velvet cake!
Crabapple Bakery cream cheese frosting
125g softened unsalted butter
400g softened cream cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I use about 3 teaspoons)
6 cups icing sugar (I'd probably stop at 5 but start checking for the consistency you want from about 4)
Makes 4 cups of frosting - enough for 24 cupcakes
Keeps 4 Days
1 - Cream the butter for 1-2 minutes
2 - Add the cream cheese, vanilla and half of the sifted icing sugar and beat for 3 minutes or until mixture is light and fluffy
3 - Gradually add remaining icing sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy and of spreadable consistency