Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Red Velvet Cupcakes (Take II) with Chocolate Philadelphia Cream Cheese Frosting

These days, I feel like I'm always apologising for being tardy at updating my blog. And while that is definitely the case now, instead of apologising yet again, I'll try and distract you with what I've been up to since the last time you heard from me ... deal?

I turned 30! I know, I know, you're thinking I don't look a day over 21 right? Ah, I blush, you're far too kind :)
I mentioned in this post that I had been tricked into registering for the London  2012Marathon. Well, when I returned from holiday (a time when I did no exercise except eat abundantly... Oi! What do you mean eating isn't exercise? Ever heard of competitive eating? See? It is a sport!) I went straight into week 4 of my training schedule and two runs in, I developed Tendonitis in my Achilles. Painful! And worse, it meant I couldn't run for almost 6 weeks. I started training again two weeks ago - leaving me with only 8 weeks to train for my first every marathon - but hey, what can I say? I like a challenge!

By the way, if anyone would like to sponsor us, we'd really appreciate it! We're raising money for the Salvation Army - which is a great charity - and specifically their work with young people. You can read more about it and sponsor us here.

While I've previously posted a recipe for red velvet cupcakes, I much prefer the Martha Stewart recipe below. Using oil instead of butter makes for a far moister cake (is 'moister' even a word? Should it be 'more moist'? Ah well, I say it is a word and my blog, my rules!).
For the frosting, in place of regular boring ol' Philadelphia cheese, I used the amazing new Chocolate Philadelphia Cheese which I was sent a sample of.

Of course, before I used it in frosting, I tried a bit (a teaspoon or two full to be exact) and I really like it! I don't think it bears any similarity to regular Philly at all! It's lighter and tastes almost more like a mousse than something which you'd spread on bread.
When I spent a semester in Canada on an exchange program, I was introduced to Strawberry Philadelphia Cheese which was heaven on a bagel! So Kraft UK, if you're taking this whole expanding the sweet Philadelphia range thing seriously then please please do me a solid and at least consider a strawberry version. Thanks :)

Cupcake recipe from Martha Stewart

2 1/2 cups plain flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I sift mine as I always find it leaves little lumps in the mixture otherwise)
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon red gel-paste food colour
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar

  1.  Preheat oven to 180C / Gas Mark 4 / 350F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. 
  2. Whisk together flour, cocoa and salt
  3. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whisk together sugar and oil until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
  4. Mix in food colour and vanilla
  5. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and whisking well after each. 
  6. Stir together the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl (it will foam); add mixture to the batter, and mix on medium speed 10 seconds.
  7. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each halfway to three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centres comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.
  8. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

Cream cheese frosting recipe adapted from this Hummingbird Bakery recipe

250g icing sugar, sifted
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
200g Chocolate Philadelphia

  1. Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a free standing mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed.
  2. Add the Chocolate Philly cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed  and continue to beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, no more than 5 minutes as cream cheese frosting can become runny if beaten for too long.
  3. Frost cupcakes. I often make my cream cheese frosting a day before and leave it in the fridge overnight so that it is harder and pipes better.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Giveaway Winner Announced

Sorry I've been tardy in announcing the giveaway winner!

The winner of 'The Baking Bible' is ..... *drumroll*...

(apologies for the weird formatting)

True Random Number Generator  13...... ChristineL. Congratulations!!!