Sweet Valentine…

I know it’s a bit late in the day and it’s been a while….but what’s the saying ‘better late than never’

Well seeing as it’s the eve before Valentines day, I thought I’d pop a sweet valentine cupcake post up…plus my O.H. was getting fed up of me making cakes for other people and not him!

This little beauty of a recipe is for the gorgeously rich and smooth ‘Red Velvet Cupcakes’ taken from my fave cupcake book ‘The Hummingbird Bakery – Cake Days‘ and they are topped with a smooth cream cheese frosting….yup they are truly scrumptious and sure to make anyone’s heart flutter.

So without waffling on forever, here’s the recipe;

Sponge Ingredients:

120g Unsalted Butter, softened

300g Caster Sugar

2 Large Eggs

20g Cocoa Powder

40ml Red Food Colouring

1 tsp Vanilla Essence

300g Plain Flour

1 tsp Salt

240ml Buttermilk

1 tbsp White Wine Vinegar

1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

For the Frosting:

100g Unsalted Butter, softened

600g Icing Sugar

250g Full-Fat Cream Cheese

Bits and Bobs to decorate (I made some hearts from some leftover flower paste I had from a birthday cake I made earlier in the week, but anything will do…be creative)

Make 12-16 cupcakes (I actually got 24 good sized cupcakes out of this mixture)

1. Preheat the Oven to 190c (375f), Gas mark, and line the bun tin with cases.

2. Using a hand-held electric whisk or a freestanding mixer and cream the butter and sugar together until they are light and fluffy. Break in the eggs one at a time and beat thoroughly after each addition. Make sure you scrape down the sides, so that everything is incorporated into the mixture.

3. In a separate small bowl mix the cocoa powder, food colouring and vanilla essence. For the colour I used Sugarflair Colour paste, as these go a lot further and you get a much richer colour. I mixed the paste with 40ml of water to help bring the cocoa and vanilla essence together into a nice smooth paste. Add the paste to the batter, mixing thoroughly to get a nice even colour.

4. Sift the flour and salt together in another bowl, then add the flour to the batter in two batches, alternating with the buttermilk and mixing thoroughly after each addition. And lastly in another bowl (I know its bowl’tastic with this one, but needs must) mix the white wine vinegar and bicarbonate of soda with a teaspoon and then add to the batter, mixing it in until its fully incorporated.

5. Spoon the batter into the case, so that they are two-thirds full. Place in the oven and bake for 18-20 mins or until the sponge bounces back…remember these are super fluffy cakes so they may feel solfter than your standard cupcake. Allow the cupcakes to cool for a short while in the tin and then place onto a wire rack to cool completely before you frost them.

6. Using the electric whisk again, mix the butter and icing sugar on low (to avoid be covered in icing sugar!) until there are no large lumps of butter remaining and it resembles a sandy texture. Now add the cream cheese and mix well on high speed until everything is incorporated and smooth and creamy.

Now let the fun begin and decorate away till your hearts content….I went for a couple of options. The first using flower paste hearts I made with added sparkle, see below

and the second lot I went for a valentines version of a butterfly cake…removing a round plug of sponge from the top and using a heart cutter to re-shape the sponge plug. Dust with icing sugar and leave to one side whilst you pipe the hole full of the frosting, then pop the dusted heart on top…simple but really affective.

Well all that’s left to do now is deliver them or devour them… Happy Valentines Day and Happy Baking…Toodlepip for now x