Friday, 16 April 2010

Nargis' birthday cupcakes (November 2009)

It was my good friend Nargis' birthday on the 20th of November, so I decided to make her some birthday cupcakes. As she is an aficionado of the colour red and thus I needed a cake that would reflect this. I searched for red cupcake, and came upon the happy recipe for a red velvet cupcake - which was both red and chocolatey in nature. It was also described as the "Dolly Parton" of cupcakes and as Nargis just so happens to be a huge fan of hers, it was perfect.

I had never made red velvet sponge before, nor had I made the cream cheese frosting that accompanied it, so this would be a suitable challenge. I went to the shops to collect ingredients, finding it a bit tricky to track down the buttermilk needed (I eventually found it in Waitrose!) and decided on the garnish of raspberries, because they were small and red...and fresh. I also remembered the delicious combination of raspberry coulee and chocolate and figured they would be a good match. And they were!

So here they are, the only photo I got of them before they were demolished:

Red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, topped with fresh raspberries.

Success: Beautiful vibrancy to these cakes and everyone loved the taste! Particularly the frosting, which tasted akin to creamy white chocolate.

Failures: Frosting was a little lumpy/runny.

Ideas for the future: Use more red food colouring and a better cocoa as the sponge wasn't quite red enough and the cocoa dried them out a little. Make sure the butter is room temperature and not slightly refridgerated, as it doesn't mix as well. Use less cream cheese and more butter/icing sugar as I wasn't 100% happy with the consistency.

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