Monday, May 26, 2008
Memorial Day: Red Velvet Cupcakes with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
Hi friends! It is Memorial Day; a day off, a day to sleep in and ignore the alarm clock. In New York it has been a beautiful, sunny, balmy day. Many of us are celebrating out on a boat, picnicking or just BBQ-ing at our homes with family and friends. Sharing good food, friendship and the fact that we have an extra day away from work.
The reality is, while an extra day off from work is always an awesome thing, Memorial Day has a little bit deeper meaning to those who know or are affiliated with the military. It is a day set aside to remember those men and women of our military who have given their lives in the service of their country and for the freedom it embodies. For over 200 years Americans have given the supreme sacrifice for our country and today we remember!
I have learned the best way to make a difference, is just to say thank you. Thank a veteran or a service member. If you are not the "type" to approach someone because you just do not know what to say or how to show your gratitude; check out a really cool way to say THANK YOU to our service members.
I made several dozen of these very moist and yummy Red Velvet cupcakes with White Chocolate Cream Cheese frosting for Memorial Day. Thank you to all of the service members and families who sacrifice and go without, so that we may have the freedoms we do! I would say that comes from the bottom of my heart, but for service members my heart has no bottom!
Red Velvet Cupcakes
Makes 24 cupcakes
3 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
6 tablespoons red food coloring
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners and set aside.
3. In a small bowl, sift the cake flour and set aside.
4. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
5. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
6. In a small bowl, whisk together the red food coloring, cocoa, and vanilla.
7. Add to the batter and beat well.
8. In a measuring cup, stir the salt into the buttermilk.
9. Add to the batter in three parts alternating with the flour. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not overbeat.
10. In a small bowl, stir together the cider vinegar and baking soda. Add to the batter and mix well.
11. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl, making sure the ingredients are well blended and the batter is smooth.
12. Divide the batter among the cupcake cups. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
13. VERY IMPORTANT: Allow cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack.
White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 3 cups
12 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 brick (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
4 1/2 to 5 cups confectioners' sugar
*Optional Shake Up for this frosting*
Add 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
Fold in up to 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy for a crunchy and creamy frosting
1. Melt the white chocolate in a medium bowl over a double boiler on the stove top. Remove the bowl from the oven and stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until it is smooth. Set the chocolate aside to cool.
2. Place the cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until well combined, 30 seconds. Stop the machine.
3. Add the melted white chocolate and blend on low speed until just combined, 30 seconds.
4. If you decide to add the peppermint extract do so at this point, otherwise, skip to step 5.
5. Add the confectioners' sugar and blend on low until the sugar is incorporated for a few more seconds then increase the mixer speed to medium and beat until the frosting is fluffy. Approximately 2 more minutes.
6. Add up to 1/2 cup more confectioner's sugar if needed to make the frosting able to be piped.