Good Morning Gentle Readers,
Eric Lanlard's sublime version of Red Velvet Cupcakes is just right to surprise your Valentine. Unlike most red velvet recipes, this one relies on all natural ingredients, including Nielsen-Massey Vanillas. There isn't a drop of food coloring in this mixture. Instead, the rich color results from the interaction of baking soda with vinegar.
Nielsen-Massey has been creating some of the world's finest extracts for more than a century. All Nielsen-Massey products are Allergen-Free, certified Kosher, and Gluten-Free making them a perfect fit for Lanlard’s all natural Red Velvet Cupcake recipe below.
RED VELVET CUPCAKES
- 75g (2-3/4oz) pure cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 125g (4-1/2oz) unsalted butter, softened
- 250g (9oz) caster sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 240ml (8-1/2fl oz) buttermilk
- 1 tsp fine salt
- 325g (11-1/2oz) plain flour, sifted
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- 240ml (8-1/2fl oz) milk
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- A pinch of fine salt
- 225g (8oz) of either dark chocolate
- (62% cocoa solids) or white chocolate, broken into pieces
- 200g (7oz) unsalted butter, softened
- 300g (11oz) icing sugar
- 2 tbsp pure cocoa powder (omit if making white chocolate frosting)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (omit if making white chocolate frosting)
- Preheat the oven to 180.C (fan 160.C)/350.F/gas mark 4. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers.
- Sift the cocoa and mix with the vanilla in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer set on medium-high speed, or a free-standing mixer. Once the butter and sugar mixture is pale, light and fluffy, add the egg yolks, one at a time, and beat until everything is combined. Add the cocoa mixture and beat well for another minute to combine.
- Stir the buttermilk and salt together and add it to the butter and sugar mixture, a third at a time, alternating with the flour. Mix the bicarbonate of soda with the vinegar and blend into the batter. Then, with your mixer on high, beat everything together on a high speed for about 5 minutes, until you have a smooth, glossy batter.
- Fill each cupcake case to three-quarters full. Bake for 18–20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the cupcake centre comes out clean.
- Cool in the tins on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove the cakes and cool completely before frosting.
- For the frosting, whisk the milk, flour and salt in a small saucepan over a medium heat until the mixture thickens and begins to bubble, about 1–2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and allow to cool.
- Melt dark or white chocolate. Set aside to cool.
- Beat the butter, sugar and cocoa (if using) together until fluffy. Add to the cooled chocolate followed by the milk mixture and vanilla extract (if using). Beat together until smooth, then spoon into a piping bag with a small plain or star tube. Pipe immediately on to the cupcakes.
It is really important that an electric hand-held or freestanding mixer is used to blend the cupcake batter thoroughly, so that a loose, glossy mixture is achieved.