Things are getting ridiculous around here, y’all. Last week, someone shoved $10 into Husband’s pocket at work and awkwardly whispered, “red velvet. make it happen”
It’s like the most awkward and delicious drug deal ever.But hey – apparently I can make money off of this deal (providing I leave my ethics at the door) so it just might be a win after all.
Husband might be getting a wee bit tired of being harassed for baked goods but I think he can handle it, provided he gets a cut.
I don’t really want to get stabbed in a dark alley or whatever terrible things happen to people in drug deals gone wrong so I made some red velvet.
I have to be honest: I don’t really get red velvet. In my mind, it’s just a weird version of chocolate (a lot of recipes only had 1 tsp of cocoa?!) which got itself too far in with the bad crowd of artificial ingredients and ended up with a bad back-alley plastic surgery experience that made Michael Jackson’s chameleonistic tendencies look normal.
I said as much on facebook while I was making these and I actually learned a lot from people way more informed than me. Something about pig’s blood and chemical reactions and beet juice. It all sounds very interesting and totally logical considering you can’t put anything on the internet that isn’t true. Seriously, though. I’m now quite intrigued by the history of red velvet and am excited to get out my chemistry set and jar of pig’s blood (don’t ask) and see what this business is all about.
Until then, this business is all about back-alley plastic surgery and food dye.
I’m okay with that in this instance since it’s a success. (If it would have been a failure, I would have blamed it on the food dye). Multiple self-professed red velvet-haters have become regular Benedict Arnolds for these cupcakes and wear their red (velvet) coats complete with scarlet letters like badges of honor. (How’s that for some literary metaphor mash-up?! My high school english teacher is disowning me with every keystroke)
Coworker: You made these cupcakes?
Coworker: I hate red velvet.
Coworker: You know what I’d change about these cupcakes for next time?
Me: not make them?
Coworker: Nothing. I’d change nothing. Because they’re beyond amazing.
(paraphrased – he’s a bit more descriptive with his adjectives than my mother would like)
- 3/4 C butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 C pure cane sugar
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 t red gel dye
- 1 shot espresso (or approx 1oz very strong brewed coffee)
- 1 C buttermilk, room temperature
- 1 T vinegar
- 2 1/2 C flour, sifted
- 1/3 C cocoa (not dutch-process)
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350
- Beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Stir in vanilla.
- Beat in eggs one at a time until thoroghly combined. Add in vinegar.
- Whisk together buttermilk, red dye, and espresso. Alternate adding this mixture with sifting in the remaining dry ingredients. Stir just until combined.
- Spoon into prepared cupcake pans and bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow to cool on a wire rack then frost with your favorite cream cheese frosting
- 3/4 C heavy cream, chilled
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 8oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 C butter, room temperature
- 1 C superfine sugar (regular white sugar works just fine – this is just better)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Beat cream and almond extract until still peaks form. Set aside.
- Beat cream cheese and butter together until fluffy.
- Stir in vanilla and sugar and then beat until thoroughly incorporated.
- Fold in cream and pipe immediately onto cooled cupcakes