Monday, December 6, 2010

So I'm not a pastry chef

I’ve always had an affinity for baking but never the time nor courage to attempt homemade recipes, save peanut butter cookies…but it’s not as if that is a particularly demanding culinary mêlée. B and I have been married for over a year now, though, and while it is clear that his epicurean energies are suited more for cooking, I believe it is time for me to master some form of edible art. Therefore, my baking ardor was refreshed this past week, as I made gooey chocolate drop cookies, the notorious Neiman Marcus (not the recipe found on their website) chocolate chip cookie, and sopapilla cheesecake (thanks, mom-in-law, for that idea!) all of which I took to the Maroon Weekly Christmas party this past Friday.

I find that rendering a baked good entirely from scratch is quite fulfilling (alright, alright…I did use crescent rolls in the cheesecake) and after receiving positive reviews from my fellow Maroon Weekly contributors, I set out this past Saturday to create the current most fashionable confection…the cupcake! Every time I watch Cupcake Wars there is some cute vintagey-looking girl whipping up cupcakes as fashionably appealing as her outfit. This is the culinary vocation for me!

As stated above, I’m not a pastry chef. I am a complete novice if not genuine ignoramus. Vast amounts of information regarding baking threaten to overwhelm me; therefore, my best strategy is to slowly learn basic recipes before attempting to get all fancy with personalized interpretations. Although, I will document my attempts at baking whenever the occasion arises, don’t anticipate any ground breaking revelations in the world of yeast and sugar….at least not quite yet.

So here you have it; my adventures in making red velvet cupcakes!

Recipe Used:
• 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
• 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
• 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
• 2 large eggs, room temperature
• 2 tablespoons red food coloring
• 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
• 1 pound cream cheese, softened
• 2 sticks butter, softened
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

Sift the dry ingredients together.
Gently beat the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and then thoroughly mix in the dry.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
Wait until entirely cooled to frost.

Personal tip: At first, I thought the icing was  bit too sweet and runny, BUT if you store the cupcakes in the fridge, they taste AMAZING after a few hours. Definitely chill once they're done.

I want one of those handy batter-squirter-into-cupcake-holder-thingys.

Preparing the icing: 1 lb. of cream cheese and 2 sticks of you know it's healthy.

Getting ready to ice the extremely RED cupcakes without a spatula for the first time ever!

Chopped walnuts come in handy to mask your icing learning curve.

They actually don't look horrible!


Now I have an actual reason to wear the apron, which I convinced B that I just had to have a few months ago...


Merry Christmas month and happy baking from Bella Bawk Ba Gawk and Tallulah Poodle Minkyboodle! Don't judge my dogs' names; they're eclectic.

1 comment:

  1. Yaaaayyyy!! Hooray for pretty red velvet cupcakes and cute aprons!! : ) Baking is fun, isn't it?