Monday, July 9, 2012

Order Up!

Last Wednesday Alex was invited to a party and my sister volunteered to take him. Varuzh and I were a little skeptical about her babysitting skills, since her baby is already eighteen years old. I gave her all my emergency numbers and off they went.

I am a little bit of a crazy mother and worry when my babies are not with me, both of them. (Believe me, for a mom it never matters how old her kids are – 7 or 20 – they are still her babies.) So I kept my phone all the time with me, and in about two hours I got a text message from Alex. There was a picture of red velvet cupcakes with sprinkles with a request to bake these cupcakes at home for him.
How could I say no?! Even though I made a few attempts to bake red velvet cupcakes, I failed each and every time. Red Velvet cupcake recipe calls for cake flour, and I have a feeling that I did not get the right one from the store. But this time I didn’t want to take any chances and decided to use a well recommended King’s cake flour and a new recipe from Joy Of Baking website.

So you know, red velvet cupcakes are red solely because of red food coloring. Luckily, nowdays there are many brands that make natural food coloring. Phew.

Before I start baking, I always take all the ingredients out, then put them in measuring cups. Having the ingredients measured and ready, cuts mixing, scraping, folding time almost in half!

So I got all the ingredients ready: cake flour, baking powder, salt, unsweetened cocoa powder, unsalted butter (at room temperature), sugar, egg (at room temperature), vanilla, buttermilk, red food coloring, white distilled vinegar, and baking soda.
Then I took out my favorite baking tools and measured all the ingredients. I know, I am nauseatingly organized – sorry for my choice of words – but don’t forget that baking needs precision! 
I love the selection of tools I always find in Sur La Table
Alex usually does all the sifting.
Then Alex gets on the counter and we put the ingredients into the mixing bowl!

It is so much fun to watch what happens when we mix soda and vinegar
What would I do without Kitchen Aid mixer?
I use ice-cream scoop to fill prepared cupcake liners evenly - up to 3/4 of each cupcake liner. 
I do that every time!!! 
Make sure that you preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for about 18-22 minutes (if you have a convection oven - then preheat up to 325 degrees and cut the baking time by 25%)
 Once out of the oven, I transfered the cupcakes to a cooling rack.

Voila, I was ready to start making frosting while the cupcakes were cooling down.

For all details of this recipe, visit the Joy of Baking website!

Joy of Baking Cream Cheese Frosting recipe is a little different from the usual cream cheese frosting recipe, one of its ingredients is heavy cream, but I did not have it in my fridge. Thus, I decided to make the original Cream Cheese Frosting recipe - this sweet, slightly tangy cream cheese frosting is very easy to make and is very delicious.  
The ingredients are simple - to frost a dozen cupcakes you will need: 
10oz cream cheese, at room temperature
5tbs unsalted butter at room temperature
½ tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted.
In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the cream cheese for 1 minute, add butter and vanilla and beat for another 2 minutes or until fluffy and light. Gradually, beat in the sugar and mix until thoroughly combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
To frost the cupcakes, I usually put a fancy tall swirl of frosting on top of each cupcake, but I had to recreate the cupcakes Alex texted me from the party, so I simply spread the frosting on the tops of the cupcakes with an offset spatula.
Alex had the most important job, though – to top cupcakes with sprinkles! Yum!!!
Who said that white t-shirt is not the best way to clean hands?
 The moist and tender crumbling texture of the cake, mild chocolate flavor from cocoa powder paired with saltiness of cream cheese frosting are classic.
 Alex’s order is filled, and tasted sooo good!

With love always,
xo, Zuma A.
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