Sunday, July 31, 2011

Red Velvet Cupcakes

So here's the thing. I've never really been into Nigella Lawson. Shocking, I know. Maybe the lady can cook, but I don't know, the whole sex siren/chef thing just all seems a bit on the pretentious side for me.

Then I found out that an old friend of mine is moving to Canada, and we were going over to his place to pinch all his extra condiments and vanilla extract have dinner and say goodbye. Which seems like unrelated information, except that I decided to take along some cupcakes with red maple leaves on top - you know, as a nod to the Canadian flag. So in keeping with the colour scheme, red velvet cupcakes seemed like the obvious choice.

And (wait for it - the point of this is coming any minute now!) recently Taste magazine featured - you guessed it - Nigella's Red Velvet Cupcakes. Since I've never found a red velvet recipe that I'm 100% happy with, I figured I might as well give them a try.

I'm so glad I did.

I take it all back, Nigella - sure you might lick your fingers and make lascivious faces at the camera a little more than I like my celebrity chefs to be doing, but boy do you know your red velvet cupcakes.

See how pretty they look, fresh out of the oven? It was almost a shame to frost them. Almost.

I thought the crumb of these cupcakes was divine - light and fluffy, but still moist, and with a lovely flavour (so often I find "light, fluffy" cake tastes like not much really - not so here). Also I was really happy with the bright red colour - some red velvet cakes I've made have not had as much colour as I would like (and yes, I know the original red velvet cake was probably just a reddish brown from the cocoa, but what can I say - this is an area where I am not a fan of subtlety. Bring On The Food Colouring!).

Anyway, I didn't use Nigella's frosting recipe, I just sort of cobbled one together - mostly butter-based, but with some cream cheese added for flavour. It was really yummy, and I wish I'd payed attention to the quantities I used. Sigh. And I coloured some white chocolate melts with red powder colouring, and piped maple leaf shapes onto baking paper. Once they were set, I popped one of top of each cupcake.

My friend was amused. And we all enjoyed the cake.

I'm interested to see how these cakes hold up to freezing (I love freezing cupcakes, it means I always have something home-baked on hand if people drop in for a coffee). Some cakes freeze better than others, so we'll see. I'll be taking the rest of the batch out on Wednesday night, so I'll be sure to let you know how they go.

And if you want the recipe, go here: And once you wade through all the over-flowery directions, you'll be glad you did.

Thanks Nigella. And... you know... sorry about not watching your shows and all.


C&C Cakery said...

Yay Canada! And I know how you feel about Nigella - I seriously don't really trust any of those Food Network personalities. Well, maybe Alton Brown. Those cupcakes look lovely, though!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

These really look wonderful. My husband's family loves red velvet.

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