Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Red, White, But No Blue Velvet

It is getting to be that time for celebrating America ( Memorial Day, July 4th etc) so in honor of the season,  I thought I would make red and white velvet cupcakes. Red velvet cake is one of my favorites, and although I am not a vanilla person, the white velvet is a good contrast with the chocolate frosting.  Cupcakes are easy and very portable, but both of these recipes could also be used to make a layer cake, even with alternating layers.  The cake is light, but the red velvet needs a little more cocoa added to it for my taste.

And for the blue-  blueberries of course or use your imagination.


White Velvet Butter Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Ganache Icing from Heavenly Cakes by Rose Levy Beranbaum
3 large egg whites at room temperature
2/3 cup milk
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups cake flour, sifted into the cup and leveled off
1 cup superfine sugar
2 ¼ teaspoons plus 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter at room temperature

Line a cupcake pan with paper muffin cups.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set rack in the lower third of the oven.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg whites, 3 tablespoons of the milk, and the vanilla until just combined.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, with the flat beater, mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt on low speed for 30 seconds. Add the butter and remaining milk and mix on low speed until the ingredients are just moistened. Increase speed to medium and beat for 1 ½ minutes. Scrape down the bowl.  On medium speed, add the egg mixture in two parts, beating for 30 seconds after each addition.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Using an ice cream scoop or spoon, fill the cupcake liners about ¾ full. The recipe makes 14-16 cupcakes.   Bake 20-25 minutes until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean and the cupcakes spring back when pressed lightly in the center.  Let cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes.  Remove from pan and cool completely.

Milk Chocolate Ganache
I halved this recipe to ice the cupcakes and it was more than enough.
12 ounces high quality milk chocolate or 8 ounces milk chocolate and 4 ounces dark chocolate (62%)
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream warmed
5 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat the chocolate until almost completely melted, using either a small microwavable bowl, stirring with a silicone spatula every 15 seconds, or place a small heatproof bowl over a pot of hot water, stirring often.

Remove the chocolate from the hear and stir until fully melted.  Gradually stir in the cream until it is uniform in color.  Allow the mix to cool until just no longer warm to the touch, about 30 minutes. With a whisk, gently stir in the softened butter, 1 tablespoon at a time.  Stir in the vanilla.

Use at once or can sit for a few hours.   The ganache keeps in an airtight container for 3 days at room temperature, for 3 weeks refrigerated and for 6 months frozen.

Rose Red Velvet Cake with Dreamy Creamy White Chocolate Frosting from Heavenly Cakes by Rose Levy Beranbaum

3 large egg whites at room temperature
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups cake flour sifted into the cup and leveled off
1 cup superfine sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder (I would definitely add more)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup canola or safflower oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
½ cup low-fat buttermilk

Line cupcake/muffin pan with paper liners. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk the egg whites, red food coloring, and vanilla until just lightly combined.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cocoa and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer using the flat beater, mix the oil and butter on medium speed for  1 minute. It will not be completely smooth.  Add the flour mixture and the buttermilk.  Mix on low speed until the ingredients are moistened. Increase speed to medium, and beat for 1 ½ minutes. Scrape down sides of the bowl. Using medium speed, add the egg mixture to the batter in two parts, beating for 30 seconds after each addition.  Scrape down sides of the bowl.

Spoon the batter into the cupcake pan, filling them about ¾ full.  Bake 20-25 minutes until cake tester comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center.  Cool in the pan on wire rack about 10 minutes and then remove the cupcakes from the pan and cool completely.

Dreamy Creamy White Chocolate Frosting
3 ounces white chocolate containing cocoa butter, chopped
4 ounces cream cheese, softened but still cool
2 tablespoons unsalted butter softened but still cool
½ tablespoon crème fraiche or sour cream
1/8 teaspoon almond extract

Heat the white chocolate until almost melted in small bowl over hot, but not simmering water, stirring often or microwave, stirring every 15 seconds.  Remove from heat and stir until fully melted.  Let cool until it is no longer warm to the touch but still fluid.

In a food processor, process the cream cheese, butter and crème fraiche or sour cream for a few seconds until smooth and creamy.  Scrape down the sides.  Add the cooled, melted white chocolate and pulse it in a few times until smoothly incorporated.  Add the almond extract and pulse it in.

This frosting is a nice complement to the cake- it is not too sweet. ((post by susan))

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