Red Velvet Cupcakes with a Perfect Cream Cheese Frosting

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Red Velvet is a pretty cake! Basically it’s vanilla cake with a hint of chocolate and a tender moist velvety crumb. And of course the rich deep red hue, which gives it the name and makes it look all fancy and exciting.

I recently bought Neeta Mehta’s ‘Cupcakes and Brownies’ and was keen to do a batch of cupcakes in the new oven. The first recipe was red velvets. I have done red velvet cake sometime back where I used home- made cream cheese for the frosting.

This Bombay visit I picked two tubs of cream cheese and tried the frosting from ‘Joy of Baking’. The cupcakes came out moist and delicious. So much so that I had to actually bake a second batch to serve them frosted!
This gorgeous cream cheese frosting, is good enough to die for!

Here is the recipe for the cake (adapted from Neeta’s cook book)

1 1/3 cup (150 grams) APF/Plain flour/Maida
1 tbsp cocoa powder
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp Raspberry Red liquid food colour (add a little more to get the desired shade of red)
1 cup buttermilk (or a mixture of ¾  cup milk and ¼ cup yogurt/curd/dahi)
¼ cup butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
1 egg
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp vinegar

Preheat  the oven to 180C/350 F and line a 12 muffin pan with paper liners.
1In a medium bowl, sift the flour and whisk with the salt, baking powder and cocoa.
2In a large bowl, beat the butter for a minute. Add sugar and beat for another couple of minutes.
IMG_7142IMG_7143Add the vanilla extract and egg and mix till incorporated.
IMG_7147In a bowl add the food colour to the buttermilk.

IMG_7145IMG_7165Now add one thirds of the flour mixture and mix in.
IMG_7150Then half the buttermilk-colour mixture and mix and continue till all the flour is used up, starting and ending with the flour.
IMG_7166Take the vinegar in a small bowl and add in the baking soda. It will bubble. Quickly stir and add to the batter and mix well.
Using a spoon or an ice cream scoop, spoon in the cake batter into the lined muffin pan.
IMG_7168Bake for 20 minutes or till a toothpick inserted into the centre of a cup cake comes out clean.
4Transfer to the wire rack and cool completely before frosting.
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Cream Cheese Frosting
This, by far, is the best frosting I have ever had. Mildly sweet with a hint of tang, this totally trumps all others in the flavour arena. Or maybe I feel that being a die-hard citrusy dessert lover 😛
The recipe is from Joy of Baking ( with minor changes)

180 grams cream cheese, at room temperature (I used 1 tub of Britannia Processed Cream Cheese)
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
50 grams icing or powdered sugar , sifted
125 millilitres of heavy cream /whipping cream ( I used Rich cream), chilled

Put a steel bowl in the freezer to chill.
Beat the cream cheese till smooth (about 30 seconds).
IMG_7187IMG_7188Add the sugar and vanilla and beat till soft and creamy (2 minutes).
IMG_7192Now get the chilled steel bowl and the chilled heavy cream out of the fridge and beat the cream to stiff peaks. I put it the bowl over a bed of ice because of the afternoon heat and the temperature in high 30s. It helped.
IMG_7193IMG_7194IMG_7196Add the cream cheese mix to the heavy cream and whisk together for half a minute.
IMG_7198It becomes nice, thick and creamy and doesn’t drop easily even if the bowl is inverted.
IMG_7199Fill the piping bag and push all the frosting down till  the frosting peaks from the tip of the piping bag.
IMG_7203IMG_7204With a firm and steady hand, make swirls over the cupcakes. Well I am a beginner and a very reluctant ‘froster’ as you can see here 😛 But it did get better by the fourth cupcake 😀
IMG_7205Too lazy to do that? Simply slather all over the cuppies and enjoy country style!
Heaven either ways ❤
And if you have the heart to do it, crumble a cuppie and sprinkle all over the frosted others 😀
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Best used the same day, but can be refrigerated for up to two days.
And now  😀

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Instant Chocolate Walnut Fudge Fiesta Friday#21

This is my entry to the Fiesta Friday # 21 and I am so excited to join the party!
I am very grateful to my friend Sonal for introducing me to this lovely event  and am really looking forward to interacting with the talented people here.
A big thank you to Angie and the co-hosts  Elaine and  Julianna.

Instant Chocolate Walnut Fudge- in all of three minutes!!

Last night my plans of serving a fruity dessert of Mango cream vanished in thin air as the mangoes did a disappearing act from my pantry. Two teenagers in the house will do that to you. I decided on a dessert free dinner. But it was not to be, with it being a Friday night and a Football one at that! Demands for dessert started coming in at 11.30 PM- chocolaty demands at that!
My friend Jaya Amit does a mean chocolate walnut fudge in the microwave and that saved my day!

Here is a chocolaty and scrumptious dessert, done under three minutes.
Topped with cream cheese frosting, slivered almonds and choco-chips, this was the perfect start to the weekend!
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Recipe

Dry Ingredients

Milk powder  – 1 ½ cup
Cocoa  –  3Tbsp
Drinking chocolate -1Tbsp
Instant coffee powder –  Tbsp
Powdered sugar – 3 Tbsp
Roughly chopped walnuts- 2 Tbsp

Wet Ingredients

Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
Ghee (clarified butter) or butter – 1/2  Tbsp
Milk – 1/2cup
Water – 2 Tbsp

Take a microwave proof dish which is not very wide-mouthed. Mix all the dry ingredients well in a microwave proof dish. Add water make a thick paste and mix well. Microwave on high for 1 minute, remove and mix well.

Add milk and vanilla extract and mix well and microwave on high for a minute. Remove mix well.

Add ghee/butter. Mix and microwave in high for a minute.

Done!! Yes, it is that simple and quick!

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*This gives a fudgy texture. If u want a firmer texture, microwave again for a minute on high.
*You can skip the walnuts to get plain chocolate fudge
*Check the consistency of fudge after the third minute and continue only if needed.
*If using a wide dish cut each time slot by 15 secs.|
*Milk powder can be replaced with one cup of khoya/mawa

To make it on stove top

Take a heavy-bottomed, non-stick saucepan.Heat the ghee/butter.Cook the khoya / milk powder mixed in milk for 2 minutes and then slowly add in the remaining ingredients.

Add 1/4th cup milk gradually while adding other ingredients. Cook for about 3-5 minutes depending on consistency desired. Add milk if you find the mixture too dry. Be careful to cook on low heat the whole time. Remove from heat and add the vanilla extract.
Enjoy!

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