Recently, the hubs made me sit down and watch the first 30 minutes of Rocky II. Why? Because he claimed that the main characters, Rocky and Adrian, are the big screen versions of us. Now, granted I have never thought about what fictional couple we are most like in the movies, but if I did, I would imagine us to be like the characters in more epic love stories, like Jack and Rose in Titanic or Noah and Allie from The Notebook. I certainly wouldn’t imagine us being like the characters from a boxing movie. But as I sat there and watched, I began to see where he was coming from. David, like Rocky, is a jock, somewhat macho and flashy, and would do anything for his family. And I, like Adrian, am timid, quiet and conservative. We are as opposite as can be and we certainly don’t always see eye to eye, but we work. We balance each other out.
So, to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, I made these red velvet cupcakes for my Rocky. I chose red velvet cupcakes, not because they are red, but because they are his new favourite dessert (ever since he sampled some from a local grocery store).
Now, these cupcakes are the real deal, full of sugar and butter. I did not use beets to give these cupcakes a natural red colour. I did not try to make them healthier like I would on most other occasions. There are no hidden healthy ingredients. No whole wheat flour, no brown sugar. No applesauce in place of butter. There are no substitutions here. Oh no, not on this jour de l’amour.
Happy Valentine’s Day, my dears!
What on screen couple does your relationship most resemble?
Red velvet cupcakes (adapted from JoyofBaking.com)
- 1 1/4 cups (125 grams) cake flour
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp (10 grams) regular or Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cups (150 grams) granulated white sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk*
- 1 tbsp liquid red food coloring**
- 1/2 tsp white distilled vinegar
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C) and line 12 muffin tins with paper cupcake liners.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder.
- In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter (on medium speed) until soft (about 1-2 minutes). Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add the egg and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.
- In a measuring cup whisk the buttermilk with the red food coloring.
- With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk to the butter mixture, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour.
- In a small cup combine the vinegar and baking soda. Allow the mixture to fizz and then quickly fold into the cake batter.
- Working quickly, divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups and smooth the tops with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon.
- Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 18-23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.
- Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes and them remove from pan.
- Let cool completely before frosting. Either spread the frosting with a knife or offset spatula, or use a large 1M Wilton open star decorating tip to pipe the frosting.
Cream cheese frosting (adapted from Simply Recipes)
- 1/4 cup of butter, room temperature
- 4 oz of Philly cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 – 1.5 cups of powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
- Cream the butter and cream cheese together, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing.
- Add the vanilla extract and mix.
- Add the powdered sugar, continually taste to get to desired sweetness.
- Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.
Notes and tips:
I ended up with 10 cupcakes.
*I made buttermilk by adding 1/2 tbsp vinegar to a 1/2 cup measuring cup and topping it with milk (I used skim milk).
**I used ~1/4 tsp concentrated gel food colouring.
I found the frosting to be a bit soft. Putting it in the fridge for a bit will help with the piping.