The Genuine Kitchen column features recipes and tips for your home cooking by James Beard Award-nominated Chef Michael Schwartz and his team at Michael's Genuine Food & Drink. For this installment, Executive Pastry Chef Hedy Goldsmith guest blogs a retro recipe. Questions or
comments? Visit the restaurant's blog to send us an email.
Why do red velvet cupcakes make us smile? Those of you still basking in
the rosy afterglow of Valentine's Day might chalk it up to the cake's passionate hue. Some of you may argue it's the taste of cream cheese
icing, the perfect union of butter and cream cheese, that does you in.
For me, it has as much to do with nostalgia as anything. Red velvet
cake is as classic Americana as it gets!
There are many ways
to get your batter red. You may find variations of the recipe that call
for beets, but like James Beard's version, my recipe calls for red food
coloring. I mean, how can you not? Sometimes you have to do
something wrong that feels so right! To please the purist in me, it is
comforting to know the batter naturally tints a shade deeper when the
buttermilk and vinegar react with the cocoa powder. Any way you slice
it, there's a little piece of happiness coming out of the oven with
these southern gems!
-- Hedy Goldsmith
Red Velvet Cupcakes
Yield: 24 standard cupcakes
2 ½ cups cake flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ cups Canola oil
½ teaspoon red gel food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 batch of Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)
1 cup shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Sift dry ingredients including cake flour, cocoa powder, and salt into a large bowl. Set aside.
Using a stand mixer with whip attachment, whip the sugar and oil on
medium-low for 1-2 minutes, or until smooth. Add in the eggs one at a
time, followed by the food coloring and vanilla, scraping down the
mixing bowl with a rubber spatula as you go, about 1 minute, or until
smooth. Turning the speed down to low, continue to mix and add a third
of the sifted dry ingredients into the wet mixture, alternating with
buttermilk, about 2 minutes, or until fully
incorporated. Remove the mixing bowl from the stand mixer and add the
baking soda and vinegar last, stirring in by hand for 1 minute, or
until fully incorporated.
Lay out 24 standard baking cups into 2 standard 12-cup cupcake trays.
Using a tablespoon, spoon the batter into each baking cup, until three
quarters of the way full. Bake for 23 to 25 minutes, or until a
toothpick poked in the center of one cupcake comes out dry. Remove the
cupcakes from pan and set them on racks to cool, about 1 hour.
Once cool, frost the cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. Serve dusted with shredded coconut.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Yield: Frosting for batch of 24 cupcakes
1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
12 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 pound 10x (confectioner's) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
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Using a stand mixer with whip attachment, cream the butter and cream
cheese in a large mixing bowl on medium-high until combined, about 2 to
3 minutes. Add the sugar and vanilla, beating for an additional
minute. The frosting will keep for one week refrigerated.