Red Velvet Butterfly Cupcakes
Valentine’s recipe for the Seniors Lunch Club: red velvet cake of course! Moist, chocolately and delicious, even romantic. I’ve always hankered to do the proper American-style cream cheese frosting, so I tried it, and I’m afraid I’ve learned we don’t have the right sort of cream cheese in the UK. My cream cheese frosting came out far too runny to ice on top of the buns, but I still wanted to use it, so I made the buns into butterfly-cakes and filled the hole in the cake with the icing, so it didn’t need to hold its shape so much but could still give that tangy salty creamy edge to the sweet cake. It tasted great, so I’m giving the recipe, but I’ll try again with the cream cheese frosting to see if I can make it turn out firmer.
Our Seniors Lunch Club audio call game was a Guess Who I am? (Romantic Couples). I provided everyone with a couple-description when I dropped off the newsletter and cake, and we had to ask yes/no questions to find out the romantic pair each member was representing. Tarzan and Jane caused us some problems, Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy were discovered after a good set of questions and Anthony and Cleopatra were quite easy to guess.
For Mark, who wanted to know if my recipes were scaleable if you aren’t cooking for a crowd, yes indeed. Especially this recipe, you can reduce all the ingredients proportionately and get a smaller production. Go by the relative proportion of eggs to other ingredients, which in this recipe is 1 egg to 50g each of flour/sugar/butter. I’d make a 2 -egg mixture with 100g of each of the other ingredients, and you’ll get about 6 buns-worth. Ice and eat 2 immediately, freeze the others and bring them out 2 at a time, ice and eat. A week’s worth of home-made cakes from one easy batch.
Makes 18 buns. Timings – 10 minutes preparation, 30 minutes cooking, 15 minutes to ice and finalise.
Pre heat your oven to 180°C.
Beat the butter with the sugar until light and creamy, add the cocoa powder and oil with the whisk running. Add in the eggs one at a time, with a spoonful of flour each time (this is said to stop the mixture splitting). Add the food colouring – you will need a lot of red colouring to overcome the brown of the cocoa powder but use as much as you like! Then fold in the rest of the flour carefully and stir in the yoghurt.
Spoon the mixture into paper bun cases, filling each about half full, and place the tray in the oven.
I like to cook one tray of buns at a time, to avoid having to go in and change them about on the oven shelves, and the mixture will stand quite happily as you do this.
Cook for about 30 minutes until risen and spongy. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack until ready to fill/ice.
You could ice these with a normal water-ice made from icing sugar and water, coloured with food colouring, or make them a bit more decadently into butterfly cakes with a cream cheese icing and jam filling.
Make the cream cheese frosting by warming the butter quite well – if you start with cold butter you will get nuggets of butter through the cream cheese, and that isn’t nice. It needs to be soft but not fully melted. Beat the butter with the icing sugar and cream cheese until well blended, adding the vanilla essence and food colouring as desired. You will need to put a tea towel over your mixer while adding the icing sugar or you’ll get a kitchen that looks as if it’s snowed.
To make each bun into a butterfly cake – cut out the centre of the bun using a sharp knife in a circular motion – you are cutting out a sort of circular pyramid shape. Spread raspberry jam into the hole, then fill with the cream cheese icing. Cut the little piece of bun you removed into two and place back onto the iced centre of the bun, with the curved sides together and the pointier bits facing out – it only very vaguely looks like a butterfly, but it does look quite nice!
Sprinkle with icing sugar and edible glitter. These should be kept cool and eaten within 2 days, because of the creamy frosting.
A Hug from the Kitchen
Healthy, hearty, happy food, for good times and bad. Cheer yourself up, or spread the cheer around your family and friends.