I tried two cupcakes this Valentines Day. The first, the Red Velvet Cupcake, was one I have been wanting to try for some time. You see, apparently the red velvet flavour is huge in America, but pretty much unheard of here.
It intrigued me because the recipe seems to be a plain chocolate cake with red food gel and then a cream cheese frosting. Lots of sites give it rave reviews, there were a lot of recipes around for it, but as I had never even tasted it before I thought I should go with one from the American baking goddess, Martha Stewart.
The batter came out a really deep red colour. The recipe called for Dutch processed cocoa. Hello, people, need I remind you I live in Alice Springs? That was not going to happen, Dutch processed cocoa is hard enough to get in civilised parts of Australia, let alone the Outback. My american girlfriend, Tammie, offered me her last 1/2 cup but I just couldn't do it to her - who knew when I could repay the favour! So I had to go with the ordinary bitter stuff we have here.
I will try it again some time with the right cocoa but to be honest I just couldn't work out whether I like this flavour or not. Really couldn't describe it to you, except to say strange or very plain!! I know I am not being helpful. It was like the cake didn't have much flavour at all but the colour made it interesting and the cream cheese frosting made up the main flavour.
Here are some cross sections:
The visual look of the complete cupcakes was very good, very Valentines Day, the toppers were made by me with a cookie cutter, but I feel very non commital on the flavour.
Maybe I should have saved some for my American friend to judge but they were snapped up by the Workaholic's staff, who were intrigued by the colour. I am starting to get some of his workers boycotting the various cake places in town saying that they would rather wait for my next batch. Nice compliment.