Sunday, July 5, 2015

Celebrating this fourth of July with a lot of red, some white and a touch of blue

Here in the UK there were very few celebrations for the fourth of July, understandably. There were a handful of American bars full of people, visible displays of American pride flying from a few apartment windows and funnily enough there was a fireworks display, which it kind of hilarious considering that Independence day originated as freedom from the British. Either way, the whole thing made me wish I was in the states. I never had the whole Independence day experience as I didn't have much family over there to celebrate with but the friends and BBQs, the sun and the over-powering aromas emanating from other people's BBQs mixed with smoke from fireworks. It's a lovely time over there.

To celebrate this year I prepared the most American of sweet treats; the red velvet cupcake! Topped, as it should be, with oodles of delicious cream cheese frosting

The roses you see here are piped a little differently to the usual ones I like, each petal is piped individually, which gives you a) a more realistic flower and b) more frosting ;) These are not as crisp and clean as they have been before but they were piped with cream cheese frosting in 30'C/86'F weather so considering the conditions I think they came out nicely. I have been watching a lot of cakestyle videos lately and have been inspired to up my piping game, and then share it with you =)

So as you can see there is red and white in the icing, red in the cake but very little blue. I chose to put them in royal blue cupcake cases, but you could easily choose to put blue into the frosting, I just wanted the roses to look as natural as possible, which doesn't include blue.

Red Velvet Cupcakes (makes 12-15)   (recipe adapted from Alton Brown) 

205g    Plain flour
1 tbsp  cornflour
10g      good cocao
1 tsp    baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
240ml milk
1 tsp    lemon juice
1 tbsp  white vinegar
1 tsp    vanilla
28 ml  natural red food colouring
298g   dark brown sugar
56g     butter 
2         eggs

1 -  Preheat oven to 150'C/300'F. Add the lemon juice to the milk and let sit for 2-3mins
2 - Whisk together the flour and corn flour, then add the cocao, baking powder and salt and whisk together well
3 - Heat the milk for 30 seconds in the microwave, or allow to sit until room temperature, 
4 - Add the vinegar, vanilla and red food colouring to the milk and stir well. 
5 - In a cake mixer, or with an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until it lightens in colour.
6 - Add the eggs one at a time with one tablespoon of the flour mixture with each, beat through well.
7 - Alternate additions of the milk mixture and flour mixture until fully incorporated.
8 - Put cupcake cases in your muffin tin and then fill them half way up with mixture
9 - Bake for 15-20 minutes and then let cool with a clean tea towel sitting on top.

Cream Cheese Frosting    
This cream cheese was adapted for the heat

120g Butter
190g Cream cheese
400g Icing sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract.

1 - Beat together the butter and sieved icing sugar
2 - Add the vanilla extract and beat well
3 - Add the cream cheese slowly and beat well to combine.
4 - Chill in the fridge to firm.
5 - Pipe

To get the multiple colours that you see here I added 3 things to my icing bag, a strip of food colouring along one side, followed by a mix of the cream cheese with extra icing sugar and food colouring along that side, followed by filling the rest with white cream cheese. I piped onto a plate until i had the desired colour stripping and then piped my roses.

So try these out for yourself and enjoy =)

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