Right, it's November, so I can officially start getting excited about Christmas. All the Christmas magazines are out and I'm making my way through them, picking up recipes, craft tips, ideas for table layouts etc.
I am too excited for Christmas this year. I'm not usually one for people, but this year I would like to have some friends over at Christmas for a meal and I've told the other half I'll make a pavlova as he's never had one before and we clearly couldn't eat a whole one between us...
Well, I mean I could, meringue is delicious.
Anyway Christmas is a time for giving so I'll share my pavlova.
I am hopefully getting a pasta extruder attachment for my stand mixer which I have been eyeing up since I got my mixer. It's amazing, how cool is it going to be to make your own pasta shapes!!!?? Homemade Fusilli anyone...
My other half has said he's getting me a pop up light box for taking pictures so I shouldn't have to spend so much time editing my pictures before I blog them and I'm going to ask for some plates etc so I can start to expand my food prop collection.
Think we may actually need a bigger kitchen for Christmas.
In other news, I got Adobe Lightroom the other day and I'm in love with it. It's so much easier to adjust the white balances etc in my pictures. I've used Photoshop up until now, which has been fine, but Lightroom allows you to be more precise, so I'm now spending my extra time editing the backlog of recipes I have to blog :/
I decided to finally make some Red Velvet Cupcakes. I see recipes for them all the time, so I thought I'd see what all the fuss was about! I mean, yes they were yummy, a lovely moist cake with a hint of cocoa, but I still think all the colouring is a bit unnecessary :( Maybe it's because I'm from the UK. Apparently if you use a normal liquid food colour, you could need the whole bottle! Luckily I had gel colours, so I didn't need much at all.
Makes 12 cupcakes
Recipe for cupcakes adapted from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes
Ingredients for the Cupcakes:
> 1 1/4 cups plain flour
> 1tbsp cocoa
> 3/4 cup caster sugar
> 3/4 cup vegetable oil
> 1 egg
> Red food colouring (the amount you need will depend on if you have gel or liquid)
> 1/2tsp vanilla extract
> 1/2 cup buttermilk
> 3/4tsp bicarbonate of soda
> 1tsp white wine vinegar
Ingredients for the Frosting:
> 125g full fat cream cheese (I used Philly)
> 50g softened butter
> 300g icing sugar
> 1/2tsp vanilla extract
> Place the flour and cocoa in a small bowl, give it a quick mix and then set it aside.
> Place the sugar and vegetable oil in a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer.
> Mix until smooth and light, about a minute. Add in the egg, red food colouring and vanilla extract.
> Mix until smooth. You can always add in more food colouring later if you don't think they're red enough.
> Add in the flour mix and buttermilk.
> Starting on a low speed, mix the flour and buttermilk into the mix. As the flour combines turn the speed up to medium-high and mix until lovely and smooth. (Here's where you can add in more food colouring if required).
> Place the bicarb in a small glass and then add the white wine vinegar and stir. It will fizz up.
> Add this into your cake batter and mix for 30 seconds.
> Split the batter between the cupcake cases, about 3/4 full.
> Place in the oven for 18-20 minutes until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
> Take out of the cupcake tin as soon as possible and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
> Once the cupcakes are cooled, make the frosting.
> This makes enough to pipe the 12 cupcakes. Place the butter, cream cheese and vanilla extract into a large bowl and cream together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
> Sift in the icing sugar.
> On a slow speed, begin to combine the frosting. Once the icing sugar is almost combined, turn the speed up to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy.
> Pipe onto your cooled cupcakes and garnish with some chocolate sprinkles if you want to.
> Cupcakes will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Entered into Thursday's Treasures at Recipes For My Boys and What I Ate Wednesdays at Peas and Crayons