I’ve never had Red Velvet Cupcakes before, but they seem to be all over the place in the last 3 years or so. First, I wanted to read up on them. Apparently, the cake’s colour originally came from the buttermilk and vinegar developing the anthrocyanins in the cocoa, which gives it a red hue. Anthrocyanins are pigments found in foods that are coloured red and blue, like berries. They are currently thought to prevent cancer, heart disease and a whole slew of other illnesses. That being said, eating these cupcakes probably won’t have any beneficial effect on one’s health. In fact, if you eat the entire batch, they will probably have a detrimental effect. But I’m no doctor…
Anyway, being the nerd that I am, I continued to read up on Red Velvet cake and read that during WW2, beets were used to give the cakes their red colour due to food rationing. Some old recipes have grated beets or puree in them, which also helps keep the cake moist. Thank you, Wikipedia. Anyway, I figured I might as well give these a whirl.
I first tried a recipe from Martha, as usual, but was surprisingly disappointed with the results. This is what I get for mucking around with her Boston Cream Cupcakes. Other than bitter around the edges, they didn’t seem to have much flavour at all. As well, all of the centres in the cupcakes were all sunken in. I had to throw these out. What a waste of red colouring gel and Hello Kitty! cupcake liners… Back to the drawing board.
I’ve also had a peek at How to Eat a Cupcake’s recipe for Red Velvet cupcakes. I don’t have any shortening on had, and now I’m all out of red gel (I’m actually probably going to try a bottle of food colouring), so I’ll have to try these later this week.
Stay tuned for some cupcakes. Same cuppy time, same cuppy blog.