Did you read last week’s introductory post by Eloise, my outsourced content creator from the Philippines? If you did then you read about her love of baking. For her second post, I bounced around a bunch of ideas with Eloise, and she came back to me with the following:
Red Velvet Cake and Cupcakes for Dummies
I have a lot of interests that I indulge myself into. One of these interests is cooking. I just love it when after a long and tiring day I can make something that can put a smile and satisfy me and my family as well. My mom taught me to cook easy to make traditional cuisine when I was in the third grade. She was strict and made me cook rice – our staple food – after she let me see how to do it. She taught me how to make sweets and desserts and many delish Filipino dishes too. However, I can still vividly recall how I taught myself to bake. With my mom being strict, she did not allow any of us to touch anything from the kitchen when it’s not time to make food. Maybe I was craving for bread at that time or saw a cooking demo on TV, I don’t know, but I managed to sneak a heaping cup of flour from the cupboard and hid in my room. I went back to the kitchen and got myself some clean water, a bowl, sugar, salt and an old packet of yeast.
I have no idea how to do it, all I remember from seeing my mother make bread is that mixing flour and water makes dough. So I mixed all my ingredients together, silently doing it with a fork. In no time, my forehead was sweating profusely as I was extremely nervous due to not knowing what I am doing and the anxiety of what will happen if my mom finds out. What if the door just burst open and there she is? What if I spilled flour and water in my room and when she cleans it she’d know what I did? Too many what ifs made me very anxious about what I’m doing. I wiped my face with a clean cloth and continued mixing until I ended up cupping the mixture and balling it in my hands. When I think I was done kneading the “dough”, I flattened it and poured spoonfuls of brown sugar in the middle and balled it again. I suddenly remembered that the oven is in the kitchen! I have to go put the dough in the oven! I swore I’m not going to do it again as I wend and tiptoed my way to the kitchen. Realizing I have no idea how to turn an oven on, I looked around for something to save my sanity. I have to hide the flour ball and throw it outside.
Looking in one side of our kitchen I saw something that I thought would save me. The oven toaster! I went and snuck the thing and hurriedly went back to my room and placed the dough in the toaster’s plate, turned the toaster on and prayed it will not ring as loud as it always had. In the end, I finally managed to cook/bake it and was eating munching on one cooled side when my dad saw me and asked where I got the warm bread. He told me he thought he sniffed some baked bread inside the house but found there was none. I gave the other chunk of that shapeless thing and when he tasted it, he said it was good but that something was off or missing. I didn’t care about the other things he said. He already got me when he said it tasted good.
From there started my baking enthusiasm. I have learned many things since then about baking and I will share with you another one of my experiments. This recipe is not at all new, albeit, it is a famous one. But you must know I made my own recipe after I tasted one from a restaurant.
Here’s my version of the Red Velvet Cake/Cupcake.
You must prepare firsthand the ingredients needed for the cake:
- A cup and a half of white granulated sugar
- Two medium-large sized eggs
- Half a cup of unsalted butter
- 2 ⅓ cups of cake flour
- Two tablespoons cocoa powder
- A teaspoon of baking soda
- A teaspoon of vanilla
- A teaspoon of baking powder
- Half a teaspoon of salt
- A cup of buttermilk*
- A teaspoon of white vinegar
- 1 ½ tablespoons of red food colour
- 1-2 225g packs of cream cheese
- 1-3 cups confectioner’s sugar
- Another half a cup of unsalted butter
The mixing and baking part:
1. Start off by preheating oven at 180⁰C and then sifting the dry ingredients. Sift cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt in a bowl.
2. Make sure that the butter, eggs and buttermilk are at room temperature. Butter should be soft to touch but not melted.
3. Pour vinegar, vanilla and the food colour in the buttermilk. *A good buttermilk substitute is 1 cup of fresh milk mixed with 1 tablespoon white vinegar mixed and left for at least 10 minutes at room temperature.
4. In a mixing bowl, mix the first half a cup of butter and granulated sugar first, making sure both are well incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time.
5. Add a portion of the sifted dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and beat. Add a portion of the wet ingredients and mix well again.
6. Liquid ingredients should be divided into three pouring and the dry ingredients to 4 additions, making the dry ingredients the last to be added.
7. Mix until all is incorporated but not overbeaten.
8. Pour into cupcake cups in prepared cupcake trays or line a 9 inch pan with oil or butter and pour the contents in.
9. Bake cupcakes at 180⁰C until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Bake the cake at 160⁰C until skewer comes out clean.
10. Let cool on room temperature before frosting.
The frosting part:
1. Cream cheese should be at room temperature. Sift confectioner’s sugar.
2. Mix the other half a cup of butter and 1 pack of cream cheese.
3. Add the sifted sugar. Depending on your desired taste, add another cup of sugar or cream cheese and pipe it on the cooled cupcakes or apply on cake.
Do you have any questions for Eloise or maybe some suggestions for future subjects she could write about or photograph for me? If so, say hi and share your ideas in the comments section. Thanks.