Friday, February 13, 2015

Move over pączki, now it’s time for another sweet-based holiday – Valentine’s Day!

I couldn’t let this holiday slip without baking something sweet for my husband to share with his colleagues. So earlier this week, I baked some mini cupcakes and decorated them with pale pink and red fondant, colorful sprinkles and a white chocolate buttercream. A traditional Red Velvet Cake seemed appropriate for this lovely holiday!
Baking cupcakes for colleagues is a far better way to spend Valentine’s Day versus the hundreds of chocolate boxes and tiny petit fours I used to make when I worked as a pastry chef in U.S fine dining restaurants. One year, I even recruited my husband to help finish and assemble the chocolate boxes or I would have ended up sleeping at the restaurant!

If you’re looking for a recipe to bake for your sweetheart this weekend, these cute red cupcakes are sure to please!

Happy Valentine’s Day!
The original recipe for Red Velvet Cake is associated with the restaurant in New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in the 1920s. The cake is a dark red or red-brown color achieved by adding cooked beets/beet juice or red food coloring, and topped with a cream cheese frosting. The cake is very popular in the southern states of the U.S.

Red Velvet Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream
Yields: 24 normal-sized cupcakes or 60 mini cupcakes
Or two 9 or 10-inch (22-24 cm.) round cake pans

425      g.                     480 typ Szymanowska Polish flour or All-purpose flour
350      g.                     granulated sugar
1          teaspoon          baking soda
3          Tablespoons    cocoa powder

330      ml.                  sunflower or vegetable oil
2          ea.                    large eggs, room temperature
230      ml.                   buttermilk (maslanka in Polish)
1          teaspoon          vanilla extract
1          teaspoon          white vinegar
1          Tablespoon      red food coloring

Preheat the oven to 350 F/175 C.
In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda and cocoa powder.

Using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, on medium speed, mix together the oil, eggs, buttermilk, food coloring, vinegar and vanilla.

Add the dry ingredients to the liquid ingredients above. Mix until smooth and thoroughly combined, about 1 minute.

Bake mini cupcakes for about 10 minutes, normal cupcakes for 20 minutes and 9-inch cakes for about 25-30 minutes until the cake springs back on top. Test the cake with a toothpick or metal skewer for doneness. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before frosting.

To decorate the cupcakes, use a large star tip or a French tip in your pastry bag. Fill the bag with the buttercream and make swirls on top of the cupcakes. Garnish with fondant cut-outs and colorful sprinkles.

White Chocolate Buttercream
180      g.                     egg whites (from approx. 6 large eggs)
300      g.                     Drobny granulated sugar
340      g.                     butter, room temp.
215      g.                     white chocolate, melted
Optional                      2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Make a Swiss meringue. Place the egg whites and sugar into the mixing bowl and place over a pot of simmering water. Heat the mixture and whisk continuously until the temperature reaches 60C.

Remove from the pot. Place the bowl on the mixer and whip on high speed until the mixture reaches stiff peaks and feels lukewarm.

Then, lower the speed on the mixer and gradually add in the butter. If the butter is cold, the mixture may break and separate.

Lastly, add in the melted white chocolate, a little bit at a time. Add vanilla for flavoring.

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BacktoBodrum said...

Your husband must be the most popular man in Poland.

Joy said...

@Annie, yes, his staff is very happy when it's dessert day even when he brings in my so-called "rejects"!

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