So tomorrow is St Valentine’s. A day of love and chocolate and, ironically enough, a world wide bone of contention. If you don’t celebrate it, you might be called a ruthless, heartless, meagre excuse for a human being. If you do, you’ll certainly be labelled a consumerism-worshipping heretic on a good day. Personally I think it’s wonderful to watch people tearing each other apart over it, while I sit by and eat all the chocolate.
No, seriously, when did this become such a big deal? I mean, go out and be jolly; eat drink and be merry; stay home and be taciturn and anti-social; or celebrate the Roman fertility festival of Lupercalia, for all I care. It’s on the same day. It’s fun. It involves an inordinate amount of R-rated activities. It’s fun.
It’s all the same to me. I’ll be eating chocolate if you need me.
So, on a different note, and smack on time for St. V’s, I took part in a production of Dido and Aeneas, and let me tell you, those guys can’t even handle it right now. I mean, seriously, Dido is the drama queen from hell, and Aeneas, poor chump, is the most emasculated hero in the entire history of Greek tragedy, which is saying quite a lot. There is this scene where he’s all “Behold, I’ve killed this here monster, come look at me flex my muscles”, and she’s like, “Whatever, it’s raining, let’s get outta here, I just did my hair”. And then freaking Jupiter tells the man to get himself away from that chick and rebuild freaking Troy, and all the man can say is “but the chick”, and I’m like, man, you survived the Troyan Wars and now you’re scared of a chick in a toga? Get a grip, cupcake.
That’s love for you, folks.
Now I’ve got that off my chest, let’s get the show on the road.
It’s like – sublime. I actually ate the buttercream straight.
Yes, I did. I’m not one to resist temptation.
Go ahead, try it, see if you can.
One year ago on May the Cheese Be With You: Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bites
Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Buttercream
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Perp time: about 1 hour
You will need:
For the cupcakes:
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 2½ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons red food coloring
- ½ cup buttermilk, or the same amount of milk + 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1½ teaspoons white vinegar
For the buttercream:
- 4oz butter, softened
- 4oz cream cheese, softened
- 2½ cups powdered sugar
Let’s start with the cupcakes. Cream the butter and sugar, then add the egg. In a small bowl, quickly whisk the cocoa powder with the red food coloring until it forms a paste.
Add to the batter and mix thoroughly, making sure the color is distributed evenly. Then add half the buttermilk, half the flour, and mix. Repeat, then add the baking soda and vinegar.
Divide the batter among the muffin cups and bake in a medium oven for about 20 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the centre of one comes out clean.
Cool slightly, remove from the pan, and set aside to cool completely before topping with buttercream.
For the buttercream, quickly whip the butter and the cream cheese until well combined, then slowly add in the powdered sugar. Keep whipping until nice and fluffy.
Finally, top the cooled cupcakes with the buttercream (go on, lay it on thick, it’s worth it!).
Serve right away, or store in the fridge to keep the buttercream fresh.
Eat up, and enjoy!