Total Pageviews

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fall's Fresh Start

Long into our adulthood, we haven't forgotten the great feeling of starting a new school year. You're optimistic, and full of plans for the good things you'll accomplish.
I feel the same way now. I have all kinds of plans for this blog. One of my plans is to decide on a direction for this blog to go. Until then, as my Idol MrsOdie2 would say, it's potpourri.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

These, however, are perfect cupcakes.

Red velvet Cupcakes with 'White Chocolate Cheesecake' Frosting

These cupcakes are adapted from a recipe for Red Velvet Cake, a traditional favourite in the South. With its deep red colour and rich chocolate taste, it's perfect for special occasions, especially Valentine's Day.
These cupcakes are also a favourite here at home in Canada ! I prepare the batter in my food processor with great results.

Ingredients :

1/2 cup shortening (Crisco, Tenderflake)
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup red food coloring
1 tsp. white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup cocoa
1 tsp salt
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk

Adjust oven rack if necessary so cupcakes bake in center of oven. Pre-heat to 350.
Place paper cups in muffin tin and lightly grease bottom of cups (PAM is fine for this.)
In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients and set aside.
Cream shortening and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Mix in vinegar, red food colouring and vanilla until blended.
Gradually add dry ingredients alternating with the buttermilk. Blend after each addition then beat until fluffy. (approximately 2 mins for conventional mixer, less for the food processor.)
Fill cups 2/3 full with batter and bake in the center of the oven for 17 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Remove at first sign of done-ness.
Allow to cool thoroughly before frosting.

"White Chocolate Cheesecake" Frosting

2   8 oz pkgs cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened (stick butter gives best results)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips, melted
1 cup icing sugar

Beat cream cheese, vanilla and butter together until fluffy and increased in volume. Add melted white chocolate chips and beat until blended. Add icing sugar gradually and continue to beat until fluffy and slightly stiff in consistency. Frost cupcakes when completely cool. Add sprinkles or mini candies to make these cupcakes extra festive.

Note: I use a pastry bag and large decorators tip to frost cupcakes with one big frosting rosette. It’s easy, makes a lovely presentation and saves lots of time. If you don't have them already, considering adding these items to your kitchen arsenal!