Ah, holiday weekend! You were not long enough.
Since Dylan and I didn’t have any plans this weekend (except relaxing and being lazy), I saved my cupcake baking until Memorial Day. We started early in the morning, had the beer cracked open around 10:30 am! Now that’s how holidays are meant to be spent.
I wanted to make red velvet cupcakes as a test run… because in a few weeks we are making an order of 50 for a friend of Dylan’s at his work! That’s right, a paid cupcake-gig. How exciting!
I’ve been wanting to try Stone Brewing Company’s Smoked Porter, and I thought this would be a great opportunity to give it a go. I find that porter and chocolate go great together, so I used this opportunity to try it out. This beer is really good! The smokiness of the porter made it extra delicious. If you can get your hands on some, I highly recommend it.
The recipe I based my own recipe on called for the cupcakes to be baked at 325 degrees for 25 minutes. I put in my first batch and thought that was a really low temperature for baking, but I’d give it a try. After the 25 minutes I took them out and they all kind of fell flat! I was a little scared I hadn’t cooked them long enough (like some cupcakes in the past), but it was too late to do anything about them. For the next batch I upped the temperature to 350 degrees, baked them for 25 minutes and they turned out much better. It’s kind of weird what a difference 25 degrees can make, but it really made them taste much better. Also, I had no idea how much food coloring it takes to get the cake red. It’s a lot! I’ll have to get some more before I bake these again.
I’ve read that cream cheese frosting isn’t the traditional red velvet topper, but I went for it anyway. I had a lot of cream cheese in the fridge, plus it’s pretty much the best frosting ever. I do have a traditional red velvet frosting recipe, and I will have to try it some time (in the future).
I was trying to figure out what exactly makes red velvet cake different from just a non food colored chocolate cake, and I’m still unsure. There were a few ingredients that I haven’t been using in my recipes before, there was vinegar in this particular one, and maybe that makes a difference?