Still being a relatively new blogger on the block, I look to other sites for inspiration. One site I visit regularly is Joy the Baker, the blog of a fantastic California baker. Not only are her recipes fantastic (I’ve made several of her creations with delicious results), her photographs are mouth watering. And to top it off, she frequently posts about my favorite dessert: Red Velvet cupcakes. In the South, Red Velvet isn’t just a cake, it’s a religion. And since moving to DC, I’ve had a hard time finding a cake worthy of being called Red Velvet. A few weeks ago, Joy posted the recipe for Red Velvet Whopper Cupcakes and I was a goner. From the first look at Joy’s pictures, I knew I had to make them.
I would never think to fiddle with the recipe of a daring baker, but Joy’s recipe didn’t include the one thing most Southern red velvet cupcakes require: shaved bittersweet chocolate. Tossed into the batter along with the flour mixture, four ounces of chocolate shavings make a huge difference in red velvet cakes. I like to think the shavings melt during the baking, giving the batter that extra bit of moistness. Either way, all you need to do is grate 4 ounces of a bittersweet chocolate bar and add it to the batter along with the flour mixture (see Joy’s recipe, linked above).
And as you may notice, I didn’t use the traditional cream cheese frosting for my cupcakes. My little twist: chocolate cream cheese frosting. To make, simply cream together 8 ounces of cream cheese and one stick of unsalted butter (both at room temperature) with a stand mixer. Then add a 1/2 cup of cocoa powder, a teaspoon of vanilla extract and four cups of sifted powdered sugar. Be careful to add the sugar slowly, especially if you have a lower powered stand mixer. Since the frosting recipe is easy to make, don’t start it until the cupcakes are cool and ready to be frosted.
Although I may have tweaked Joy’s original recipe, I did so only with the utmost of respect. And if I do say so myself, the results were unbelievably delicious! In the immortal words of Homer Simpson, “Mmmmmm….cupcakes”.