Thursday, July 22, 2010

Seeing. Baking. Tasting. "Red" (★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆)

The month of June is a busy birthday month for me. There are three people in this very house who all have birthdays within 5 days of each other, and the month caps off with the birthdays of my very best friend Marina and her brother Thomas. Oh, what great excuses for more baking!!

I had planned to make a Nutella cake for my dad on his birthday. It's one of his many sugary vices. I thought I was going to be so ingenious for thinking of such a delicious treat and making it for him...but NoooOoOoo. Come to find out he wanted my mom to make him a plain chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting--even AFTER he found out about my amazing vision. WTeff?! Since it WAS his birthday after all, I let this happen...but, of course, not without making my sentiments on the matter painfully obvious. Boycotting the "sell-out" cake seemed an appropriate response. So resist I did.

Besides this unfortunate incident, the month of many birthdays passed without another confectionary glitch. As mentioned before, my bestie's birthday was at the end of the month and we already had big plans...we're talking sequence, fro's, and disco. Thomas' birthday is just a few days after...and being the humble guy that he is, his idea of a great birthday is having no one notice (unless it's just to allow him to spend all day locked in his room playing guitar :). But this is not, not at all. If nothing else: there must be cake. His fiance is an AH-maz-ing cook, but she's not too big on baking so I decided to make special cupcakes during our college home group to celebrate.

I really just wanted to try something different and maybe a bit more elaborate. I found this recipe for "Creamy Red Velvet" cupcakes. At first I was a little wary because 1) my sister got sick from this type of cake due to the high concentration of dye, and 2) the coloring seemed a little feminine and Valentine's-esque. But after reading the recipe and finding out it required a cream cheese mixture in the center...I was hooked. My friend would just have to take what he could get...I mean it's free cake after all!

Method to the Madness:
  • For this recipe I pretty much followed the directions to a "T."
  • It's from the Duncan Hines website so I bet you can guess what brand of cake mix it suggested...yep, Duncan Hines Red Velvet.
  • I made the cream cheese mixture from scratch and used store bought cream cheese frosting for the tops.
  • As decorations, I used chopped up chocolate chips and toasted coconut shreds. They came out amazing! (Unfortunately, I wasn't smart enough to take more pictures from a camera better than my cell phone).

    *A quick side note: the cream cheese, chocolate, and coconut mixture will rise to the top of the cupcake. It looks a little weird, but it tastes great and once you frost them no one will ever know that the tops once looked like the shriveled ear of an old man.

    To get the full recipe go to: Creamy Red Velvet Cupcakes

    It asks for a box mix and store-bought frosting!! Seriously, it couldn't get much easier.

    Happy Baking!!

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