Red Velvet cake is one of those cakes that elicits a lot of emotion. Some people, including me, do not like the food color in the batter. Some people do not seem to care about the color issue at all.
I have been tweaking a red velvet cake recipe that I got from a Fannie Flagg cookbook(not a Fannie Farmer cookbook) with good success. It does not have any food color so I call it a Velvet Cake.
I saw a recipe in the September issue of Cake Central magazine for red velvet cupcakes that was interesting. The color came from cooked beets! I just happened to have some beets in the fridge that I got at the farmers market. My husband loves beets so I tend to make them frequently.
I made the recipe into 12 standard sized cupcakes and 6 jumbo cupcakes and had a little bit of batter to spare. I told a couple of testers about the beet addition and the response was not good. But I got a handful that made a point of telling me how good they were. They were amazed to learn that there were beets in the batter.
The cupcakes were very dense and moist but not oily. The batter was thick and very red.
After they cooked, they had a fudge-like ... almost brownie look to them.
Here is the recipe from the Cake Central /September magazine issue.I think my preference is just how the magazine article recommends it to be served...with a little confectioner sugar dusted on top.
Red Velvet Cupcakes
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups beets
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Boil beets until soft. Allow the beets to cool a bit, then peel off the skins and puree the beets in the blender or food processor.
3. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa together, mixing well.
4. Add sugar and stir. Slowly add the buttermilk, stirring constantly.
5. Beat in the butter, vanilla eggs, and beet puree with a mixer on medium speed.
6. Fill muffin pan lined with cupcake liners to about 2/3's capacity for each cavity.
7. Bake for 17 minutes or until cupcakes test done. My test is when a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.
8. Remove cupcakes from oven when done and cool on a rack for five minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and cool to room temperature before decoration.
Recommended decoration: Sift a thin layer of confectioner sugar on top of each cupcake.
Yield: About 18 standard size cupcakes.