Don’t you just hate it when you buy the most exquisite looking cupcake, that is so beautifully decorated with mounds of frosting and piles of those edible crystal balls, only to bite into it and find it so sickly sweet and buttery, and nothing like you had imagined?
Well I eventually came across a marshmallow butter cream icing (made from using the base of a meringue) which is nothing but heavenly and is now one of my favourite icings for red velvet cupcakes.
RED VELVET CUP CAKES
½ tsp (2.5ml) baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 tsp (10ml) cocoa powder
75g butter, softened
¾ cup (180ml) sugar
1 tsp (5ml) vanilla essence or extract
¾ cup (180ml) buttermilk
2 tsp (10ml) red food colouring
1 tsp (5ml) white wine vinegar
½ tsp (2.5ml) bicarbonate of soda
Vanilla marshmallow buttercream icing
3 large egg whites, MUST be room temperature
¾ cup (190ml) sugar
½ tsp (2.5ml) vanilla extract
150g butter, cubed and brought to room temperature
Preheat oven to 180°C
Sieve flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder into a bowl and set aside.
Cream butter, sugar and vanilla together until light and fluffy then beat in egg.
Mix together the buttermilk and red food colouring, and fold into the creamed butter mix alternately with the flour mix.
Mix together the vinegar and bicarbonate of soda and allow it to fizz. Quickly fold into cupcake batter and drop spoon full’s of mixture into cupcake cases (1/3 full).
Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes or until risen and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before icing.
To Make the icing:
Place the egg whites and sugar into a glass or porcelain bowl and whisk using an electric beater over a pot of simmering water.
Beat for a good 15 minutes or until the meringue reaches 60°C (using a sugar thermometer), or until meringue is hot to touch.
Remove from heat and transfer into another bowl and whip using an electric beater (or kenwood) until meringue has cooled down completely and is double in volume.
Slowly add the cubed butter (must be at room temp) a few blocks at a time and whisk until the meringue covers the butter completely.
Tip: The mixture will start to look like its loosing its shape and curdling, but DON’T WORRY, it will come together again once you add the remaining butter.
Continue to beat until mixture is light, creamy and holds its shape.
Tip: Test if marshmallow butter cream is ready buy scooping some mixture with a knife and holding it upside down…mixture should not fall.
Place marshmallow butter cream into a piping bag and pipe away.