Gourmet Red Velvet Cupcakes

Have you ever watched Cupcake Wars? I find it fascinating. For anyone who hasn’t watched it bakers from all across the country come in and are challenged to bake with ingredients like: squid ink, salmon,  wasabi, lychee fruit, star fruit, wild things. I am on the edge of my seat every episode trying to figure out what they could possibly make that could win. After the challenge round they have a round based 50 percent on looks 50 percent on looks, and bakers can choose to make any three cupcakes. One commonly known cupcake to avoid is the red velvet cupcake. Florian, one of the judges, hates red velvet cupcakes. He says that they are chocolate cupcakes masquerading as something unique. However, once in a while someone will make a red velvet that he loves! This  is one of those red velvet cupcakes that Florian would like. I began searching for a perfect red velvet cupcake five or six years ago. Most of the recipes I tried were barely better than a cake box cake. Then I found Tess’s recipe. This is the most moist cake I have ever made. I served it at my wedding and had a couple of girls ask for the recipe so that they could have it as their wedding cake as well. I use a mascarpone frosting because I don’t like my frosting to be too sweet and I love the texture.

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Mom’s Best Red Velvet Cake


Yield: one (1) 9 inch cake
24 cupcakes
Cake:
2 cups cake flour (sea level, use 1 3/4 cup flour)
1/3 cup cornstarch (sea level, use 1/4 cup cornstarch)
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder (sea level, use 2 tsp baking powder)
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons unsweetened dark cocoa powder
1/4 cup red food coloring (2 ounces)
3/4 cup milk, at room temperature
3/4 cup mayonnaise (Best Foods)
3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature

Directions:

Cake: Make sure that all ingredients are at room temperature. Preheat oven to 350º. Line two (2) 9 inch round cake pans with parchment paper and then butter and flour the pans.

In a medium bowl sift or whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder. Set dry ingredients aside for use later.

In a large liquid measuring cup combine the food coloring, milk, and mayonnaise. Beat milk mixture slightly with a fork (mixture will appear to be curdled).

Cream together the butter, vanilla, and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for about 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat another 3-5 minutes or until the mixture is a light lemon color.

Add the flour mixture to the batter in three (3) batches alternating with the milk mixture, mixing well after each addition. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean.

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