Tuesday, 7 April 2009

My Birthday & Red Velvet Muffins

It was my birthday this weekend which meant we had our first party in the flat which was very exciting. I've been really looking forward to getting people round to the flat since we moved in and I haven't really had a chance to so my birthday was a great excuse to get everyone round and for those who hadn't seen the place yet to have a good nosy round.

Entertaining can only mean one thing - food and drinks. However I guessed that since I was going out the night before my birthday I probably wasn't going to be in that good a shape to be providing lots of finger food the next day so I cheated and just got a load of crisps, dips and those frozen party pack things in. Next time I'll be brave and try and actually make some stuff.

I did get my baking hat on though - no birthday is complete without birthday muffins/cupcakes and I knew exactly what I wanted to bake. I'm fairly new to the baking game and I'm still finding my feet a little bit, there have been a few disasters along the way - I still can't talk about the orange shortbread (although I still insist that the recipe for that was wrong and it wasn't my general incompetence). Muffins I'm not too bad at though and these bad boys are my favourite and perfect for adding a little wow factor. Everyone just loves the look of them (it's amazing what a little bit of food colouring can do for you) and once they have a bit of the cream cheese frosting on top they're hooked forever.

So I present to you.......

Red Velvet Muffins
These bad boys are not for the faint hearted - they definitely wouldn't make a list of healthy muffins but they were for my birthday! They're also a little fiddly to make - one spoon of this, one spoon of that and a hell of a lot of folding but I've been told you've got to fold to keep the air in and keep the muffins light so who am I to argue! Pain to make they might be but one bite and it'll all seem worth it...
Ingredients - makes approx 12 muffins
150g butter, softened
350g castor sugar
2 eggs
450g self raising flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
250ml buttermilk
2tbsp red food colouring
1tsp vanilla essence
1tsp white wine vinegar

For the frosting:
1 vanilla pod (or if you're poor like me some more vanilla essence!)
100g softened butter
125g cream cheese
200g sieved icing sugar

Preheat oven to 170c and take a 12 hole muffin tray and full with muffin cases
Cream the butter and sugar together until it looks fluffy and then add in the eggs one by one, beating well in between.

Take 2 separate bowls and sieve the dry ingredients in to one and the mix the wet ingredients into the other. Then mix alternate spoonfuls from each into the egg mixture, folding thoroughly after each addition.

Fill cases with a spoonful of the mixture - be careful not to overfill the cases as these babies rise! Then bake for 10-15 minutes or until they have risen and feel springy. Remove from the oven to cool completely and then transfer onto a wire rack.

To make the frosting scrape the vanilla seeds from the pod and then add the butter and cream cheese (for those of you that can't afford the pods stick in a little bit of vanilla essence - you can always add more to taste). Beat well and then gradually add the icing sugar a little at a time until mixed in and smooth.

Once the muffins are cool, pile a splodge of the icing on top and you're good to go! How can you say no?!


sophie said...

Those look so ridiculously good. They are making me curse the high fiber toast I'm currently eating for breakfast.

Sophie said...

PS: Is your photo of the month one of your Grand Canyon pictures? Cause you know, you totally were there.

Maria♥ said...

These red velvet muffins look delish and anything with cream cheese frosting gets my vote!

Happy Belated Birthday ;o)


♥Rosie♥ said...

Happy belated birthday - sorry i missed this post!!

Thanks for pointing me to this lovely recipe and I will def be trying this one out very soon :0)

Rosie x