Red Velvet Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache Frosting

This past weekend, I was on a cupcake kick! After making the chocolate cupcakes for Carlo’s co-workers, I decided to make some cupcakes for him, made with Splenda. For some reason, I really wanted to make red velvet ones. I remember that one year for my birthday when I was a kid, my mom made me a red velvet cake and she let me decorate it to share with the rest of my family. It was probably the best cake I ever had. I hadn’t had red velvet cake since then until I made these cupcakes.

I realized that granulated Splenda does cause some items to use some of their sweetness, and it can actually dry out batter a bit. However, this cupcake came out very good. I would probably use the Splenda sugar blend next time.

For the frosting, I was going to do a buttercream again, but I was low on whipping cream. I did have a bunch of semi-sweet chocolate chips (Carlo can have those) and found a very simple recipe for chocolate ganache. It was so good! I saved some to dip with cookies and fruit. It was very addictive.

The frosting and cupcake worked well together. However, I think the buttercream would have been a better match.

RED VELVET CUPCAKES (from Recipezaar.com)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar I used granulated Splenda
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder I used unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 ounces water
  • 2 ounces red food coloring I used 1tsp of red food coloring gel diluted in 6tbsp of water
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 12 cupcake cups or line with paper liners.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
  3. Add eggs and blend well.
  4. Make a paste of cocoa and food coloring and add to the butter mixture.
  5. Sift flour and salt togethr into this mixture.
  6. One at a time, add the following ingredients: buttermilk, vanilla, and water.
  7. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and the baking soda. Fold it into the cake batter. Make sure it’s incorporated, but don’t beat it.
  8. Pour the batter into the cupcake cups. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the cake springs back when touched.
  9. Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes, then turn out of pan and onto a rack to finish cooling completely.

CHOCOLATE GANACHE (from Allrecipes.com)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum (optional) I actually used vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place the chocolate into a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil, watching very carefully because if it boils for a few seconds, it will boil out of the pot. When the cream has come to a boil, pour over the chopped chocolate, and whisk until smooth. Stir in the rum if desired.
  2. Allow the ganache to cool slightly before pouring over a cake. Start at the center of the cake and work outward. For a fluffy frosting or chocolate filling, allow it to cool until thick, then whip with a whisk until light and fluffy.
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