One of my favorite things to do is bake cupcakes. There's just something about bringing such simple ingredients together to create a sweet little treat that everybody loves. The funny thing about cupcakes is that I don't particularly enjoy eating them. So whenever I bake, I make deliveries to various people so that they will actually be enjoyed, rather than look pretty on my kitchen counter until they turn rock-hard and stale. I never bake from a box - I always bake from scratch. So I take pride in my little goodies, because I put a lot of effort into them.
Last weekend, my friend Stephanie had a dinner party and asked me to bake cupcakes for the event. I figured this would be a great time to test a new recipe, one I'd been wanting to try and hadn't had a reason to: Red Velvet. Some of my family is from the South, so Red Velvet Cake is a delicacy I'm quite familiar with. My grandmother bakes a decadent Red Velvet Cake, but I didn't give myself enough time to ask her for her recipe. Instead, I decided to try Paula Dean's recipe. It took me 3 days to complete the cupcakes; I prepared the frosting one night, baked the cupcakes the next night, and decorated them the following day (there was no real reason for preparing the frosting and baking the cupcakes on different nights except for the fact that I only have one massive mixing bowl and it was easier that way). I piped the frosting onto the cupcakes by using a gallon plastic bag with the end cut off - it doesn't allow for a very detailed look, but I like the big swirl my technique created. The pictures I took don't show the final product, but I ended up garnishing half with 2 raspberries and the other half with both raspberries and blueberries. The cupcakes with both berries would make a great 4th of July indulgence.
I ended up baking an excessive amount of cupcakes, so the day after the dinner party involved several deliveries to friends and family. My mama, who was born in the South, approved - and asked me to leave her a half dozen. That's all the validation I need!
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