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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Snowy Baking Day

I have decided to make some Cake Doctor Red Velvet Cupcakes. The first time I attempted a red velvet cake, an old family favorite recipe, belonging to my aunt Ang I had just moved to Denver and had an apartment with a gas oven. The cake was like a cement brick and it was my first failure in "baking at high altitude". I decided to use a cake mix and use a recipe from the Cake Dr. I have shown a pic of the finished product as well as the second batch I poured into individual stars and hearts.

The first time I used my stars and hearts foil cups, we hosted a Cross Country pasta dinner for Nick's CC team. I baked chocolate cupcakes and when the dinner was finished and before kids had to leave I presented each one with a cup cake telling them they were either a star in CC or the heart of the CC team! They were all tickled and it made me feel great that I could give a compliment to each kid because each one of them truly had their own talent to add to the Thornton HS Cross Country Team.

The red velvet cupcakes came out great! I had to improvise a bit. The Cake Doctor called for a package of instant vanilla pudding but I only added one individual cup because it was all I had! I went easy on the red food coloring and they turned out nice and chocolate like because of the semi sweet chocolate chips I tossed in, at the Cake Doctors recommendation. She said to use the mini's, I only had the regular chips.

The house smells nice and the kids should enjoy their treat. Rebekah finally made it home, looks like she needs new tires too! Yikes! But she complimented my cream cheese based frosting as I prefer it to canned! I used some almond extract and it gave it a nice flavor. The Cake Dr. used peppermint extract but since I don't have any peppermint candies to crush and add to the frosting, I think next time I bake, I may make a Christmas version of these yummy little cupcakes.


24 paper liners for cupcake pans (2 1/2 -inch size)
1 package (18.25 ounces) plain German chocolate cake mix
1 package (3.4 ounces) vanilla instant pudding mix
1 cup sour cream (see "the Cupcake Doctor says")
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 bottle (1 ounce) red food coloring
3 large eggs
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
White Chocolate Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting (see below)

1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners. Set the pans aside.

2. Place the cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, water, oil, food coloring, and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping down the sides again if needed. The batter should look thick and well combined. Fold in the chocolate chips. Spoon or scoop N cup batter into each lined cupcake cup, filling it three quarters of the way full. (You will get between 22 and 24 cupcakes; remove the empty liners, if any.) Place the pans in the oven.

3. Bake the cupcakes until they spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for 5 minutes. Run a dinner knife around the edges of the cupcake liners, lift the cupcakes up from the bottoms of the cups using the end of the knife, and pick them out of the cups carefully with your fingertips. Place them on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes before frosting.
4. Meanwhile, prepare the White Chocolate Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting.

5. Place a heaping tablespoon of frosting on each cupcake and swirl to spread with a short metal spatula or a spoon, taking care to cover the tops completely. Place these cupcakes, uncovered or in a cake server, in the refrigerator until the frosting sets, 20 minutes. The cupcakes are ready to serve.

Store the cupcakes, in a cake saver or under a glass dome, at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Or freeze them, wrapped in aluminum foil or in a cake saver, for up to 6 months. Thaw the cupcakes overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

The Cupcake Doctor Says
Use reduced-fat sour cream, and you'll sacrifice only fat and calories, not flavor. If you can't find plain German chocolate cake mix, buy the pudding in the mix version and forgo the added pudding. For more chocolate flavor, use chocolate pudding mix instead of vanilla, but the cake won't be as red in color.

White Chocolate Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes 3 cups, enough to frost 24 cupcakes (2 1/2 inch size) generously
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
6 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 ounces (half an 8-ounce package) reduced-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 to 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

1. Place the white chocolate in a small glass bowl in the microwave oven on high power for 1 minute. Remove the bowl from the oven and stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until it is smooth. Set the chocolate aside to cool.

2. Place the cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until well combined, 30 seconds. Stop the machine. Add the melted white chocolate and blend on low speed until just combined, 30 seconds. Add the peppermint extract and 2 cups of the confectioners' sugar and blend on low until the sugar is incorporated, 30 seconds more. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat until the frosting is fluffy, 1 minute more, adding up to 1/2 cup more sugar if needed to make a spreadable consistency.

Feel free to fold in up to 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy for a crunchy and creamy frosting!

Bon Appetit to All!

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