Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Spooky Red Velvet Cupcakes

We are ten days away from Halloween, the day we celebrate everything spooky! For the first time, I am posting recipes related to the theme. I posted fake edible blood a couple of days back, and now using that you can make these spooky Red Velvet Cupcakes. Since a long time I have been wanting to make red velvet cakes. But I was always skeptical about using so much color in my food. Finally I got over that and decided to  make a batch. The result was spectacular and the very next day I made a big red velvet cake and decorated it in a non spooky way! That recipe will come up on the blog soon. 

For those not familar to the red velvet craze, here is a small introduction to it. A once classic red cake interleaved with cream cheese filling has spread its color and name to everything: cupcakes, cookies, protein powder, breads, waffles, lattes, teas and every dessert. What's more interesting is the red velvet air freshener and body wash and salt! Yes, we are officially living in a red world now. I made Red Velvet pancakes on Valentines' Day and here is the second recipe using the emulsion; Red Velvet Cupcakes.

This recipe is similar to most recipes of an eggless cake. The minor modifications I made is to make this one eggless. I have a lot of readers who wanted an eggless cake. So I decided to make this one to suit them all! The taste however is not at all compromised in trying to make it eggless. The cake is perfectly soft and so is the crumb. 

For those who want an eggless Vanilla cake, just substitute the red velvet emulsion with vanilla extract. It will work perfectly well. Just a precaution like all other cakes, measure the ingredients exactly; remember two half cup and one full cup is not interchangeable. Also sift the flours well to incorporate air in them. And yes, make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature when you start. Different temperatures lead to failed cakes! 

Coming to the topping, I used heavy whipping cream instead of cream cheese. We do not fancy cream cheese as much as soft whipped cream. Also, I used a stabilizer for the first time. I read this method in the Eggless Black Forest Cake on Pavani's blog and quickly wanted to try it out. The stabilizer works like MAGIC. It helps to get firm peaks quickly and hold the peaks really well after a few hours too. No more leaky cakes!! I added vanilla extract to get a flavor to the cream. 

On top of the cream, I added some Fake Edible Blood. Also, I have a set of pipettes to infuse flavor. I filled them with the 'blood' and poked them into the cakes. That makes the entire setup perfect for Halloween. However, if you cannot find those infusers, just smear some 'blood' on the cream. You may refrigerate them before serving. But keep them at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before eating. That helps to get the liquid in the pipettes to flowing consistency. Just squeeze the liquid into the cupcakes and enjoy!


For the Cupcakes

All purpose Flour 1 1/4 cup
Corn Flour 3 tbsp
Baking Soda 1 tsp
Powdered Sugar 1 cup
Buttermilk 1 cup (1 tsp vinegar mixed with 1 cup milk)
Oil 1/2 cup
Vinegar 2 tsp
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder 2 tbsp
Red Velvet Emulsion 1/2 tsp
Salt a pinch

For the Icing

Heavy Whipping Cream 1 cup
Dr. Oetkar's Stabilizer 1/2 packet
Powdered Sugar 2 tbsp
Vanilla Extract 1 tsp
Fake Edible Blood as required


For the cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350 F/ 180 C. Line the cupcake tray with liners and keep ready. 

In a bowl sift together flour, cornstarch, baking soda, unsweetened cocoa and salt. In another mixing bowl, beat oil, sugar, buttermilk and vinegar. Once it becomes homogenous, add red velvet baking emulsion and mix it in. Add half the dry ingredients, incorporate well and add the remaining. Mix till just combined. Do not over mix.

Using an ice cream scoop or by eyeballing, divide the mixture into the cupcake mould. I got 12 with this proportion. Place in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes till the top is no longer wobbly. Insert a skewer in the centre of one of them. If it comes out clean, remove from oven, else bake another minute. 

Let the cupcakes cool completely for a few hours. 

To make the icing

Chill a steel bowl and beater for 30 minutes. Then, add a cup of cream, stabilizer, sugar and vanilla extract. Beat till you get firm peaks. Fill in a piping bag and decorate the cupcakes.

I used these pipettes to fill it with fake edible blood made using this recipe. Poke it on the filling and the cake. Also drizzle some liquid on the icing. Enjoy the cupcakes! To enjoy, squeeze out the liquid from the pipettes into the cake.    

Gujarati Magaj / Magaz

Blogging Marathon #69 Week 3 Day 1
Theme: Indian or American Sweets
Dish: Gujarati Magaj / Magaz

Today is the last day of the Blogging Marathon for this week. My theme for the week is Indian sweets and today I bring THE family favorite recipe. Magaj, a sweet made from coarse chickpea flour is our family's weak spot! Everybody in the family relishes it and my mother in law is the expert who makes truck loads of this each time we go India. 

On her last visit here, I made sure I get the magaj flour and keep ready. The Indian stores generally carry it but if you cannot find it, regular besan works well too. I got the packet and she helped me make it myself for the first time! Ever since, I have gained the confidence to make it by myself. While the ingredients remain the same, the taste is different when I make it and when she does. Over time my husband is learning to like my version too!!  

Magaj is a recipe that needs just a few ingredients; flour, ghee and sugar being the basic ingredients. The ingredients would easily be available in any pantry! Making this one takes 30 minutes of stirring and another 15 minutes to add in sugar. The method is pretty easy and really a no fail recipe. Magaj is perfect for almost all festivals and beyond. It is great to carry for a short trip; neat cubes that are easy to pack and eat. Plus, they are healthy and filling. We bring back a BIG box of this sweet each time we come back from India. It has a great shelf like, about 10 days at room temperature and about a month if refrigerated. 

This recipe is exactly how my mother in law makes it. The sweet is made differently in different households. I simply follow what she taught me. However, I saw this recipe on the blog The Route to Roots. Though I did not follow the recipe mentioned on the blog, the decoration using magaj seeds was simply too good. So I decorated mine using the technique. I did not have charodi (a local Gujarati seed) so I used cardamom seeds. However, we generally top our magaj using slivered almonds or just leave it uncovered. They will taste equally great without all the decoration. 

Magaj Flour/ Coarse Chickpea Flour 1 cup
Ghee/ Clarified Butter 1/3 cup+ 1 tsp
Powdered Sugar 1/3- 1/2 cup
Nutmeg and Cardamom Powder 2 tsp
Magaj seeds and cardamom seeds to decorate


In a heavy bottom pan, heat 1/3 cup ghee. Once it melts, add the magaj flour and cook on medium flame till the flour begins to feel light. This step is really important. Keep stirring to ensure it does not stick to the bottom. Generally it takes about 30-35 minutes and by the end the entire house starts to become fragrant!

Once the flour is cooked and well done, turn down the heat, add cardamom and nutmeg powders and let the mixture cool completely. While the flour is cooling, powder the sugar. Line a tray with the remaining ghee and keep ready. 

When the flour is completely cool, add 1/3 cup sugar. Mix well till all the sugar is incorporated. If the sweetness is less, add in more sugar. Transfer the magaj to the lined tray and spread out in an even layer. 

Let the magaj cool to room temperature. Decorate with magaj seeds and cardamom seeds if desired. Cool the tray in the refrigerator and once set, cut into equal size pieces. Enjoy the awesome sweet!

Check out the Blogging Marathon page to see what the other Blogging Marathoners are doing this BM#66