Firstly, I’d like to say – for the purists out there – that of course I know a REAL red velvet cupcake needs proper cream cheese icing. Sadly, the object of my affections dislikes cream cheese icing. And in fact buttercream too, so I have to be a bit more creative. Using a marshmallow appeals to my lazy, cheaty side, and if you time it right, makes a deliciously gooey topping. They’re obviously not going to look the same as a perfect swirl of cream cheese, but they taste divine so it doesn’t matter.
I’ve added the red bit for Valentine’s day, but obviously if you object to tiny beetles dying for your eating pleasure, feel free to leave it out.
For 12 Cupcakes, you will need:
170g butter, room temperature
170g caster sugar
1 tablespoon red food colouring
150g self raising flour
1 heaped tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
180/gas 4 for about 18 minutes
Cream the butter and sugar together until they’re really light and fluffy. Mix the eggs gently with a fork, then dribble them slowly, a bit at a time, into the mixture until they’re all combined. I find sometimes that if you bung in a whole egg it can curdle the mixture (although, this can be rescued with a spoonful of flour, never fear). Add in the food colouring (you can use more if you want REALLY red cupcakes, of course).
Stir in the flour and sifted cocoa, then dollop a tablespoon of mixture into each of 12 muffin cups placed into a muffin tin and bake at 180/gas 4 for about 18 minutes. They’re obviously not going to be completely cooked, but touch them gently just to check that they’re cooked enough to hold a marshmallow. If it’s all good, pop one marshmallow on top of each cupcake (it helps to have a little saucer of water so you can dampen the bottom of each marshmallow so they stick well to the cupcakes), then put them back into the oven for three or four more minutes until they melt over the cupcakes. Any longer than this and the marshmallows start to brown, which, although it tastes fine, ruins the look of them a bit.
As they cool, the puffy marshmallow flumps back down a bit. You risk certain first degree burns if you eat them straight away, but while they’re still warm they’re AMAZING – soft sponge and gooey marshmallow. Pucker up, because you’re going to get lucky if you make these bad boys for your valentine.