Thursday, September 24, 2009

Katherine's Bachelower, the Food (and Some Decorative Fabric Bunting!)

Being in New York where the cupcake craze started a few years ago can leave a girl feeling jaded about the dessert, but I've gotten back on board after making and eating these Red Velvet cupcakes over the weekend. They were really Virginia's contribution to the shower, but since I was in town, I helpfully volunteered to bake with her—she'll tell you this means that I did most of the work because I can't help but take over, I insist that she was busy doing other things and I was being helpful. You decide who to believe. We forgot to bring an electric mixer into the city, so we actually made these mostly using a fork to mix things together, which while labor intensive, created a fantastic result. I think that since the cocoa powder wasn't mixed in as uniformly as it would have been with a mixer, they actually tasted more chocolately. Plus the **recipe had a touch of cinnamon in the frosting, which was a nice touch.

We decorated the area where we had the shower with photo collages made by one of our friends who has a serious way with photoshop, and with these fabric banners that I made using scraps from my collection. They were super fast to sew together and I think they made the setting feel very festive. (Plus I happen to just love that fabric with the blue background, so I was happy to have another reason to use it.)

Virginia made a peach and tomato salad, Kate made Greek style deviled eggs with kalamata olives on top, Meghan made fried okra, I brought cheese, and we procured fried chicken and biscuits to round out the Southern food offerings.

I didn't have a chance to ask Kate what she put in the deviled eggs to make them Greek (other than the olives) but man they were tasty.

Virginia brought some mason jars left over from her wedding and filled them with flowers and the setting for the shower could not have been more perfect.

This is the roof deck of our friend Meridith's apartment which was just stunning (and came with a stellar view of Manhattan) and we were blessed with perfect weather.

**Red Velvet Cupcakes
Recipe from Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook
Makes one dozen cupcakes, double recipe to make 2 9-inch layer cakes

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 1/2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 Tablespoons red food coloring (I using a dash less)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Turn mixer to high and add the egg. Scrape down the bowl and beat until well incorporated.

2. In a separate bowl mix together cocoa, vanilla and red food coloring to make a thick paste. Add to the batter, mixing thoroughly until completely combined. You may need to stop the mixer to scrape the bottom of the bowl, making sure that all the batter gets color.

3. Turn mixer to low and slowly add half of the buttermilk. Add half of the flour and mix until combined. Scrape the bowl and repeat the process with the remaining milk and flour. Beat on high until smooth.

4. Turn mixer to low and add baking soda and white vinegar. Turn to high and beat a few more minutes.

5. Spoon batter into a paper lined cupcake baking pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center cupcake comes out clean.

6. Let rest in the pan for 10 minutes, then place them of a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook

2 1/3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
3 Tablespoons butter, room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, cold (I used room temperature)
scant 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Beat the powdered sugar, cinnamon, and butter together in the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-slow speed until it comes together and is well mixed.

2. Add the cream cheese all at once and beat on medium to medium-high until incorporated.

3. Turn the mixer to medium-high and beat for 5 minutes, or until the frosting becomes light and fluffy. Do not over-beat as the frosting can quickly become runny.

Eat up!!

1 comment:

  1. Tour red velvet cupcakes sound delicious and look pretty too!