Happy Valentines Day, Steemians 💕💕. In this post we will explore the history of Valentine's Day together, and I will share a wonderful Red Velvet Cupcake Recipe with you. So grab a mug of Earl Grey and get ready for a quick history lesson on the day of lurve.
History of Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day has its roots first, in Roman history, and then later, in a conversion from Pagan traditions to Christianity
The most popular legend of St Valentine seems to be connected to a third century priest in Rome, named St Valentine, who outlawed marriage for soldiers, stating that married men were distracted by their wives while away at war.
Valentine, would then marry couples in secret. When Emperor Claudius II found out, he put Valentine to death, thus making him a martyr for his religious beliefs.
The actual date, 14th February, is theorised to originate from two places:
It is believed that St. Valentine died somewhere in the middle of February, and that this date is to commemorate his death.
There is also a theory stemming from the Christian church creating "Valentine's Day" to coincide with the celebration of the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Lupercalia was a fertility festival devoted to the Roman god, Faunus. Faunus (Pan in Greek mythology) was known to be the god of all nature. You may recognise elements of Mr Tumnus of The Chronicles of Narnia in Pan/Faunus, as Tumnus was a Faun too.
NOW! Let's talk cupcakes. More specifically - red velvet cupcakes. I adapted this recipe from a very famous New York confectionery, Magnolia Bakery. I have never had the pleasure to sample one of Magnolia's red velvet cupcakes, but I have heard many times how good they are. I searched long and hard for the correct recipe to follow, and I made it twice in one weekend, just to ensure that I had all the steps down pat.
Let me start by telling you that this is quite a time consuming recipe, but it is SO worth it. I would usually have made a cream cheese frosting with this recipe, but I wanted to stay as true to the original recipe as possible, and so I made Magnolia Bakery's Creamy Vanilla Frosting. It is to die for. Absolutely and lusciously indulgent, perfect for a Valentine's Day treat.
Red Velvet Cupcakes (makes 24 cupcakes):
- 3 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
- 3/4 cup (110 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 ½ cups caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 6 T red food colouring
- 3 T cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 t vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 t salt
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1 1/2 t apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 t bicarbonate soda
Creamy Vanilla Icing/Frosting
- 6 T flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups (220 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups castor sugar
- 2 t vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 180'C or 350'F. Oil a muffin pan lightly. Sift your flour and set aside. It's important to use sifted flour, as it creates a lighter, fluffier cupcake.
Then, in a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat your cream and butter until super light and fluffy. Then, add the eggs, one at a time.
In another small bowl, make a paste out of the red food colouring, cocoa powder and vanilla essence. You can then add this to creamed butter. Beat well.
Next, add the salt to the buttermilk, and mix well. Add the buttermilk mixture to the red batter, in three parts alternating with the flour. Every time you add more buttermilk, beat the ingredients until just mixed. Be careful to not over beat the mixture.
Now, add together the apple cider vinegar and bicarb. Add to the batter and mix well. The batter should be nice and smooth, and not lumpy at all.
Now you can divide the batter amongst the cupcake pans, and bake for twenty minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
The cupcakes should be nicely domed, springy to touch and as I mentioned, a skewer should come out clean.
Let cool completely before spreading with your topping of choice.
That was the easy part! Now for the vanilla frosting, which is extremely time constraining, but absolutely delicious and worth it.
NOW - CAREFULLY and SLOWLY - add the flour to the milk. Whisk, CAREFULLY, and ensure that there are absolutely NO LUMPS. This is imperative for a smooth frosting. Next, heat the mixture over a low - medium heat, and cook until the mixture is almost stodgy, it's so thick. Set aside until completely cooled (approx thirty mins).
While the milk mixture is cooling, in a large bowl, beat the butter until very smooth and creamy. You can now add the sugar very slowly, making sure to beat the mixture while adding the sugar. Now add the vanilla essence and beat well.
Now, add the room temperature milk mixture, and beat all together for a few more minutes. The mixture will become very smooth, and a bit lighter in colour.
Refrigerate for fifteen minutes, and use there after.
Divine! Let me know if you make this, and how long it took you?!
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