On our recent trip to New Zealand I watched the movie Twilight on the plane. Initially, I was only partially interested because I am interested in all things slightly dark but dismissed it as Teen Fiction. I am not a Teen nor do I read a lot of Fiction. What I didn't expect was to be completely entranced by the movie and as a result the book. I was then inspired to make these by Cakelaw's Edward and Bella cupcakes. I was particularly taken by the image of the apple in the hand on the cover of Twilight.
When the flight attendant tried to ask me what I wanted for lunch while Twilight was on, I simply didn't hear her. I was too engrossed. And when she asked me again I felt like getting one of those "Do Not Disturb" signs. Speaking of which, wouldn't it be nice to be able to wear one of those during the work day when you just aren't in the mood for human contact or non human as your colleagues might be. I was discussing this with friends and we discussed the idea of a "no contact" option on home delivered pizzas whereby one could order and pay for a pizza online and then tick the "no contact" option and have the delivery person leave it at the front door. I suspect we wouldn't be the only ones taking it up either for loathe of wanting to change out of your PJs or brush your hair in an effort to look presentable.
Back to the cupcakes - I knew a Red velvet cupcake would have to do for this. After all there's nothing more Vampirish than the redder than red of a blood red velvet. I will warn you that there is a lot of red colouring used in both the cake and the frosting so if you have issues with this or have some potentially hyperactive kids, friends or significant others, you can certainly make a chocolate cupcake and then frost it with the red icing to avoid doubling up on the food colouring. I wasn't exactly faithful to the cover in that I painted my nails but I felt the shade was appropriate: Chanel's Vendetta. As for serving suggestion, there's no better one for your resident Twilight fan than cradling the little cupcake in your outstretched hands.
An original recipe by Not Quite Nigella
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
60ml liquid red food coloring eg Pillarbox red
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups flour-sifted 2-3 times with cocoa below
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
To decorate: 1 dozen apple stems
Step 1 - Cream butter; beat in sugar gradually. Add eggs, one at a time; beat well after each addition. Add food colouring.
Step 2 - Add salt, flour and cocoa and vanilla alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
Step 3 - Line cupcake trays with liners and fill with batter. These do not have a raising agent in them so fill them fuller than you would usually, without overfilling. Bake in for 15-20 minutes at 175 degrees Celsius. When throughly cool, remove from bases and slice in half and fill with frosting and then ice top with cream cheese frosting using star tipped nozzle and piping bag (recipe below) and add heart shaped motif (or not).
Cream Cheese Icing
30g butter, softened
60g cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 tube of Wilton red food gel (yes I'm serious, otherwise it just won't be red enough)
1½ cups (240g) icing sugar mixture
Step 1 - Beat butter, cream cheese and extract in small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy, gradually beat in icing sugar and red food colouring gel.