Heat Things Up This Valentine’s Day with Red Hot Velvet Cupcakes

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Love is in the air, so why not in our bellies?

Two years ago we hosted a Valentine’s Day party for some family and some close friends.  The five course tasting menu was designed around our love for each other.  The fifth course, the dessert course, was our take on the classic red velvet cake.  I added a combo of chili powders to spice up the cake, and yes, it was a hit.  This year, we are spending our first Valentine’s Day together as a married couple.  I made this recipe again with a few changes, but with all the love.  This recipe makes three dozen cupcakes, so share the love. Happy Valentine’s Day from your favorite LatinoFoodies!

Red Hot Velvet Cupcakes

Red Hot Velvet Cupcakes
Yields 3 dozen cupcakes

Ingredients:
3 ½ cups cake flour
½ cup cocoa powder
1 ½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 teaspoon Hatch chili powder (you can find it at Melissas.com)
2 cups canola oil
2 ¼ cups white granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon red food coloring
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ¼ cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 ½ teaspoons white vinegar

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Sift together the flour, cocoa, salt, cinnamon, and Hatch chili powder in large mixing bowl.

3. In a stand mixer, combine the oil and sugar.  Beat in the eggs one at a time until well incorporated.  Reduce to low, and mix in the food coloring and vanilla.  Food coloring stains so take it slow.

4. Alternately add the sifted flour mixture and the buttermilk.  Continue mixing in the remaining flour & buttermilk in batches just until they are both well incorporated.  Don’t forget to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

5. Place the baking soda into a small bowl/cup and stir in the vinegar.  With the machine running add to the batter and just beat for 20 seconds.

6. Carefully pour the batter in the prepared cupcake pan with cupcake liners.  Bake for 15-18 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

7. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

8. You can sacrifice a cupcake: crumble it and use the crumbs to sprinkle the tops of your cupcakes or simply sprinkle the tops with some more Hatch chili powder.

For frosting:

12 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
12 oz. mascarpone, room temp
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 cups heavy cream, cold

Instructions:

Blend together the cream cheese, mascarpone, and vanilla until smooth and well blended.  Add powdered sugar (in small batches) and mix well.  In a clean mixing bowl and with clean beaters, beat the heavy cream with a hand mixer until you have medium peaks.  Fold into the cream cheese mixture.  You can wrap and refrigerate until needed.

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