red velvet cupcakes

So I know I just posted about red velvet cake a couple of days ago but in reality, it was about two months ago that I made red velvet cake for my birthday and I got to craving it again after a friend made red velvet cupcakes to share. Man, they were good. Also, posting about it made me crave red velvet cake. It’s pretty amazing.

So I decided to make cupcakes this time because they’re easier to share in a houseful of people [never mind that I ate most of them myself… hey, they’re pretty good. And I have very polite housemates.] , and set out to redeem my red velvet cake making experience. This one probably wasn’t as fudgey nor as chocolatey as I would have liked, but they rose fantastically. And I’m definitely not sad that I’ll have to make them again to find the perfect recipe. They’re amazing.

In other news, I went to the Windsor Hotel for high tea on Sunday afternoon with my sister. It was absolutely amazing and I will have (camera phone) photos along with a full post about it coming soon. There was amazing tea, expensive sparkling wine and lots of delicious food. Stay tuned.

I’m also really excited about going to something called a Truth Lab in Collingwood on Friday night. See, remember when I talked about going to Surrender? (And then promised to tell you more about but promptly failed to keep that promise?) So Surrender do these things called Truth Labs where it’s kinda like a mini-Surrender conference for one night. Amazing people are there, there’s a speaker (or two or three) and there are lots of awesome people to talk about doing awesome stuff with. Like going to SURRENDER:12 (that’s next year. This year was SURRENDER:11. Get it?)

Friday night. St Martin’s, corner of Wellington and Otter. Collingwood. 7.30pm. Jarrod Mckenna is going to be there. [insert small fangirl squee here. Sorry. I’m a nerd, we’re allowed to be uncontrollably excited about things.]

And it’s time to make red velvet cupcakes. Because they’re made of awesome. Sorry for the random jumping aboutedness of this post. DFTBA.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Adapted from Bakerella

So as I mentioned, these ones weren’t quite as fudgy as I would have liked them to be. They didn’t quite stand up to the cream cheese icing strongly enough. So, yes, my quest for perfect red velvet cake does not end here. But hey, no one’s complaining, right?

Also, one of the best things about this particular recipe is the ease in which you put it together.

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups sugar

1 Tablespoon cocoa

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups oil

1 cup buttermilk

1 Tablespoon vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 oz. red food coloring

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line 2 muffin pans with 24 liners. Set aside.

Whisk all dry ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside.

Whisk all wet ingredients together in a bowl. Make a well in the dry ingredients and slowly pour in the wet. Mix together with a wooden spoon until smooth.

Divide among the muffin liners (I got 24 standard cupcake size cupcakes filling them almost to the top, but Bakerella mentions that she got 22 and could have filled them less.) Bake 20-25 minutes, until a skewer or sharp knife inserted into the middle one comes out clean. Let cool in pans while you make the cream cheese icing. Ice and share with hungry, appreciative people who you love.

hollandaise sauce and a book review

The Supper of the Lamb by Robert Farrar Capon. I’ve been reading it for the past week (it should be read slow, to be savoured) and it’s really an amazing book. It was first released in the 1950s and it’s just the most eccentric journey into the mind of a cook/chef I’ve read. I love cookbooks, I love reading recipes and finding little personal touches and tips and tricks, things to watch out for, to mind, to not mind. Food blogs are great for that, I’ll be posting a blogroll soon, I think.

This isn’t just a cookbook. It’s a manifesto. It’s a celebration of life, food, the earth, God’s creation. To love things for what they are, not for what they mean, which, by the way, works for people too. Intrinsic value, not exchange value, is what is important. You have value for who you are, not for what you mean to me or to anyone else. And that apple you’re eating, has value for simply being an apple, not just because it’s good for you.

The first thing I made from this book was actually bread; beautiful crusty bread rolls, yeasty and delicious, but they’re not here because I made them at Surrender with some of the people from Credo Cafe over at Urban Seed (if you’re in Melbourne, in the city around noon, head over to Credo for food and good company. I guarantee you it will blast your expectations out of the water.) Their Strangers are Fiction campaign is has been launched, so if you want to jump in with that, by all means do so. We’re not strangers, we’re just family that hasn’t met yet.

The first thing I made from this book when I owned it (after I heard about it at Surrender I had to find it) was this hollandaise sauce and it is seriously one of the easiest things in the world to do. After I made those macarons for Easter, I had all these egg yolks left over so of course, I had to make hollandaise sauce.

For each egg yolk, add a tablespoon of cream to a saucepan (that your egg yolks are already in, I hope) some salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and lemon juice to taste. Whisk well and then place over medium heat, still whisking. When the custard thickens sufficiently, back away from the heat (carrying your saucepan and still whisking) over to a pot-stand where you have ready two tablespoons of butter for each egg yolk.  Whisk these in and when they are incorporated, you have homemade hollandaise sauce that will rock your socks off.

shameless plug

Recently, I’ve been involved in a few things that are awesome, and that you should check out.

Also known as: shameless plug time! yay!

For the last three months, I’ve been interning with Surrender. We at Surrender like to describe it as an idea, a concept, a movement. It’s not restricted by space and time and people. That being said, it’s also a conference and a network and a really exciting thing to be a part of. Surrender in Australia partners with some amazing organisations doing amazing things in response to the call to surrender; the call to live life as Jesus asked us to, the call to those on the margins and those who are downtrodden and oppressed.  Us interns have been hanging out with neighbourhood missionaries at UNOH; barbequeing it up with the team at concern; playing trouble at 614 with JustSalvos; talking about overseas grassroots mission with the guys at TEAR; meeting our neighbours at Urban Seed; and just generally finding out how lots of different people interpret life as called by Jesus.  The conference itself was amazing and deserves a post of its own, so I’ll be writing more on that later.

At the Friday night of Surrender, we had the Soul Survivor team come in, as part of our Youth Night. In the words of the Soul Survivor team, “Soul Survivor Melbourne is a volunteer run organisation dedicated to encouraging and equipping young people to know Jesus Christ, and live radically as his disciples.” It’s pretty amazing; the Soul Survivor in Melbourne just finished today, but it’s also run in NSW, New Zealand and the UK, where it all began.

If you’re not already sick of clicking on links, I have one more for you today. A bunch of my friends just recently started writing a blog together. It’s got some amazing thoughts and stories on it, and I really encourage you to check out KOG in the machine. Do it. Right now.

Happy Palm Sunday, the day we remember that our king didn’t ride to our rescue on a warhorse with fanfares blazing, to a welcome of a throne and bowing servants; he rode in the back way on a donkey, to a crucifix and a cold grave.