Shall I tell you every bakers worst nightmare, or let me rephrase that...every English bakers worst nightmare - 1. Red Velvets, 2. Red frosting!!
Guess what Laura wanted me to make for her wedding, red velvet cupcakes and brownie cupcakes with the dreaded red frosting!!! Already I was foreseeing stressful times ahead!
Let me explain why...baking up a red velvet if you live in America is easy peasy (and why you find them at every cupcakery/bakery from California to New York) because they just pop down to Wal Mart or wherever and pick up a bottle of red food colouring and follow their perfect little recipe. Job done.
In England it's not so easy! because some 'clever' (a.k.a stupid) person has decided artificial red food colouring can no longer be sold on our shelves and that everything needs to be natural.
So this is what happens when you bake a red velvet with natural food colour.
You get a red velvet that comes out brown!!! I tried four different kinds of red velvet recipes. I tried liquid red colour, gel red colour and either the colour didn't work or it worked so well that the mixture became inedible.
Do you know what saved the day in the end and produced this beautiful red hue you see below?
A bottle of cochineal, that I had bought at the supermarket like 2 years ago when I remember reading on a blog that it was good for making red frosting! Unfortunately that little bottle wasn't quite enough to make ALL the red velvets I needed too so I popped to Sainsburys...and then to Tesco...and then to Asda and apparently cochineal is too artificial these days too so they no longer sell that either!!!
Luckily I had a small bottle of red food colour that my fantastic sister had brought back for me from the States so I managed to finish my baking using that....but it was no mean feat baking up 75 red velvets and a giant cupcake too - I needed the help of ALL the red food colours in the picture below! and some were no help at all like stupid silver spoon food colouring with no artificial colours! psh!
The bride had requested red glitter and red m&m's so I made a special trip to m&m world to buy a giant bag of only red and white m&m's!
and of course there had to be lots of red hearts involved on top of the cream cheese frosting.
My red frosting actually turned out surprisingly great! thanks to my new favourite sugarflair colour - RED EXTRA! where have you been hiding all my life! when I have had red frosting baking fail after fail after fail..this little guy would have come in handy! but I've found it now and I'm passing on my little secret to all of you!
Some of the cupcakes got decorated with a few jimmies...
and there were also 75 minis just to add to the fun!
They got topped the same way as the regular sized cupcakes but I managed to get mini versions of the heart sprinkles and the m&m's just got chopped up smaller!
The brownie cupcakes were specially requested by the bride after she tried them here and here and fell in love with them! If you want to bake them yourself then go ahead and follow Martha's recipe, they're super fudgy and yummy!
The red frosting I whipped up was my fave flavour - vanilla bean.
I also made a giant cupcake for the occasion too.
Here are a few pics of the cupcakes that I managed to snap just after I set them all up at the wedding.
I liked the way it was a whole table filled with cupcakes dotted all over the place rather than the more traditional cupcake towers.
I'm really loving my new lens these days! Although Byron uses it much better than I do, so credit to him for taking all these!
The prettiness of this table summed up the whole of Mr & Mrs Brooker's amazing day!
I even managed to co-ordinate with the cupcakes without even planning it!
and here I am with the beautiful bride! After all the red related headaches, I was happy they turned out great in the end! and it was so fun to be able to make these cupcakes for Laur's special day!
I'm sharing these over at Hoosier Homemade for Cupcake Tuesday! Go check out all the other delicious cupcakes everyone has been baking up!