Babies, babies, babies. It’s all moms and pregnant women talk about.
“I was up all night with my baby”, “I’m pregnant with a baby” and “My baby did the funniest thing the other day…” My goodness. People don’t talk about puppies nearly as much as people with babies talk about babies.
Cat people, though… well… they’re a whole other breed.
Then Adele got pregnant.
No, no; not the singer-songwriter world famous Adele!
Let me repeat, not this ^ Adele.
Rather this Adele, my very baby- and laughter-filled colleague of a thousand chuckles.
Adele spent a few months complaining about her incredibly flat stomach (“Where’s my baby bump!” she would sweetly moan while I sucked my stomach in uncomfortably two desks away); before swelling like a melon and pregnantly waddling round the office.
That beautiful baby bump was magnetic. Every time she somewhat elegantly (though yes, awkwardly) waddled by, my hands would shoot out like teenagers caught in bed and rest on her magnificent pregnant globe. I couldn’t help myself. It’s the perfect outlet for my very impractical and periodic swings of broodiness: I touch her baby bump, sweet talk the little sucker into loving ME the most (Adele’s family won’t see me coming!) then turn back to my computer, content.
My friend Jerusha, I’m convinced, has similar swings of covert broodiness. Her outlet, though, is very different to mine. Jerusha is conspiring with my mother to get me pregnant so Jerusha can ooh and aah and hand the baby back at the sticky moments.
My boyfriend, of course, knows nothing of Jerusha’s evil plan, though he did get quite anxious while I was shopping for Adele’s baby shower present. I was sending him pictures of tiny shoes to which he anxiously replied, “Feeling broody my love?!?”
However, my most appreciated contribution to Adele’s baby shower was not the adorable bunny toy I bought. Instead it was my amazing red velvet cupcakes. They are, quite possibly, the most incredible red velvet cupcakes EVER in the history of baked goods. In fact, someone from Shape magazine called them “The most delicious baked good I’ve ever had.” Mine were misshapen, small and were competing with Cape Town’s favourite: Charly’s bakery. I’m very proud to say that mine won, erm, I mean, mine got eaten. All of them! While Charly’s pink cupcakes were ignored by the dieting masses.
Now you can have a food baby and join the conversation round the water-cooler!
Red Velvet Cupcakes
1 1/4 cups (125 grams) sifted cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoons (10 grams) regular or Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/4 cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cups (150 grams) granulated white sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk
1 tablespoon liquid red food coloring (though I just used half the bottle)
Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (60 grams) confectioners’ (icing or powdered) sugar, sifted
2/3 cup (160 ml) cold heavy whipping cream (double cream from Woolworths is the best) (35-40% butterfat)
Please excuse my terrible pics, but my camera was temporarily misplaced during my move into a new flat and so I used my Blackberry instead.
1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C and line 12 muffin tins with paper cupcake liners.
2. In a small bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder.
3. In large bowl, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until soft (about 1-2 minutes). Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add the egg and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.
4. In a measuring cup whisk the buttermilk with the red food coloring.
5. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk to the butter mixture, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour.
7. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 18 – 23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.
8. Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes and them remove from pan. Let cool completely before frosting. Either spread the frosting with a knife or offset spatula, or use a large 1M Wilton open star decorating tip to pipe the frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1. In a large bowl using either an electric beater or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth.
2. Add the vanilla and confectioners sugar and beat until smooth.
3. Using the whisk attachment, gradually add the heavy cream and whip until the frosting is thick enough to pipe. Add more sugar or cream as needed to get the right consistency.
Makes 12 cupcakes.
Now eat and enjoy! They are totally worth the calories.