Today was our first attempt at baking from scratch. I forgot to mention that I (Nyssa) will be focusing on baking and Julius will be focusing on cooking. This week we were baking, and I chose to bake some Red Velvet Cake! However, my mom took the cake pan with her this morning so I had to settle for cupcakes instead. I got the recipe from this amazing blog.
The result was a lot better than I expected. I feared that I would mess this up…badly (and I did mess up a little — will expand later). But the cupcakes were edible, and they tasted either “okay” or “good.” It was our first time baking from scratch, so we weren’t complaining. On to the process!
The first step in the recipe was to “cream the shortening and sugar.” Okay. Honestly, I did not know how to cream anything, so I had to search the Internet for some tips. I managed to find an awesome guide that gave great tips on mixing. Creaming the shortening was kind of…weird because it didn’t look like cream. At first it just looked like clumps. When I read the packaging on the shortening it said that “water + shortening = substitution butter” so I thought that I needed to add water. It still looked the same, so I decided to just move on and add in the eggs. The batter started looking like batter after every egg we put in, so we were hoping everything was okay.
The steps after that went smoothly, and the batter started looking good. Julius was amazing today because he was just so helpful. I felt like we really worked as a team today. Woohoo! Anyways…The next part that was new to us was sifting! We had to sift some salt and cake flour, and Julius said he’ll take care of it. It took a while, and I think he gained some extra hand muscles, but he got it done beautifully.
After we put the trays into the oven, we started working on the frosting. It was a lot easier to make than the batter (I’m guessing it’s because we got accustomed to using the mixer). I’m just wondering if I mixed it long enough. I’m not too familiar with Red Velvet Cakes/Cupcakes, so I wasn’t sure if the frosting was supposed to be light? Thick? It tasted alright though.
The main problem we had was the baking itself. Since I had to switch from cakes to cupcakes, I wasn’t sure how long I was supposed to leave the trays in there. I decided to base it off of the Angel Food Cupcakes I did two weeks ago, and left it in there for 18-22 minutes. Well that was the first batch, and that turned out a little burnt. (Just the edges of the cupcakes and the bottom). The second tray turned out okay, and the third (after learning the right timing) was good. They came out pretty flat though, and that bugged me. I wasn’t sure what I did wrong because I followed the ingredients of the recipe I linked above. Julius’ brother (he bakes a lot) said that the reason why the cupcakes didn’t “poof” was because we didn’t add baking powder. I think that’s the reason because it slipped my mind that I was following a CAKE recipe and not a CUPCAKE recipe. I then checked other cupcake recipes and…Alas! There was baking powder listed. Lesson learned.
Overall, the cupcakes weren’t bad. I’m quite proud of us for not screwing them up entirely. My friend and my dad said they were good, so that lifted my spirits. My mom was a little more critical, but that’s understandable because she bakes more than me. We survived! YESSSSS. Julius and I are happy because we can only get better from here. Next week, we’ll be cooking. And this time, Julius will be the one picking the recipe and taking charge. I told him he should write his blogs, but we’ll see how that goes. I’m excited to be the assistant next week.
Oh, and if you’re wondering, I chose the title because of my current addiction to Animal Crossing. In love with everything about that game. ESPECIALLY the music~♫