Chocoholic: Red Velvet Cupcakes

[Photograph: Yvonne Ruperti]

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My sister Juliane has been begging me to bake her red velvet cupcakes, her favorite, for the past few weeks and I finally decided to give in. (Heck, it was the least I could do as I'd been crashing on her couch.) And the girl knew exactly what recipe she wanted. No, not any cupcake that I've created before (thanks sis), but a replica of the one she served at her wedding last summer, from Georgetown Cupcake in SoHo.

Well, at least I didn't have to deconstruct it from the ground up. She made it easy by handing me a recipe that she'd found online. She'd even purchased a cute little mixer just for this project. So being the good sister that I am, I decided not to let her insanely small Upper East Side kitchen get the best of me, and set up a workspace over the sink. A sweet batch of cute red velvet cupcakes fit right in with my Valentine's Day mood anyway.

My creation wasn't straight forgery, though. After looking at the 3 1/2 cups of flour and 1 1/2 cups milk, I knew the yield would be way too much for 12 cupcakes. So I cut the recipe back. And because I adore using white chocolate around this time of year, I performed my favorite spin on a cream cheese frosting by whipping in some melted white chocolate. Creamy, buttery, white chocolate added its own sweetness and let me cut back on the cloying confectioners' sugar. White chocolate always amps up an everyday cream cheese frosting into a totally decadent experience, especially when paired with a super moist cupcake, and I'd have nothing less for my favorite sis. Was she angry that I took liberties with her favorite recipe and wrecked her kitchen? She managed to consume no less than 4 cupcakes in the hour after they came out of the oven, so I think I did something right.

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Red Velvet Cupcakes »

About the Author: Yvonne Ruperti is a food writer, recipe developer, former bakery owner, and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Easy Artisan Bread. You can also watch her culinary stylings on the America's Test Kitchen television show. She presently lives in Singapore working on her new baking cookbook, and as a recipe developer for HungryGoWhere Singapore. Check out her blog: . Follow Yvonne on Twitter.