I spent my Valentine’s Day by myself this year in my sister Karen’s kitchen listening to XM Satellite Radio–“The 70’s” of course, what else would this hippie chick be groovin’ to? I felt that this day was going to have to be a turning point for me, as I have been making some very important life decisions lately. I was feeling the stress of it all when these tiny little cakes popped into my ever-vivid mind’s eye . . . ooooh, just the extremely happy feeling they immediately evoked was fabulous.

What in the world was better than a cupcake, and having a cake all to yourself and even better, no sharesies, no “Save Me a Bite,” a game my brother Bill and I played when we were very young. We’d share an item until the the person taking a bite had to stop when the other said quickly “SAVE ME A BITE!”, until the item at hand was so small, it was just not share-able anymore and whoever took that last tiny bite was declared the winner. We had a game for everything, traveling in a hippie van all over the country. Commune to commune, mile after mile and state after state, we had to make up stuff to occupy our little minds. We were very creative even back then!

So after having been through just about everything one could experience on Valentine’s Day, including car accidents, an arrest, several bad break-ups and even a marriage, on this most recent V-Day I could only think “How cool is this! Baking in my sister’s beautiful kitchen, stocked with anything a baker like me could possibly need. I’m serenaded by cool tunes, in the company of my own amusing self, plus the captive audience of Karen’s two dogs, Abigail Puggle and Kona the cocker spaniel asleep in their comfy little beds!” And to add to my delight the project at hand was these little tiny baby cakes, so cute and delish only an ogre could refuse one! None of the pressures of this insidious holiday, just me and my favorite things: Good music, good company (ahem ahem) and a batch of fun baking.
I used a very simple “One Bowl Red Devil Chocolate Cake” recipe though of course I modified it to suit my needs: More chocolate–this need is top priority!–and adding red food coloring to both the cake (along with a hint of white vinegar) and to the frosting, just ’cause it’s pretty!!! And for those of you opposed to using food coloring, well, be that way, and just don’t!!!
(I’ll never know unless you tell me!!!) Enjoy!!!

One Bowl Red Devil Chocolate Cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Have ready a muffin tin lined with paper liners and spray lightly with Pam.
Sift together,
1 3/4 cup cake flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
Add:
1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
2/3 cup milk at room temp.
Beat with a electric beater on med for 2 minutes.
Add:
1/3 cup milk (i.e., your overall total is one cup)
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. red food coloring
1 tsp. white vinegar
Beat on medium two more minutes.
Fill cups of muffin tin 2/3 to 3/4 full
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until they spring back when gently pressed.
Cool on a rack and repeat with remaining cupcake mixture. This makes 16 to 18 cupcakes depending how you fill the cups. I like them to have a little mushroom top so mine are 3/4 full!!!

White Chocolate and Cream Cheese Frosting:

Melt together and mix well,
6 oz. cream cheese
3/4 stick unsalted butter
5 oz. white chocolate chips
Remove from heat or microwave and mix well.
Add,
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. red food coloring
1 box or 3 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
Mix well with a electric mixer on medium low.
Frost cooled cupcakes and put one white chocolate chip on each little cake!!!

And as always, Enjoy!!!
LIVE, LOVE, LAUGH, COOK!!!
© Jennifer Green Alger 2010