Red velvet cupcakes...with a twist

One positive about my dodgy leg is that I've been able to dedicate more time to some of the things that I love, but find it hard to get round to doing while working full time. This includes, of course, baking. During my final year at uni baking was a very regular occurrence in our house, with sweet treats being cooked up most evenings. I miss our late-night trips to Sainsburys in our PJ's and the midnight baking that we used to do. Even if we weren't hungry, there was always someone around to finish off the last morsel. 

Even though I'm trying to be extra careful about what I eat, it doesn't stop me from baking a few times a week. There's always someone to give it away to, so I don't have to feel too guilty! Today I made red velvet cupcakes using master baker Eric Lanlard's recipe. I actually interview Eric every month for his regular column in Homemaker, so I've been poring over his book while I've been off and testing out his ideas. 

This recipe was taken from his book Home Bake, which features a great range of gorgeous homemade recipes for simple classics and interesting adaptations. I'm very smug about my signed copy, which was my prize for winning a charity bake-off at work.

The recipe is fairly simple to follow, and uses an intriguing mix of white wine vinegar and bicarbonate of soda to create the famous rich red shade, rather than food colouring. It's all thrown into a food mixture and then topped with delicious chocolatey icing. I decorated mine with some homemade royal icing flowers and sprinkles. 

Thankfully I've got company this weekend, so I can direct some cupcakes their way, otherwise I'd find it hard to resist finishing them all off...

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