Sunday, February 25, 2007

Chinese New Year Cupcakes

I made these cupcakes one week after returning home from my parent’s house. These cupcakes inspired from Chinese New Year color, red and golden, which represents blood/health and gold/prosperity. The chocolate coin on top of each cupcakes I hope will precisely describe the meaning of prosperity… :p
I tested 2 kinds of red velvet cakes recipe, one is from Montclair Martha Stewart red velvet cake for chunjie red velvet cupcakes and the other one is from for valentine red velvet cake, using half recipe each. I used red paste coloring from Wilton for both and they resulted in a bright red color. But personally I prefer epicurious recipe for its softer and moist texture.

Red Velvet Cake
1/4 cups sifted cake flour (sifted, then measured)
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon red food coloring
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
For cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides.
Sift sifted flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into medium bowl.
Whisk buttermilk, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla in small bowl to blend.
Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until well blended.
Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until well blended after each addition.
Beat in dry ingredients in 4 additions alternately with buttermilk mixture in 3 additions.
Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 27 minutes. Cool in pans on racks 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto racks; cool completely.

For frosting:
Beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until smooth.
Beat in vanilla. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
I’ve planned to make these cupcakes during a week stay at my parent’s house in Pekanbaru, Sumatra. I took my family there to celebrate Chinese New Year. This is the first time I can celebrate it with my parents and brothers since I left home for school years ago. There are many things I do there and I totally forgot about my cupcake plan.

In China, Chinese New Year actually called “chunjie” which is a tradition of Chinese people to welcome spring. It’s counted using lunar calendar which is usually celebrated between January and February every year. The celebration mostly involves family gathering, lots of foods, new clothes and “angpao”. Angpao is a red envelope filled with money given by an elder married folk to younger member in his family.

My grandpa sailed from China when he was young and this tradition also maintain in his home here in Indonesia, until now after he died. At new year eve, we had a family dinner. This time my sister in law prepared a steamboat, contain seafood, beef and pork. Everybody can pick his favorite and boil it and eat it themselves. Free and easy.

The first day of new year, we should wear everything new, new clothes, new shoes, new underwear too. Then people will go to their relatives’ house for a visit, and there’s a rule that younger should visit older for respect. And since I’m married, this year I also have to give away angpao… hoping that the more I gave the more I would get… gong xi fa cai…


Victoria said...

heyy, It's cute to mix the chinese new yr theme and a western idea of a cupcake.=)

Srednivashtar said...

That's a really clever idea with the whole red theme.

You really do bake such beautiful treats...makes me hungry!

simply cake said...

hi, vic & shred...thanks...
chinese also make cupcake from rice flour but no frosting involved... so, not cute at all...:p

Ovens Cooktops said...

This is a great idea for Chinese New Year! Thanks!

Iron Chef Shellie said...

Thanks for the inspiration! I made these yesterday, check out my blog for the results =D