I should preface this by saying that back before the federal election last October, I had had visions of baking cupcakes inspired by each of the three major parties, and holding an informal “election” at work. Life and stuff got in the way, and it never happened. (That’s okay; I think this was fueled primarily by a latent desire of mine to make Harvey Wallbanger cupcakes, dubious motivation at best.) Fast-forward six months, and with the victor clearly apparent, I had my work cut by 2/3. Score one for procrastination!
Some time ago, I had tried the Black Velvet Cupcake recipe in Hannah Kaminsky’s Vegan Desserts. It was a neat idea, using blackberry puree for colour and flavour not normally found in pedestrian red velvet recipes, but didn’t work so well in its execution. The blackberries commercially available in grocery stores taste like absolutely nothing, yielding black-ish, flavourless cakes.
For whatever reason, a thought had been brewing for the past few weeks: why not substitute raspberries for the blackberries, and have an all-natural red velvet without all the Red #40?
Clearly, Red #40 exists for a reason, because these don’t quite rock the vivid crimson I was hoping for. However (and this is a big however), the raspberry puree pairs wonderfully with the hint of cocoa for a chocolate-raspberry dessert that doesn’t taste like sugary Torani syrup.
It just goes to show: Better is always possible.