Red Velvet Cupcakes
1 teaspoon baking soda 2 teaspoons water 2 1/2 cups flour 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (or 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate) 2 eggs 12 drops natural red food coloring 1 cup buttermilk 1 teaspoon vanilla Easy Buttercream Frosting
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper or foil liners and set aside. Dissolve baking soda in the water. In a separate bowl, sift together flour and salt, and set aside. Melt butter over medium-low heat, and stir in cocoa powder, being careful not to burn the mixture. In a separate mixing bowl, beat eggs with an electric mixer set on low until fluffy and lighter in color. Add chocolate mix, then natural red food coloring, and mix well. Stir in sifted dry ingredients until they are incorporated. Stir in buttermilk and vanilla, then add dissolved baking soda-water mixture, and stir until combined. Fill prepared cups about three-quarters full and bake, rotating pans once, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until cupcakes spring back to the touch. Let cupcakes cool in tins about 5 minutes, then turn them out onto wire racks to cool completely. Decorate with Easy Buttercream Frosting or the frosting of your choice.