I’ve grown to love my work. It does take up most of my time and keeps me away from the kitchen for days but I really dnt think I should complain.

Being in the surgical unit gives me plenty of opportunities to suture lacerations, excise cysts and carry out other procedures which I guess are too gross to mention on a food blog. The other ‘exciting’ aspect of my job is to assist surgeries which can range between few minutes to several hours long.

My primitive skills were put to test last night when I was called to assist an emergency craniotomy at around 22:00. The operating surgeon had once been my lecturer during those glorious college days and I was still very much in awe of him, as I was back then. Hope my shaky hands did not give me away.

Post call, I centred my weekend baking project around the unlikely theme of neurosurgery. And that’s how the lovely recipe from The Repressed Pastry Chef got converted into brainy red velvet cupcakes. I’d like to dedicate them to the neurosurgeon who’s been so nice to me all along. Thanks!

BRAINY RED VELVET CUPCAKES

 

Ingredients:

1 cup cake flour

1/3 cup cocoa

1/2 tsp salt

2/3 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg, room temperature

2 tbs red food colouring

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp white vinegar

 

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350 oF. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk flour, cocoa and salt together.
  • Place oil and sugar in a large bowl. Beat till well blended.
  • Add egg and beat until light and fluffy for about a minute.

 

  • Slowly stir in food colouring to prevent any splashing.
  • Add vanilla, then fold in flour in two batches alternating with buttermilk. Scrape down bowl and mix until just combined.
  • In a small dish, combine baking soda and white vinegar.

 

  • Add to batter and stir vigorously for about 10 seconds.
  • Spoon batter into muffin pan filling each upto 2/3 full.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes until cupcakes spring back to touch.

 

  • For icing, whisk together 100g softened unsalted butter with 1 cup sifted icing sugar and 1 tsp milk until silky smooth.
  • Place icing in piping bag fitted with a large plain nozzle. 
  • Draw the simple outline of  a brain on each cupcake.

 

  • To make it more real, drizzle with fake blood – a few drops of red food colouring added to 1 tbs light golden syrup diluted with 2 tsp warm water does the trick. Alternately you can use strawberry jam or syrup.

Hope all of you have a great week ahead!

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