Red Velvet Heart Cupcakes

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These cakes take a little while to decorate, but the results will certainly be worth the effort. Make yourself comfortable and enjoy!
Makes: 12
Prep: 1–1 1/2 hours, plus cooling
Cook: 15 minutes
1 small raw beet, finely grated
1 egg
2 tbsp buttermilk or sour cream
1 tsp vinegar
4 tbsp lightly salted butter, softened
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2/3 cup self-rising flour
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa
1/2 quantity Buttercream
2 1/2 oz/70 g ready-to-use fondant
deep red food coloring
confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Line a 12-section mini muffin pan with 1 1/4-inch/3-cm mini paper liners in deep red or white.

Step 2

Put the beet, egg, buttermilk, and vinegar in a mixing bowl and stir together until well combined. Put the butter and light brown sugar in a separate mixing bowl and beat together with an electric handheld whisk until pale and fluffy. Sift half of the flour and unsweetened cocoa into the butter mixture and turn in the beet mixture. Stir gently until evenly combined. Sift in the remaining flour and cocoa and stir again to mix.

Step 3

Spoon the batter into the paper liners. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until risen and just firm to the touch. Let stand in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Step 4

For the decoration, spread the buttercream over the cakes using a palette knife. Color the ready-to-use fondant a deep red.

Step 5

Divide the fondant into 12 even pieces. Roll a piece of fondant into a thin rope 4½ inches/12 cm long. On a surface lightly dusted with confectioners’ sugar, flatten it with a rolling pin, keeping it no more than ½-inch/1-cm wide. Cut it in half lengthwise, then across into 1-inch/2.5-cm pieces. Repeat with the remaining fondant. Roll each little piece up between your thumb and finger to resemble a tiny rose. Use the roses to build heart shapes on top of all the cakes by pressing them gently down into the buttercream.

Step 6

Excerpted with permission from "Mini Cakes: Irresistible Little Cakes, Bakes and Cake Pops," published by Parragon Books.

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