I’ll be honest, I was rather pleased with myself when I came up with the idea of red velvet cupcakes topped with chocolate rabbits, called 'Red Velveteens'. Now and again my mushy, mummy-brain delivers the goods. The Velveteen Rabbit is a famous children's book written in the 1920s. I'd never read it, so goodness knows why its title was lurking in the dusty corners of my memory, but when I looked it up I discovered that it is a beautiful story about a stuffed rabbit and his desire to become real through the love of his owner. The rabbit isn’t the shiniest, most exciting toy in the box, but he is loyal and loves his owner unconditionally, and the book is full of lessons about love and courage and being true to yourself.
'Real isn't how you are made,' said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’
‘Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.’
How lovely is that?? So for Easter this year the bambinos will be getting Red Velveteen cupcakes and a copy of the Velveteen Rabbit, and will have to put up with me weeping and clutching them too tightly as I read it to them. Let’s just hope we don’t have nightmares about the terrifyingly named ‘Skin Horse’!?
Recipe for Red Velveteens :
I use the cake mecca that is the Hummingbird Bakery’s recipe for the red velvet cupcakes, then make my own easy cream cheese icing by mixing equal quantities of Betty Crocker vanilla buttercream icing and mascarpone. Then top with Maltesars bunnies, which come in packs of five, so once you’ve topped your twelve cupcakes you can pop three directly into your gob.