I was reminded of a true Southern gentleman and possibly one of the South's finest entertainers the other night. I turned on the TV and there before my eyes was Lee Epting and his son Ashley sharing tales from behind the scenes of their renowned parties. The show - Black Tie & Barbecue - is highly entertaining and you'll immediately understand why the Epting name is synonymous with Southern hospitality.
I had the pleasure of meeting Lee and his crew years ago at The Southern Coterie's - The Southern C Summit. He welcomed us into his home at The Hill, a beautiful piece of property in Athens, Georgia. I was treated to one of the finest brunches that I've ever had in my life - most of which was cooked in cast iron in the huge hearth of his kitchen. I asked Lee to share a recipe with us and lucky for us he did. His Pecan Red Velvet Cupcakes are one for the family recipe book. Click here for the full recipe.
If you ever find yourself at an event that has Lee and his two sons at the helm, you'll be in for quite a treat but for now they'll entertain you from your living room if you tune into Black Tie & Barbecue.
P.S. Lee and Epting Events makes one of the finest pecan pralines that I have ever eaten. Like our candied pecans at Schermer, Lee and his team patiently cook their pralines in large cooper cauldrons over an open flame.
Lee Epting's Pecan Red Velvet Cupcakes
We consider ourselves quite lucky to be able to share this recipe with you.
Ingredients 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 1/2 cups sugar 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon cocoa powder 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature 2 large eggs, room temperature 2 tablespoons red food coloring 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract For the Cream Cheese Frosting: 1 pound cream cheese, softened 2 sticks butter, softened 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar Chopped pecans sprinkled over the top
Fresh raspberries or strawberries, for garnish
Directions Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting. For the Cream Cheese Frosting: In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy. Garnish with a fresh raspberry or strawberry.
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