Digest The News: Hey NASA, Say Hi To Marvin!

In case you’ve been too consumed with the Olympics to notice – NASA’s rover Curiosity landed on Mars this week!

Today, C-rove sent back the very first 360* panorama photo revealing that… well, Mars looks a lot like Vegas.

PASADENA, Calif. — The photo-snapping rover Curiosity returned another postcard from Mars on Thursday – the first 360-degree color panorama of Gale Crater.

Scientists admired the sweeping vista. In the distance was the base of Mount Sharp, a three-mile-high mountain rising from the crater floor, where the six-wheel rover planned to go. Read more here.

Now that we’re getting acquainted with the Red Planet, we thought we’d give you a celebratory recipe for:

Red Planet Red Velvet Cupcakes 

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, such as Pernigotti
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1 tablespoon liquid red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • Red Velvet Frosting, recipe follows

Ready, Set, Bake:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with paper liners.

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed for 1 minute, until light. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until combined. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients alternately in 3 parts, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, and mix until combined. Stir with a rubber spatula to be sure the batter is mixed.

Scoop the batter into the muffin cups with a 2 1/4-inch ice cream scoop or large spoon. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean. Cool completely in the pans and frost the cupcakes with Red Velvet Frosting.

Ready, Set, Frost:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (3/4 pound)

Place the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and mix on medium speed just until combined. Don’t whip! Add the sugar and mix until smooth.

*To be extra cute, we recommend topping your cupcakes with a little crumble of the cake to resemble the rocky surface of Mars. ;)

Recipe via Ina Garten

Story via Huffington Post

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