2) In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa powder and salt. In another mixing bowl, stir together the eggs and oil. In a mixing cup, mix together the buttermilk, food colouring, vinegar and vanilla essence and lightly whisk.
3) Gradually add the dry ingredients and buttermilk mixture to the egg mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Add more cocoa powder if the red is not deep enough, to achieve a dark red-brown cupcake colour.
4) Add the batter to the mini baking cases until they are 3/4 full and bake for 13 to 14 minutes, or until done. Alternatively, fill the regular-size baking cases and bake 22 minutes, or until done. Let the cupcakes cool completely before icing.
5) Add a dollop of cream cheese icing to the top of each cake. For the heart garnish, sprinkle red-coloured sugar over the icing, then roll-out prepared fondant icing and cut out hearts, or desired shape, and decorate with red piping gel.
For the cream cheese frosting:
1) Combine the sugar, cream cheese, butter, salt and vanilla essence in a large mixing bowl and blend for 2 minutes.