16 June 2009

Recipe: Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet CakeRed Velvet Cake Image by Cheneworth Gap via Flickr

From Denny: Red Velvet Cake is total comfort food! (and a calorie monster too...) We love it in the South and have claimed it as our own since Time began. Read that as no one seems to remember when we discovered the cake and how it grew in popularity.

Have you been to the Canadian food site Joy of Baking? When I stumbled upon it recently, well, I almost fell out of my chair: laughing! The Canadians claim this cake as theirs too!

This is an excellent version of the cake recipe they have up on their site. You will want to return again and again to this site for some wonderful recipes well told! They give their recipes in American and metric measurements. For more of their tips and suggestions about this cake - worth the read - just click on the title link.

Here's an excerpt from their site about this cake:

"Sometimes it is hard to trace a recipe's origin. Take the Red Velvet Cake. There are many theories; some say it comes from the South, others say it originated in the North. But in actual fact all we really know is that it has been a favorite for decades, not only in the States but also in Canada (it used to be sold in Eaton's Department Stores).

It is a very dramatic looking cake with its unusual bright red color that is sharply contrasted by a creamy white frosting. A Red Velvet Cake is really a Devil's Food Cake that has red food coloring added to it. John Mariani tells us in his book "The Dictionary of American Food and Drink" that the name 'Devil's Food Cake' is so called "because it is supposedly so rich and delicious that it must, to a moralist, be somewhat sinful.""

Red Velvet Cake

Ingredients:

Red Velvet Cake:

2 1/2 cups (250 grams) sifted cake flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons (15 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated white sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk

2 tablespoons liquid red food coloring

1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar

1 teaspoon baking soda

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 1/2 (360 ml) cups heavy whipping cream

1 - 8 ounce (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature

1 - 8 ounce (227 grams) tub of Mascarpone cheese, room temperature

3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup (115 grams) confectioners' (icing or powdered) sugar, sifted

Directions:

Red Velvet Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Butter two - 9 inch (23 cm) round cake pans and line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl sift together the flour, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside.

In bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until soft (about 1-2 minutes). Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.

In a measuring cup whisk the buttermilk with the red food coloring. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour.

In a small cup combine the vinegar and baking soda. Allow the mixture to fizz and then quickly fold into the cake batter.

Working quickly, divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans and smooth the tops with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 25 - 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Place a wire rack on top of the cake pan and invert, lifting off the pan. Once the cakes have completely cooled, wrap in plastic and place the cake layers in the freezer for at least an hour. (This is done to make filling and frosting the cakes easier.)

Cream Cheese Frosting: In your food processor, or with a hand mixer, process the cream cheese and mascarpone cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla and confectioners sugar and process until smooth. Transfer this mixture to a large mixing bowl.

Then, in the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. With a large spatula, gently but quickly fold a little of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture to lighten it. Then fold in the remaining whipped cream, in two stages. If the frosting is not thick enough to spread, cover and place in the refrigerator for an hour, or until it is firm enough to spread.

Assemble: With a serrated knife, cut each cake layer in half, horizontally. You will now have four cake layers. Place one of the cake layers, top of the cake facing down, onto your serving platter. Spread the cake layer with a layer of frosting. Place another layer of cake on top of the frosting and continue to frost and stack the cake layers. Frost the top and sides of the cake. Can garnish the cake with sweetened or unsweetened coconut

Makes one - 9 inch (23 cm) four layer cake.

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