Wednesday, 27 February 2013

New Year's Celebrations 2012-2013: Red Velvet Cake

For New Year's Eve I had the perfect excuse to do some baking and make use of the new recipe books I got for Christmas. I decided on a red velvet cake, but had a few recipes to choose from. I finally settled on the recipe from the Cake Boss recipe book. I also decided to try pipe a message on the top with royal icing. I've tried this a few times before with awful results and this time things turned out much better! It seems the real trick is all about the consistency of the icing: too runny and you end up with a puddle, to thick and it's a nightmare to pipe. The best consistency comes through trial and error.

I use the royal icing recipe from Cake Journal, you can find it here.

The recipe for the red velvet cake and the cream cheese icing came from Buddy Valastro's Baking with the Cake Boss. I was hesitant to use the recipe as it didn't mix the vinegar and bicarbonate of soda before adding to the recipe, as most red velvet recipes do. It was delicious though and an easy cake to make. I adapted slightly because of conversions to grams and certain ingredients not being readily available in South Africa.

Red Velvet Cake
(Makes two 23cm cakes)
1⅟₄ cups unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing cake tins
2 cups sugar, plus more for sprinkling on the baking paper
1tbsp cocoa powder
4⅟₂tsp red food colouring gel
3 cups flour, plus more for dusting cake tins
1⅟₄tsp salt
1⅟₄tsp bicarbonate of soda
1⅟₄tsp white vinegar
3 extra large eggs
1⅟₄ cups buttermilk
  1. Preheat the oven to 180⁰C
  2. Put the butter, sugar, cocoa, food colouring, flour, salt, vanilla, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar into a bowl. Beat starting at a low speed, then raise to low-medium and mix for about 1 minute.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for 1 minute after each is absorbed into the mixture.
  4. Add the buttermilk in two portions, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl between additions.
  5. Grease two 23 cm cake tins with butter and flour them. Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans.
  6. Bake until the cakes begins to pull from the sides of the pan and are springy to the touch (about 35 to 40 minutes).
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 30 minutes, preferably one hour. The cake should be at room temperature before you remove it from the pans.
  8. Put down a piece of baking paper and sprinkle with sugar. One at a time, turn the pans over and turn the cakes out onto the baking paper. The sugar will keep it from sticking.

Cream Cheese Icing
450g cream cheese
113g unsalted butter
1tsp vanilla extract
2 cups icing sugar, sifted
  1. Beat the cream cheese and butter on a medium speed until creamy.
  2. While beating, pour in vanilla extract and beat for 30 seconds.
  3. Add the sugar a little at a time and mix until smooth.
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