Monday, December 13, 2010

12. Red Velvet Cake

There is not much to say about this recipe or this cake. I did typical me and researched and poured over hundreds of recipes, pictures, taste comparisons, etc… Before deciding to create my own recipe based on the attributes I want to see in the final cake. The recipe I designed in the end did not match any other recipe I saw… for good or for bad?

The biggest challenge I had to settle was the debate over using oil verses butter for the fat in the cake. Modern cake bakers swear by butter because it lends a better taste to the cake. Traditional cake bakers swear by vegetable oil to keep the cake super moist, giving it its recognizable character. The draw backs of butter is that the cake is not as moist as the oil based cake. So if making the cake in advance (which I would have to by a few days) there is a chance it would be dry. The draw back with the oil was that I could not imagine dumping nearly 2 cups into one cake; it seemed nearly tragic.

I do understand the importance of the fat in the cake. The first red velvet cake I ever made I decided to replace a good portion of the oil with apple sauce, and though I was told the cake was good by a Red Velvet enthusiast and friend, it was no comparison to her Aunts. I really wanted my cake to have the positive properties of both butter and oil--taste and moisture. I decided to combine my fats.

Also, the other major debate was the amount of cocoa powder used. Red velvet cake to some is a light chocolate cake and to others it is not really chocolate at all and the chocolate should almost be unnoticed. Which directions was I going to go? The same friend/enthusiast also told me that my previous attempt was too chocolaty (I was in the light chocolate cake fan club then). When looking at pictures I noticed the cakes that were like neon blood red did not use much cocoa powder. I did not like the bright look. I liked the look of darker, richer cake. So, I had to decide how to walk the fine line between using the cocoa to achieve the color I wanted but not the taste I did not desire.

As you can tell, this cake became a birthday cake for a good friend. I am always nervous about taking untested recipes for big events, but the feedback was extremely positive. I myself thought it was good. I could taste the hint of chocolate running through the cake, but it most definitely was not a chocolate cake. Not if, but WHEN I make this cake again, I will use a different frosting however. I have never been a fan of the “butter & sugar” buttercreams and though this had cream cheese in it, it was still too sweet and heavy to me. Next time I will tackle a Swiss Meringue Cream Cheese Buttercream!

Sorry the pictures are not the best. That is what happens when you are trying to take pictures of the interior of the cake while trying to hold back the herd of hungry party goers.

Red Velvet Cake
By Baker at Law (That would be me :-)

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) Butter, softened
1 1/2 cup Sugar
3/4 cup Vegetable Oil
2 large Eggs, room temperature
1 tsp Vanilla
1 oz Liquid Red Food Coloring
2 1/2 cup Cake flour (I used the 1 TBS corn starch in 1 cup All Purpose Flour substitution method)
3 TBS cocoa powder
1 tsp Salt
1 c Buttermilk
1 tsp Baking soda
2 tsp Vinegar

Pre-hear oven to 350 degrees

1. Sift together flour, coco powder, and salt. Set aside.

2. Mix together butter and sugar to well incorporated.
3. Add vegetable oil.

4. Add eggs one at a time and wait until the precious is fully incorporated before adding the next.

5. Add vanilla and food coloring.

6. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternatively, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.

7. Scrap down the bowl as needed.

8. Mix baking soda and vinegar together in separate bowl.

9. Add baking soda/vinegar mixture to cake batter.

10. Pour batter in 3 prepared 8 inch circle pants. The batter will sit low in the pans, don’t worry, you will get three good sized layers.

11. Bake for 25-30 minutes. If cooking all pans at once, make sure to rotate you pans in the oven to avoid one cake over cooking in an oven hot spot.

12. Let fully cool before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz Cream Cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 sticks) Butter, softened
1 lbs (or less) powdered sugar (based on your taste and consistency desired)
2 tsp Vanilla

Mix together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Sift powder sugar and incorporate until desired consistency/taste is achieved.

1 comment:

  1. Looks delicious! Red Velvet is my favorite cake! I have an awesome recipe, but I just can't decide if I'm ready to share it with the world