Thursday, February 14, 2013

Red Velvet Cake

My wonderful husband Dean is celebrating his birthday today - coinciding with Valentine's Day.  What better excuse to get the apron on and get baking!  We had a family celebration on the weekend, where I made him a novelty cake (I'll share that one soon!), but I wanted to make a special treat that he could take to work today.  I couldn't go past a gorgeous, rich, Red Velvet Cake.

I've previously made Red Velvet Cupcakes (recipe here), but looked around a bit to see if it was much different to making a full cake.  It's basically the same, but I did use a slightly different recipe, which I found at this gorgeous little blog here.

I actually make one whole cake (rather than splitting into two tins) and just cut it after it had been baked.  The cream cheese icing is a must - it is so creamy and delicious!  The template I used on top came from the latest Good Taste Magazine - I just sifted plain cocoa powder over the top.

This is an indulgence that's totally worth it!  Enjoy!

2 ½ cups sifted plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
30ml red food colouring (Queen’s Pillar Box Red is great!)
115g unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ cups caster sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda
250g cream cheese, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease two 22cm cake tins with softened butter and line base and sides with baking paper.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.

In a smaller bowl, mix food coloring and cocoa powder to form a thin paste without lumps and set aside.

In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla and the red cocoa paste, scraping down the bowl with a spatula as you go.

Add one third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beat well, then beat in half of the buttermilk. Beat in another third of flour mixture, then second half of buttermilk. End with the last third of the flour mixture, beat until well combined, making sure to scrape down the bowl with a spatula.

In a deep, small bowl, mix vinegar and baking soda (it will bubble and fizz). Add vinegar mixture to the cake batter and stir through quickly until combined.

Divide the batter equally between the two tins – I weighed the cake tins using my scales, to make sure the batter split was equal. Place tins in your preheated oven. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes, rotating tins halfway through.

The cakes are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool the cake in their tins on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Unmould the cake, place it top side down on the wire rack, and allow to cool completely before icing.

To ice:  Layer the two halves of cake with some icing in between.  Spread remaining icing on top and decorate as desired.

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