Monday, March 26, 2007

Daring Bakers Do Dallas

Oh OK.....Red Velvet Cake then!

I’m thrilled to have been invited to join a monthly baking group, collectively known as The Daring Bakers.

The Daring Bakers would like to thank Ximena of Lobstersquad for the fantastic work she has done to create our graphics.

The recipe selected for March was Red Velvet Cake which is a Southern US traditional recipe. You can read all about its history and various references to Red Velvet Cake here. The recipe I chose to use was provided by Peabody of Culinary Concoctions. It comes from Mrs Wilkes Boarding House in Savannah, Georgia and in true Southern style contains pecans. I didn’t use the nuts because it’s so hard to find fresh nuts in stores here. I resent paying for rancid nuts and it's not like you can tell from tasting just one. Don't you hate that feeling when you eat a nut that's off and you want to get the taste out of your mouth but are too scared to eat another nut in case it's off too? Bleah.

Red Velvet Cake
Serves 12 to 14

2 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 tsp white vinegar
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 to 3 TBSP cocoa powder
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
5/8 ounce bottle red food coloring

Preheat the oven to 350F
Cream the eggs, sugar, oil and vinegar
Sift the cake flour, baking soda, and cocoa together
Add the flour mixture to the creamed ingredients while beating
Slowly add the buttermilk
While still beating, add the vanilla and the food coloring
Pour into three 8-inch layer pans and bake for about 25 minutes
(I used 9" pans and they only took 15 minutes each)
Press lightly; if the layers are spongy, then the cake is done

Frost the cooled layers, assemble and frost the top and sides

Red Velvet Cake Frosting
1 (8 ounce/250g) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter (125g)
1 (1 pound/500g) box confectioners sugar
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine the cream cheese and butter and melt over very low heat
Add the sugar, pecans and vanilla and mix well
If the frosting becomes too thick, add a little milk
Frost one 8-inch or 9-inch layer cake.

My taste testers at the office pronounced it moist and delicious and they were particulary excited about the cream cheese frosting. Hands up who would eat a piece of cardboard slathered in cream cheese frosting? The flavour of the cake is quite delicate and you can pick a slight chocolatey taste but the colour totally throws you off. Surprisingly the texture of the cake was just as good three days after baking - perhaps even better.

I don't think I'll be making Red Velvet Cake again other than for novelty value but it was definitely a fun challenge to be part of and I enjoyed making something something that has a bit of history to it. I'm looking forward to what's in store for next month.


breadchick said...

Wow! Your cake was nice and red! Nice job on a not familiar cake and I agree 1000% about bad and rancid nuts. BLAHH!

Brilynn said...

The icing was definitely the best part, I think I ate more icing than cake!

Freya and Paul said...

Looks great! I agree with Bri, the icing was delicious!

Mary said...

Looks wonderful. I agree that it's a fun cake to make.

Helene said...

Looks so yummy. I love big fat cake layers...! The texture of the cake is really good. The frosting makes you wish you had leftover to spread on toast!

Lis said...

Marvelous! I love the deep dark color you got and those big thick layers of cake and frosting.. *swoon*

Also.. uhmm.. my hand is raised high!


Quellia said...

That looks wonderful! I have a spoon - any left over icing? :-)

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Yours is mile high beautiful!
I'd sure nix bad nuts.

Ivonne said...

Welcome to the club, Morven! That cake is a great debut. It looks gorgeous!

valentina said...

Morvern, your icing is great. i can never get it to be decent. I shall be icing my cake fairly soon and i am dreading the look of it.

Peabody said...

I too would eat carboard with cream cheese frosting on top. Your cake looks great.

Canadian Baker said...

Sweet cake Morven! It looks like it tasted great even without the nuts. :)

barbie2be said...

nummy, nummy, nummy... i love me some red velvet cake!

Elle said...

Three layer and so beautiful! This looks like the ultimate cake for a down home diner with perfect icing and so high and red. This would be a hit in the South and that's a high compliment.

veron said...

I love the cream cheese frosting swirls. Makes it look extremely decadent!

sandi @ the whistlestop cafe said...

Being from the south I know something about red velvet cake...You should have made me the judge. In fact if you would like to put a piece in the mail~