Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Red Velvet Cake

It has been quite a while since my last post. I had planned to write this post long back, but then with the arrival of the festive season I decided to take a break away from blogging.

My husband's birthday was in October. Every year I bake a cake for him; last year I made a carrot cake. This year on multiple occasions he had expressed his liking of Red Velvet Cake, so I decided to make one for him. I asked my colleague Liz for her suggestions (she makes amazing cakes). Anyone who follows me on Instagram must have seen that I keep posting photos of cakes & baked goodies made by her. She referred me to Bobby Flay's recipe of red velvet cake from food network. You can find the recipe here. I have described the step-by-step process of this recipe, with some changes of my own. The cake came out really well; it was moist, fluffy and lightly sweet. It tasted great & my husband loved it! I posted a photo of it on my facebook page and everyone commented that it looked just great! I was so happy!

As I was planning to bake the cake after work hours in the evening, so I started with the preparation a day earlier. On the first day I baked two 9" cakes, assembled them and added a thin layer of frosting (called crumb coat) all over the cakes. This crumb coating process helps you avoid unwanted mixing of cake crumbs with the frosting, so that the final presentation looks clean. If you want, you can cut each cake in 2 layers so that will make a total of 4 layers. But my husband does not like too much of frosting, so I applied a very thin layer of frosting in between the 2 cakes. Next I stored the cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator overnight. If you plan to make the complete cake on the same day, you can refrigerate the cake for a couple of hours and then continue with the next steps. On the second day, I applied the final frosting. To give it a rustic look I added a layer of frosting all over the cake and then dabbed it with a spoon. It looked stunning! For the final presentation I dusted the top with the cake crumbs (which I have saved from the previous day) using a sieve.

For Cake:
All Purpose Flour - 3 & 3/4 Cups
Cocoa Powder - 3 Tbsp
Baking Soda - 1 & 1/2 Tsp
Kosher Salt - 1/2 Tsp
Unsalted Butter (At Room Temp.) - 12 Tbsp
Vegetable Oil - 3/4 Cups
Eggs (At Room Temp.) - 3 (Large)
Granulated Sugar - 2 & 1/4 Cups
Vanilla Extract - 1 & 1/2 Tsp
Distilled White Vinegar - 1 & 1/2 Tsp
Red Food Color Gel - 1 Tbsp (I used Wilton Icing Color)
Buttermilk (At Room Temp.) - 1 & 1/2 Cups

For Frosting:
Cream Cheese (At Room Temp.) - 16 oz
Unsalted Butter (At Room Temp.) - 16 Tbsp
Vanilla Extract - 1 & 1/2 Tsp
Kosher Salt - 1 Pinch
Lemon Juice - 1 Tbsp
Confectioners' Sugar - 5 cups

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
We will need two 9-inch round cake pans. Butter these pans well.
Next line the pan bottoms with parchment paper, then butter the parchment paper and flour the pans.
I used PAM non stick cooking spray with flour which worked very nicely as the cakes came out from the pan smoothly and quite easily.

For Cake:
In a bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together. Mix them well and keep aside.
Beat butter, vegetable oil and sugar until fluffy and light in color (scraping down the sides as needed). Add the eggs, one at a time until mixed well.
Add the vanilla extract, vinegar and red food color gel into it and mix well.
Next add the flour mixture and the buttermilk in 2 or 3 portions, folding well until combined. (I did this step using a spatula.)
Divide the batter evenly into the 2 cake pans.
Bake until the cakes spring back when lightly touched, 40 to 50 minutes.
Let the cakes cool for 10 minutes in the pans.
Next remove the cakes from the pan and cool them completely over a wire rack.

For Frosting:
Beat the cream cheese well.
Next mix the butter, vanilla, salt and lemon juice into it and beat until fluffy.
Add sugar into it and beat until very fluffy. Keep it in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Thinly cut off the top of both cakes to make it a little flat (save the crumbs). Spread small portion of frosting on one cake. You can add more if you want a thick layer of cream cheese frosting between the cake layers. Spread the layer evenly on the cake. Now place the other cake on it upside down, so that the flat bottom of the top cake faces up. Spread a thin layer of frosting evenly all over the cake to finish a crumb coat. Now keep the cake in an airtight container and refrigerate it for at least a couple of hours.

Finally, spread the remaining frosting evenly, over and around the entire cake. Using a sieve spread the saved cake crumbs on the top of cake. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.