Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Red Velvet: Happy Birthday Dad & Cinco de Mayo!

It's my Dad's birthday!!! Did you wish him a happy one? I didn't think so. My dad is awesome, truly awesome, and for his birthday, he deserves the best. Now, what I think is the best may differ than many of you, but I don't think you can top cake (and ice cream)-- especially on a birthday. Yes, I could have dipped my toes into tiramisu or attempt the Greek favorite, baklava, but I wanted something I knew I could pull off.. and something special.

I don't know how many of you tuned in for my last rendition of red velvet cake, but it was a complete disaster. Apart from not having food coloring, I didn't have buttermilk, cake flour or vanilla extract. C'mon, Jessie! You can't make a cake without the right ingredients. I was too lazy to drive out and get them, so I got crapped on by red velvet. Or grey murky velvet. So, here is my new and improved version, finally (adapted from made with love (and a lot of food coloring) for my POPS!!!!!!!!

What ya need:
2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour (sift it before measuring, and again with the other dry ingredients!)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder (unsweetened)
2 oz. red food coloring (yes, it's a LOT but so necessary!)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. The original recipe calls for buttering and flouring two 9-inch round cake pans or three 8-inch round cake pans. This didn't work for me. PLEASE PLEASE cut out parchment paper and line your pans! Preserve the cake! It's tender :)
 Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside. (I know you love my ghetto sifter!)
In a small bowl, mix food coloring and cocoa powder to form a thin paste without lumps; set aside. It takes a bit of patience to work these two together, but it's well worth it.

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. Yum... Looks so pretty 
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. Make sure the cocoa is totally mixed in!
Okay... get your cake pans ready and close-by. In a small bowl, mix vinegar and baking soda. It's going to fizz, don't worry. Add it to the cake batter and stir well to combine. Divide batter evenly between the cake pans and place them in a preheated 350 degree oven. 
While it's baking, clean up your mess. If you're like me, there is a lot of mess to go around. It's important you don't wear your Sunday best while making this cake. It'll get destroyed.
Bake for 25-30 minutes. Check early, cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Or... when cake slightly bounces back if you press the top of it down lightly.
 Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. To remove the cakes from the pan, place a wire rack on top of the cake pan and invert, then gently lift the pan. Allow cakes to cool completely before frosting.

Let me reiterate. LET THE CAKES COOL COMPLTETELY BEFORE FROSTING!!!!!! But when they do, frost on the cream cheese icing (recipe below).

Cream Cheese Frosting
16 oz. cream cheese (2 packages), softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter (one stick), softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
pinch of salt
With an electric mixer, blend together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Turn mixer to low speed and blend in powdered sugar, salt and vanilla extract. Turn mixer on high and beat until light and fluffy.
Look everyone loves cake!!
Use immediately or refrigerate, covered, until ready to use. If refrigerated, the frosting will need to be brought to room temperature before using (after frosting softens up, beat with mixer until smooth).

I also tried some piping to make the sides look a little prettier. If I had more icing, I would have piped the perimeter closer to the plate. Still looks pretty-OK to me! Smells great too. Try not to eat all the icing before you frost your cake. 
Looks like a success to me... oh, and dad.

Til next time!! Peace n' Luv.


Rick said...

More the merrier for food coloring! That looks great, the strawberries are a nice touch.

Noelle said...

Wow red velvet cake... haven't had that in so long! Looks delicious :]

-Noelle xO

The Chocolate Priestess said...

One of my consistent complaints about red velvet anything is that the dye can easily over power the chocolate. How was the balance between dye and cocoa here when you ate it?

Mackenzie @ The Caramel Cookie said...

Yesterday was my dad's birthday as well! Only I didn't bake him a cake....I didn't even bake him anything :(! The cake looks great!

Jessie -- The Messie Kitchen said...

Actually it was great... I definitely am a chocolate person so this has a much milder flavor but I don't think the food coloring interfered at all!