Saturday, October 9, 2010

Red Velvet Cake ~ Let the Celebrations Begin!

(Okay....finally! We cut the cake! Scroll down to see... I'll comment on it in comments below!)

My husband's parents just returned back to the states after traveling through Europe and taking a Mediterranean cruise! They're staying with us for one night before heading back home. The brief visit provides the opportunity for us to celebrate with them.... all three birthdays happening this month!

My husband's, my daughter's and my son's, "special day" all fall into the second half of October! (Not to mention our wedding anniversary and Halloween!) So, I can guarantee two things for sure...this is just the first of many celebrations to come and November 1st is sure to find us...a few pounds heavier!

Last night, my husband and I baked this Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting while listening to music and sipping wine.

Arguably the most perfect way to begin any weekend....

Red Velvet Cake, The Joy of Baking

2 1/2 cups (250 grams) sifted cake flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons (15 grams) regular or Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk
2 tablespoons liquid red food coloring
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 - 8 ounce (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
1 - 8 ounce (227 grams) tub of Mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (115 grams) confectioners' (icing or powdered) sugar, sifted
1 1/2 (360 ml) cups heavy whipping cream

Red Velvet Cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Butter two - 9 inch (23 cm) round cake pans and line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl sift together the flour, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside.

In bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until soft (about 1-2 minutes). Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.

In a measuring cup whisk the buttermilk with the red food coloring. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk to the butter mixture, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour.

In a small cup combine the vinegar and baking soda. Allow the mixture to fizz and then quickly fold into the cake batter.

Working quickly, divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans and smooth the tops with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 25 - 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Place a wire rack on top of the cake pan and invert, lifting off the pan.

Once the cakes have completely cooled, wrap in plastic and place the cake layers in the refrigerator for at least an hour (or overnight). (This is done to make filling and frosting the cakes easier.)

Cream Cheese Frosting: In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and mascarpone cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla and confectioners sugar and beat until smooth. Using the whisk attachment, gradually add the heavy cream and whip until the frosting is thick enough to spread. Add more sugar or cream as needed to get the right consistency.

With a serrated knife, cut each cake layer in half, horizontally. You will now have four cake layers. Place one of the cake layers, top of the cake facing down, onto your serving platter. Spread the cake layer with a layer of frosting. Place another layer of cake on top of the frosting and continue to frost and stack the cake layers. Frost the top and sides of the cake. Can garnish the cake with sweetened or unsweetened coconut


Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

Oh would you cut the darn thing already? I'm dyin' to see how pretty it is inside! I need to try to make a red velvet cake again, last time I tried was many, many, oh so many years ago. And the results were meh at best. However I knew next to nothing about how to cook back then so I need to try again :) So cut the cake and make me drool even more so I have no choice but to bake :)

Unknown said...

I KNOW! Almost 5:30 my time and still no cutting. These kids are never going to go to bed tonight...

We're anxious to see how it turns out as we have never made it before...

I'll let you all know... :)

laurie said...

I can't wait to see it either! I'll be back......

Cindy Ellison said...

What I would give right now for a piece of your cake with a cup of coffee!

The cake was a masterpiece! The recipe was impressive, had not seen that exact frosting recipe before. It has to be delicious!

Unknown said...

Um, if there is one thing that we would want it is a Red Velvet Cake! Waiting to see the pics of the inside.

Syd said...

Red Velvet is my FAVORITE!

C'mon and give us the upskirt pics!!

Clint said...

Beautiful cake and recipe. But for me, the real story is the fact that my wife has fixated on your blog post and has talked about NOTHING except your cake! Even woke up at 2:30 this morning talking about it. You have mesmerized my wife. LOL.

Joanne said...

Red velvet cake is my absolute favorite. I can't WAIT to see what the inside of this baby looks like. Happy birthday to everyone and happy anniversary!

Unknown said...

Thanks all!

The cake was very good and everyone loved it, but I thought maybe a wee bit on the dry side. It's possible we overcooked it a bit. I was looking for more of a super silky, moist texture...but remember too, I am not a baker! :) husband added a drop of BLUE food dye to the red b/c he thought it looked too PINK - so the inside turned out a reddish purple.

Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

Hooray its been cut! And its purty :) LOL about the blue food coloring that your hubby added, it is a little purplely, not a bad thing necessarily. Sorry its dry, I tend to overbake cakes too. the one I made ages ago was really dry, too. Regardless of its dry status the red layers are sure pretty with the white frosting :) thanks for cutting it (finally LOL) and posting pix :) You totally ROCK!

Katerina said...

This is such a coincidence. you have a month full of celebrations. Happy birthday to all. I am sure this cake is a nice way to celebrate along with your in-laws

chow and chatter said...

oh thats a fun thing to do with the hubby

Magic of Spice said...

Gorgeous cake! Wow this must be a busy month for you...Happy Birthday to you family :)

Nuts about Food said...

I love that you and hubby made this together! Really, what a promising start to a great week end together. The cake is a beauty. Happy birthday and wedding anniversary to all!

Erin said...

I think the color is perfect! The addition of the blue was great. The icing looks yummy! Red velvet cake is my favorite of all time!

Simply Life said...

Oh what a beautiful cake!

Nirmala said...

I have yet to try a good tasting red velvet cake and yours looks lovely. I should have known the Joy of Cooking would have a great recipe.