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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Baking Away...



I'm a huge fan of the guys from Baked. I posted their amazing sweet and salty caramel cake here a few months ago. Their book is filled with modern takes on nostalgic desserts. Today is my husband's birthday and he made a special request for red velvet cake. I'll be taking a crack at their recipe today. Luckily, I have the help of my little pastry sous chef sons! I'll let you know how it turns out!

Recipe courtesy of Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito.

YIELDS
One 8-inch cake

INGREDIENTS
Red Hot Velvet Cake Layers:
1/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons red gel food coloring (see note below)
1/4 cup boiling water
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, at room temperature
1 2/3 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon fine salt
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda

Cinnamon Frosting:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, soft but cool, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Decoration:
Red Hots (cinnamon imperials) candies

PREPARATION

Red Hot Velvet Cake Layers:

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment paper, and butter the parchment. Dust with flour, and knock out the excess flour.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, food coloring, and boiling water. Set aside to cool. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and shortening until smooth. Scrape down the bowl and add the sugar. Beat until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

3. Stir the buttermilk and vanilla into the cooled cocoa mixture. Sift the flour and salt together into another medium bowl. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture, alternating with the cocoa mixture, to the egg mixture in three separate additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat until incorporated. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and baking soda and stir until the baking soda dissolves; the mixture will fizz. Add to the batter and stir until just combined.

4. Divide the batter among the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean, about 30 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the rack, remove the pans, and let cool completely. Remove the parchment.

Cinnamon Frosting:

1. In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the sugar and flour together. Add the milk and cream and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened, about 20 minutes.

2. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed until cool. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter; beat until thoroughly incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and cinnamon and continue mixing until combined. If the frosting is too soft, transfer the bowl to the refrigerator to chill slightly, then beat again until it is the proper consistency. If the frosting is too firm, place the bowl over a pot of simmering water and beat with a wooden spoon until it is the proper consistency.

Assemble the cake: Place one cooled cake layer on a serving platter. Trim the top to create a flat surface and evenly spread about 1 1/4 cups of the frosting on top. Top with the next layer, trim and frost the top, then add the third layer. Put the cake in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to firm up the frosting. Frost the sides and top with the remaining frosting. Garnish the cake with the Red Hots and refrigerate again for 15 minutes.

Note: Resist the urge to add extra food coloring to this recipe to achieve a redder cake. Subtlety is a virtue here. The purpose is not to turn the cake or the tongues of the cake eaters a radioactive color. The red in this recipe should be sly, smoky, bricklike, and restrained.

13 comments:

Carla Cavellucci Landi said...

I love red velvet cake, but never got not even a subtle red on it, no matter how much or which food colorant (organic or regular) I put on it! I must try your recipe!

6Everetts said...

Gorgeous!! I usually think of red velvet as merely a vehicle for cream cheese frosting, not that there's anything wrong with that, but I'll have to try it with the cinnamon too - what a wonderful idea!

Anonymous said...

looks awesome

my spatula said...

happy birthday to your husband (i'm a fellow pisces)! red velvet is still all the craze, isn't it? just beautiful.

Keisha - Cupcake Wishes & Birthday Dreams said...

I totally agree with not making it super red. I've made a super red cake before from my grandmother's recipe and even though hers is SUPA DUPA good - I think I like mine better (tee-hee)....and I've gotten lots of compliments on it. So I less is more! :)

Keisha - Cupcake Wishes & Birthday Dreams said...

I totally agree with not making it super red. I've made a super red cake before from my grandmother's recipe and even though hers is SUPA DUPA good - I think I like mine better (tee-hee)....and I've gotten lots of compliments on it. So I less is more! :)

Anonymous said...

The red velvet cake recipe my mom always made called for 5 of those little plastic bottles of food coloring. Gross! I think this recipe looks wonderful and won't taste like "red lake 40" and cream cheese. Thanks for sharing!

lisa golightly said...

I have never eaten much less made Red Velvet cake. Think it's time I change that. Thank you for the recipe. Have fun today !

Julie said...

I have an award for you at my blog: growingyourgrassgreener.blogspot.com

Julie

Tonkta said...

The Red Velvet Recipe is AWESOME and Best, from Baked No Frontier in NYC. I do use this recipe for my Red Velvet Cake baking for my clients as well. Try it you will love it! And your link and works are awesome - two thumbs up!

Hello Lover... said...

Please share how it turns out - I love red velvet but have never found a really great recipe!

Red Velvet Confections said...

Your recipe sounds interesting with the cinnamon and red hots. I've never seen or heard of that. I have a tried and true Red Velvet Cake recipe that my family loves and I feel secure enough with it to stay loyal to it. I hope your husband will be pleased and that you and your sous chef enjoy your time baking together.

Noelle said...

Red Velvet Cake is my all time favorite!!! I can't wait t try your recipe! Thanks for posting.

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