Friday, September 17, 2010

Red Velvet Cake

Between red velvet and baileys cake I don't know which one seems to be the bigger phenomenon, they both seem to be all the buzz right now along with a few other drink inspired cake flavors but my focus for today will be the beloved red velvet cake. I am a seasoned red velvet baker and already had my go to recipe that I tweaked slightly from baking 911, but my cake never came out as red as I saw it in the bakeries and that baffled me. I kept reducing the amount of cocoa in the recipe I had for it to take on a brighter red color but it always came out a maroon hued. But the flavor was there and I liked it but friends of mine didn't seem to think it was red velvet cake because it was so dark. To my knowledge red velvet cake should be on the maroon colored side instead of a bright red if it is indeed supposed to be a cocoa based cake. But while doing my research on different recipes it seems that the brightest of red velvets are not cocoa based caked but vanilla cakes with a touch of cocoa powder and heaps of red food coloring. And by no means am I bashing red velvet cake, I think its a beautiful presentation cake but what is its flavor profile or its claim to fame? To me its just a buttermilk cake dyed red for show...but hey whatever makes people happy right? So last week in my search to make that "perfect" red velvet cake that I see in bakeries I stumbled across a recipe at  Joy of Baking. The recipe she uses is "the one" and I paired it with the frosting she suggested from the Waldorf Astoria Hotel cookbook. I had my own cream cheese frosting but I really waited to try her marscapone cheese frosting. Making this cake was fairly easy and the only new step was making the bubbly concoction of vinegar and baking soda to add to the cake batter after mixing. The next day when i leveled the cake to make my layers I knew I found the perfect recipe. The color, taste, and texture of the cake was unbelievably good. The frosting recipe was easy to make as well. It was my first time making a whip cream based frosting at home and I was only hoping that it would not deflate after a couple hours. When I finished mixing the frosting and I tasted was also a prefect 10. Personally I will try to make the frosting a little more stiff for my liking but I could tell it would hit a home run with certain people because it was not heavy or overly sweet like the typical powder sugar cream cheese frosting's. My family loved the cake and my sister demolished it by herself in a days time! This is definitely a cake I would stick with because it is a crowd pleaser.

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