A magic, chocolately-chocolate cake where an amazing chemical reaction turned cocoa into a roaring red – there are so many stories about the origins of this enticing cake.
James Beard's 1972 reference American Cookery describes three red velvet cakes varying in the amounts of shortening and butter. All use red food colouring, but the reaction of acidic vinegar and buttermilk tends to better reveal the red anthocyanin in the cocoa. Before more alkaline "Dutch Processed" cocoa was widely available, the red colour would have been more pronounced. This natural tinting may have been the source for the name "Red Velvet" as well as "Devil's Food" and similar names for chocolate cakes. While foods were rationed during World War II, bakers used boiled beets to enhance the colour of their cakes. Boiled grated beets or beet baby food are found in some red velvet cake recipes, where they also serve to retain moisture.
Waldorf=Astoria Red Velvet Cake
For the cake:
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cans (12 ounces) canned beets, drained and pureed
1 teaspoon red food colouring
For the icing:
2 cups heavy cream
12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
12 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
For the cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt chocolate in a metal bowl and set over a saucepan of boiling water or in the top of a double boiler. (Or, melt in a microwave for 20-30 seconds.)
Meanwhile, place sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla in the bowl and mix for about one minute on low speed.
In a mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients to egg mixture and continue to mix on low speed until well incorporated. Add melted chocolate and mix on low speed. Add pureed beets and food colouring. Continue to mix on low speed until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.
Divide batter evenly among three greased and floured pans and bake for 20-25 minutes or until cake springs back when touched, or when toothpick comes up clean.
Cool for 10 minutes in the pans and turn layers out onto rack to cool completely.
For the icing:
Pour cream into small bowl and whip to soft peaks. Refrigerate. Place cream cheese in a bowl and mix on low speed until soft and smooth. Add mascarpone and mix until combined. Add vanilla and powdered sugar and mix well. Fold in whipped cream by hand with spatula. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.
Red Velvet Cupcakes with Coconut and Cream Cheese Frosting
RED VELVET CAKE RECIPE INGREDIENTS
* 1 3/4 cups self-rising flour
* 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
* 1 1/2 cups sugar
* 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
* 2 large eggs
* 1 tablespoon red food colouring
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
* 1 cup buttermilk, divided
* 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
* 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
* 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
* 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
* 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut (about 6 ounces), divided
RED VELVET CAKE RECIPE INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners. Sift flour and cocoa into small bowl. Using electric mixer, beat 1 1/2 cups sugar and 3/4 cup butter in large bowl until smooth. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, then red food colour and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients in 3 additions alternately with 2/3 cup buttermilk in 2 additions. Make well in centre; pour in remaining 1/3 cup buttermilk, vinegar, and baking soda. When bubbles form, stir into batter.
Divide batter equally among paper liners. Bake cupcakes until tester inserted into centre comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; transfer to rack and cool completely.
Beat cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, and remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla in medium bowl until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar; fold in 1 cup flaked coconut. Spread frosting on cupcakes, leaving 1/2-inch plain border; sprinkle with remaining 1 cup coconut
Blue velvet cupcakes
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