...recipe search is over. That's what I mean. I have tried a few recipes and this is the best one yet. This recipe makes the most perfect of perfect cakes.
My daughter loves red velvet cake and it has been her choice for her birthday for a few years now. I have been using a different recipe each time I make it because I am still unsatisfied with the outcome. Mind you, it is always "sold out". Maybe I am not a big fan of red velvet cake though I seriously want to be. It is so pretty in looks and in name but the flavour leaves me wanting for more of something that I can't put my finger on. The vibrant red colour probably fools my taste buds into thinking that it has a red flavour. The cocoa is in such a small amount that it doesn't really come out as its flavour.
This recipe by Divas Can Cook stood out amongst the rest. I was instantly interested. Their secret ingredient? Coffee! Yes, hot coffee. Cocoa plus coffee equals mocha, right? Not when the colour is bright red. Again, it is the psychology of colours. But never mind what it should taste like, it tastes fabulous! It is very moist and has a lot of flavour. The crumb is perfect.
I don't know if you'll approve of what I did next. I know that it already has enough flavour but I really wanted a deeper affirmation of chocolate without adding too much cocoa powder to the cake. I coated the top of each layer with chocolate ganache and that took it to another level of yumminess without diverting the flavour from that of a red velvet cake. In fact it remained unnoticed until I pointed it out. It is that thin line that divides cloud 9 and heaven. Of course the snow white fluffy cream cheese frosting is, shall we say, "the icing on the cake". I used my own favourite recipe for cream cheese frosting and that just tied everything up. All in all, the red velvet cake layers plus the satiny chocolate ganache topped with the creamy cheese frosting makes a cake that's to die for.
Cake recipe by Divas Can Cook.
Ingredients for the cake layers:
2 c. plain flour
1 tsp. of baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsps. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 c. sugar
1 c. vegetable oil
1 c. buttermilk
2 tsps. vanilla extract
1-2 oz. red food colouring (I used 2 1/4 tsp. of gel food colouring)
1 tsp. distilled white vinegar
1/2 c. of prepared plain hot coffee (don't skip this ingredient)
Pre-heat the oven to 325° F/ 170° C.
Grease and flour two 9" cake pans. I lined the pans with baking paper. Since it is a moist cake, it sticks a bit so prepare the pans well.
In a mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt.
Mix the sugar and vegetable oil in another bowl. If using gel food colouring, add it in at this stage. You might want to temper the colour (mine's too red, I think). Add in the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and food colouring. Stir before adding the coffee and vinegar. Blend everything together.
Use a large mixing bowl to combine all the ingredients together. Put about a quarter of the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl. Add the wet ingredients gradually, alternating with the dry ingredients, mixing after each addition just until combined. The batter will quite liquid.
Divide the mixture equally between the two prepared pans.
Bake for 30-40 minutes or when a cake tester comes out clean. Do not over bake.
Invert on cooling racks. When the pans are just warm, run a knife around the edges to loosen the cakes. Invert onto the cooling racks, peel the lining paper off and leave to cool completely.
Prepare the chocolate ganache and frosting.
Ingredients for the chocolate ganache:
1/2 c. double cream
50 gms. of plain chocolate chips or chopped plain chocolate
Heat the double cream in a saucepan or in a microwave. It needs to become hot but does not need to boil. Take off the heat and add in the chocolate. Stir until smooth.
Refrigerate to cool and thicken. When it is of spreading consistency, it is ready for use.
I used both cake layers upside down to make a more level cake. Spread half of the ganache on each cake layer and refrigerate to set before frosting.
Ingredients for the cream cheese frosting:
300 mls. whipping cream or double cream
1 1/2 c. cream cheese
1 c. confectioners sugar
Note: The fat content of cream differs from country to country. To remedy runny icing: Whip soft room temperature butter (about 1/4 c.) and add in the icing a little at time while whisking. Adding more sugar will make it runnier. Chill icing before using.
If using double cream, follow these instructions.
Whip the cream until thick and fluffy. Do not over beat. Add in the cream cheese and the confectioners sugar. Whisk again until all combined.
Lay one cake layer on a cake plate. Tuck in strips of baking paper under the cake edges to keep the plate clean.
Use 1 c. of frosting to fill the bottom cake layer then top with the other cake layer. Use the rest of the frosting to ice the whole cake.
Decorate as you like. I used white chocolate buttons which I microwaved for a few seconds. When slightly melted, I sprinkled sugar glitters. I refrigerated this to set. I topped the cake with these buttons and sprinkled sugar pearls.
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