Red Velvet Excursion
Posted Sat, 12/24/11
I'm probably one of the worst baker's on the planet. Truly. Give me savory fare to prepare, and I'm never at a loss. Cakes, cookies, pies and other sweets are just not my area of comfort or even marginal expertise.
Duncan Hines sells a boxed red velvet cake, which I've been wanting to try for a few weeks. One layer is bad enough, but the red velvet has two. I don't like cherries in syrup, so I decided to strike them from the preparation.
I wanted to do something different with the cake, so I halved one container of vanilla cream frosting. I slowly melted six mini-chocolate bars (brand Hershey from Halloween), and then blended it with one half of the vanilla frosting.
After the two cake layers baked and cooled, I frosted the bottom half with the pure vanilla frosting. I placed the second layer on top, spreading it with the vanilla/melted chocolate mixed frosting. For an extra touch, I adorned the top with sliced almonds.
The layers were lopsided (one side leaned more than the other, see photos above). I tried to cover up the slanted feel with extra frosting. Yes, it's the story of my baking life.
Aside from how my red velvet excursion appears, the taste was divine.
Try this "from scratch" recipe:
Red Velvet Cake
1/2 C unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2 C sugar
2 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder
2 TBS brewed coffee
1 TBS red food coloring
1 C buttermilk
1 tsp. baking soda
2 C flour
1 tsp. salt
White or cream cheese frosting
Sliced almonds (for garnish)
Preheat oven to 325-degrees F. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans. Cream the butter in a large bowl until fluffy; add sugar and beat until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well. Add cocoa, coffee and coloring; beat to mix. Set aside. Whisk the buttermilk and baking soda together in a small bowl; set aside. Sift flour and salt together in a small bowl; add to the creamed butter mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture, beating gently with each addition. Pour batter into prepared cake pans. Bake thirty-five to forty minutes, or until toothpick inserted in middle of each cakes comes out clean. Cool in pans for fifteen minutes. Remove cake from pans and cool completely. Spread frosting between layers of cake and over surface. Sprinkle sliced almonds on top for garnish. Slice and serve.