I am yet to meet anyone who does not like Red Velvet Cake (RVC). RVC is a cake with either a dark red, bright red of red-brown color. It is traditionally prepared as a layered cake topped with cream cheese. I have made his cake “a million times” using different recipes. By far, I have achieved the best results using a recipe by Stephanie Jaworski of joyofbaking. In this post, I document the process of making RVC using that recipe with my personal notes and experiences which I hope will be beneficial to you.
(1) 250 Grams Cake Flour (About 2 Cups + 1 Heap Tablespoon)
(2) 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
(3) 15 Grams Cocoa Powder (2 Tablespoons)
(4) 113 Grams Unsalted Butter (1/2 Cup)
(5) 300 Grams Granulated White Sugar (1-1/2 Cups)
(6) 2 Large Eggs
(7) 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
(8) 1 Cup Buttermilk
(9) 2 Tablespoons Liquid Red Food Color
(10) 1 Teaspoon White Distilled Vinegar
(11) 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
A Few Notes: (1) Though the original recipe calls for 2-1/2 cups of cake flour, I realized that the measurement is a bit off as 2-1/2 cups of cake flour would amount to 300 grams which will be too much flour for this cake. (2) This recipe also calls for buttermilk. It is essential that you use buttermilk for this recipe as regular milk will not yield the same results. You can buy buttermilk wherever you buy milk. You can also make your own buttermilk this way. Finally, you can add 1 tablespoon of distilled vinegar to a cup and top it off with milk until you get a full cup. Let this stand for 10 minutes and you would have sour milk which is a workable substitute for buttermilk. (3) The recipe also uses cake flour which makes this cake light.
This makes 2 cakes which can be halved and sandwiched together to produce a 4 layered cake.
(1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
(2) Grease and line the bottom of two 8″ or 9″ cake pans with parchment paper.
(3) In a large bowl, mix together the cake flour, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.
(4) In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until it is soft and creamy. About 2 minutes.
Note: Make sure your butter is a room temperature so that it can cream properly. Your eggs and buttermilk should also be at room temperature.
(5) With the mixer running on low speed, add the sugar, increase the speed to medium and cream the butter and sugar together, about 3 minutes. Make use of a rubber spatula every now and then to ensure that the butter is not sticking to the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl. You will notice that the resulting mix will be more grainy than creamy. This is due to the high sugar to butter ratio.
(6) After creaming the sugar and butter, add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. Do not forget to mix the batter with your spatula to ensure that it is properly mixed. Do not add all your eggs at once as this will make the mixture coddle.
(7) Add the vanilla extract and mix until combined.
(8) In a measuring cup or bowl, mix the red food coloring together with the buttermilk.
Note: The redness of the cake is a direct reflection of the type and quantity of red food color that you use. Make sure you make use of a food color perfect for RVCs. I make use of a Red Velvet Bakery Emulsion by Lorann Professional Kitchen. It works very well and also improves the flavor of the cake.
(9) With the mixer running at low speed, add the flour and buttermilk mixtures in 5 additions (Flour, buttermilk, flour, buttermilk, flour).
Note: Do not add it all at once as this will lead to over mixing and thus a dense cake. Do not over mix the batter after adding the last bit of flour. Any unincorporated flour can be mixed into the batter with a rubber spatula.
(10) The next step has to be done fairly quickly. Place the baking soda in a small bowl and pour in the white vinegar. You will notice a fizz. Mix them together and immediately mix this into the cake batter.
Note: The cake gets its texture and rise from the baking soda and vinegar mixture. The vinegar starts reacting as soon as it comes in contact with the soda so you must work quickly from then on.
(11) Divide the batter into your prepared pans, level with a spatula and bake in a preheated oven for about 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Note: Do not over bake this cake (or any cake for that matter). When the cake is ready, you will notice that it will start pulling away from the sides of the pan. For best results, in the middle rack of your oven. If they both cannot fit into 1 rack, place two racks on the top and last third of the oven and bake a cake on each rack.
Remove the cakes from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes before taking the cakes out of the pans. Allow the cakes to cool completely, cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for it to chill before frosting. Do not attempt to frost the cakes without chilling as they would tear.
Traditionally, RVC is frosted with a cream cheese frosting. The cream cheese frosting used is usually mixed with whipped cream to make it light. I personally enjoy my RVC with traditional cream cheese frosting as I feel the whipped cream waters down the taste. The recipe for a traditional cream cheese frosting can be found here.
You can also use the RVC to make Red Velvet and Cognac Truffles. The recipe for the truffles can be found here.
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