No blog is complete without the glamorous red velvet cake and cream cheese frosting. So here is my version or rather my adaptation of Hershey’s red velvet cake recipe to add to the millions of red velvets out there. I tasted red velvet cake for the first time at Cupcake Company in Chennai and I was smitten. The cream cheese frosting is really one of the most elegant frostings out there, so delicately tangy and sweet, I loved it. It was love at first bite. I made a heart-shaped red velvet cake for Valentine’s Day. Now, before you call me names for being kitschy, I need to tell you.
We are a very in-expressive, un-romantic pair, my husband and I; we cannot act sweet/romantic. We just can’t, quite like Surya in “Mounam Pesiyadhe”. We don’t celebrate month/week/day anniversaries of when we met, when we said those dreadful 3 words (we didn’t say those at all), when we first went out together, when we kicked each other, when he first lied, when I first hung up on him etc. We don’t “like” each other’s posts on facebook, we don’t post mushy messages and lovey dovey pictures, we don’t call each other “Honey/baby/dear/Other awful names” (Yuck!) and we hate PDA (public display of affection).
Squirrel’s love bite at the right top corner
I wanted to bake red velvet cake for quite some time and Valentine’s Day was coming up. Nothing like a combo-deal! I had to mix the two. My husband was mighty flattered, except that the one thing he had to do, he screwed up. He only had to remove the cake out of the oven, that’s it. But then he left the cake right there to cool in the baking room upstairs (yeah I have a separate baking room, not because our house is too big, but because our kitchen is too small) and our fuzzy squirrel friends had to have a bite. I took it as a compliment.
I adapted Hershey’s red velvet cake recipe and changed the amount of salt and red food colouring. I used the tomato red food colour powder that comes in tiny boxes and is available in most department stores. I used one box entirely which contains roughly one tablespoon of food colour. The cake came out really well and I was really pleased with the results. It keeps very well refrigerated, for at-least a week. I had enough cream cheese frosting to fill and frost the heart-shaped cake and 9 red velvet cup-cakes and was still left over with extra frosting, which I used to frost another batch of 9 carrot cup-cakes (coming soon).
Preparation time: 20 mins Cooking time: 30 mins – 1.5 hours Serves: 15-17
All purpose flour (Maida) – 2 cups Cocoa powder – 1/3 cup Butter – 1/2 cup softened Sugar – 1-1/2 cups Eggs – 2 Vanilla extract – 1 tsp Buttermilk – 1 cup Red food colour – 1 tbsp Baking soda – 1-1/2 tsp Salt – ¼ tsp White distilled Vinegar – 1 tbsp
1.Pre-heat oven to 180 degree Celsius. Grease and line baking pans. I baked one heart shaped cake and 9 medium sized cupcakes. You could use two 9 inch round cake pans instead.
2.To make buttermilk, add one tablespoon white distilled vinegar and enough milk to make 1 cup. Stir and let stand for 15 minutes. Add red food colour to the buttermilk and mix well. Set aside.
3.Beat butter and sugar in a bowl. Beat eggs and vanilla in a separate bowl till pale and light – 3-4 minutes.
4.Sift together flour, cocoa and salt.
5.Add flour and buttermilk mixture alternately to the butter mixture, mixing well after each addition. Add baking soda to vinegar. Stir and add the vinegar mixture to the cake batter. Tip the batter into the prepared pans. Use an ice cream scoop to spoon batter into cupcake pans to make uniformly sized cupcakes.
6.Bake cupcakes for 30 minutes. The heart-shaped cake took me around 1-1/2 hours. Check cakes frequently to ensure they’re done.
7.For the frosting, beat butter till soft. Add cream cheese and beat well for 4-5 minutes. Add vanilla and mix well. Add confectioner’s sugar one-third at a time and beat well till soft and the right consistency. Spread or pipe on cakes and serve.
No cake of mine has ever been done by the baking times that I find in recipes. It always takes longer. I don’t know if it is my oven or it’s just me. So I always start checking the cake after the first 20 minutes or so.