Monday, February 16, 2009

Red Hot Velvet Cake

Second time around. I got past the Shortening Sabotage. I survived moving out of our house. I managed the cleaning of our newly vacated house. And today I tackled Red Hot Velvet Cake again. And it was sooo worth it.

Once again (and I guarantee it won't be the last time) I shall sing the praises of this book. This recipe is a lot of work. It does make for a lot of dishes to wash. And your kitchen may look more like a crime scene than anything else.

But I wouldn't call it difficult at all.

To be honest, my second attempt wasn't as red as the first (foiled--maybe from now on I'll call it "shorteninged") attempt. I'm not sure why. I used more red gel food coloring, but still not the 2 tablespoons called for in the recipe (note: the tubes of gel food coloring sold in the baking aisle don't contain a total of 2 tablespoons). I did as instructed and resisted the urge to make the cake super red. But I'm a little disappointed with the color I ended up with. It doesn't have the brick-y red color I was hoping for. Is it because the recipe calls for dark unsweetened cocoa and I couldn't find such a thing? If you have a source or suggestion for this let me know.

The frosting...where shall I start? I have been looking for ages for a buttercream frosting that doesn't require shortening or cooking sugar to some magical "soft ball" stage. The first stage of the frosting does involve cooking, but it's not delicate by any means. This may well be the one. My one and only.

In spite of the 3 sticks of butter involved, the frosting is light and fluffy. You could skip the cinnamon added to it in this recipe and just use vanilla (or some other extract) and it's a perfectly good buttercream for any kind of cake. The Pie Queen and I have many experiments to conduct involving rum.

This was (if memory serves) my first 3-layer cake. Also the first time I've crumb-coated a cake. I've always been concerned that I wouldn't end up with enough frosting for the cake. But this recipe makes the perfect amount.

I wanted to make the pretty design in the pictures in the cookbook: the top of the cake ringed with chocolate discs with red hots on top. But I couldn't figure out what to use for the chocolate discs. I contemplated using the bottom half of a chocolate kiss, but then I ate all the kisses. Wouldn't you know it, the Pie Queen had the perfect solution: semi-sweet chocolate wafers made for melting.

I melted a few to use as "glue", turned the others upside-down on the top of the cake and stuck red hots onto them. Almost picture perfect.

The recipe definitely delivers on its promise: "The buttermilk and shortening give this cake a "springy" crumb that pairs beautifully with our cinnamon frosting." What's more--Seconda ate a whole piece. Gobbled it right up. That's the sign of a good dessert.

TGIP Rating--KEEPER--find a way to make it more red and/or find some dark unsweetened cocoa. Try this buttercream frosting recipe without cinnamon on other cakes.

Next up: An ancient family secret: Wine Cake.

P.S. If someone can figure out where I can buy NEW Tupperware tubs like the one pictured above, I'll owe you. Big.


Heidi said...

If the lids or the tubs are somehow damaged, Tupperware has a lifetime replacement guarantee. We've contacted them about pitchers, bowls, and lids, and they've sent replacements and only charged us for shipping. It's worth looking into. Also, I've used Wilton paste coloring with pretty good red results. Is that the same as gel colors?

April Fossen said...

I don't know about the paste coloring. I'll have to try that next time. Unfortunately, with the Tupperware, I'm not replacing anything. I just want the big giant tubs that last forever like the Pie Queen has. Maybe I could lie? And say I need replacements? Hm. That would make me a liar with good flour tubs.

Heidi said...

eBay? Maybe you could find some there. I'll keep my eye out.