This Geeky Kitchen | Adventures in Red Velvet

WE’VE another wee friend with us today – they’re not just for school purposes!

Red Velvet Icon

I’M rather fond of this wee chap!

I made my first Red Velvet Cake a year ago in April 2017. I’d offered to make a friends birthday cake, any kind they liked. Their favourite was Red Velvet, a cake I have never made in my life! Still, I accepted the challenge and headed straight for pinterest and Changwonderful. (If any of you who read this and live in Changwon or the surrounding area and DON’T use this site, what are you doing?! Though I’m sure you all do, which is grand!

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Please excuse the kitchen – this is all the counter space that I have!
IN Changwon we are lucky to have the lovely baking store, B Han’s. This provided me with the red food dye I needed for the cake (which I hadn’t been sure I’d find) and I set about on a trial run, much to the delight of my co-workers in my school. They have now been my guinea pigs for many an attempt or experiment and have always been ever so kind in their feedback, and not shy to inform me of their favourites! It’s a very suitable agreement! I get to bake to my hearts content, and my co-workers get to try all sorts of things!

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THE cake was a resounding success and, how I don’t know, I managed to get the actual birthday cake, made in June, all the way to Yeosu, on a bus and it the hot weather! Thankfully the icing didn’t disintegrate!

THE origins of this recipe was found through Pinterest, but I can’t for the life of me remember where exactly from. Here is my foodie Pinterest board, though it’s waaaaay down there! There’s all sorts of fun on there too, so pop off to have a gander whether you go looking for the source of this recipe or not. The recipe below isn’t a carbon copy of the original. It’s been fudged and fiddled with here and there to suit the ingredients avaliable and my own personal preferences.

LET me know if you try it out, and I hope that you enjoy it as much as it’s been enjoyed here!

Red Velvet Cake (1 Sandwich Cake + 6 Cupcakes)

NOTE #1: I realise the yield mentioned above is a little odd, but I have to make do with the tools and tins available to me, but I quite like getting a cake and a few cupcakes out of a recipe!

NOTE #2: For the food colouring, the most easily accessible food colouring I have here is these small tubs of gel-consistency food colouring. Unsure of quite how this strange thing worked, and the recipe calling for a number of tablespoons, I decided to simply chuck the whole thing in! It all worked out fine to me! From what I can remember, the recipe called for 3-4 tbsp of food colouring, if this helps you work out how much of yours you need!

NOTE #3: Buttermilk. The original recipe called for buttermilk, but as that’s not readily available, at least down in my neck of the woods, I make do with souring my milk with lemon juice. It does the job admirably! I do the same with my sourdough!

Ingredients

Cake: 

1/2 cup (113g) butter

1½ cups sugar (I prefer light brown sugar, always.)

2 eggs

2 tbsp cocoa powder

small tub red food colouring

2½ cups flour

1 tsp salt (I usually omit this, out of habit – I’m just not used to adding salt to things!)

I cup soured milk

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Icing : 

200g butter, softened

280g icing sugar, sifted

1-2 drops of vanilla essence (optional)

NOTE #4: This icing recipe, halved, goes excellently in the middle of a Victoria Sponge Cake with a good strawberry jam!

Method: 

Cake: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F and grease and flour your tins. I use two () inch round tins, neither are very deep, but in my small apartment and small over, space is a premium. No doubt this is a large reason why I get an extra few cupcakes from my cake mix.
  2. Cream the butter and the sugar till fluffy. Add the eggs & beat well.
  3. Add the food colouring and the cocoa powder.
  4. Sift the flour (and salt) into a separate bowl. Add the flour gradually to the creamed mixture, alternating additions with the soured milk. Mix well between each addition.
  5. Add the vanilla, vinegar and baking soda. Mix well.
  6. Divide between your tins.
  7. The main cake bakes for about 25 minutes. The cupcakes for about 12-15 minutes. Check that toothpicks come out clean to make sure they are cooked through.
  8. Let the cakes cool in their tins for a good five minutes before transferring them to a wire rack, and then let them cool completely.
  9. Depending on your cake making skills, this is where you can slice of the excess and level the cakes before wrapping them in clingfilm and freezing them making them easier to ice, or you can so what I do, and simply leave them leveled. Either way, hold back the trimmings for decoration later!

Icing: 

  1. Beat the butter till smooth and creamy.
  2. Gradually beat in the icing sugar.
  3. Add the vanilla essence, if using.

Assembly: 

  1. Spread a healthy amount of the icing on top of the lower of the two cakes.
  2. Place the second cake on top and put the remainder of the icing into an icing bag with a star tipped nozzle.
  3. Pipe rose shapes onto the top of the cake and the cupcakes (or do any old design you like!
  4. Take some of the trimmings and crumble them lightly over the icing, leaving a lovely dusting of brilliant red crumbs.

Depending on the time of year/weather, you make need to keep this in the fridge if a cool spot isn’t available. Otherwise, nom away on this deliciousness!

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