Monday, March 2, 2009

Red Velvet Cake

I've been kinda sick of that same old cake that Brian always wants (chocolate), plus I needed to use up some buttermilk, so I thought I'd try something from my childhood (when I went to a restaurant and ate it). Boxed cake mixes aren't my favorite, so I made this from scratch.

Right off, Brian isn't a fan. He thought it would be more chocolatey than it was. I made the traditional butter roux frosting, instead of the modern cream cheese frosting. Brian thinks it tastes like condensed milk, and it did the first day, but mellowed out into a buttery caramel flavor. I'm not 100 percent sure if I made the frosting right, but I liked it. Anyway, it was good enough that I'll make it again (probably only once a year), but with the cream cheese frosting instead.

Red Velvet Cake

½ cup shortening
1½ cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 or 2 (1-ounce) bottles red food coloring (I only had 1/2 of one, so it didn't look as brilliant)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2½ cups sifted cake flour (all purpose flour 2½ cups -5 Tbs. which is what I did)
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cocoa powder (I actually took out 2 Tbs. more of flour and replaced it with more cocoa powder)
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda

Beat shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.
Stir in food coloring and vanilla, blending well. Combine flour, salt, and cocoa; set aside.
Combine buttermilk, vinegar, and soda in a 4-cup liquid measuring cup. (Mixture will bubble.) Add flour mixture to shortening mixture, alternately with buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Beat at medium speed 2 minutes; pour batter into 3 greased and floured 8-inch round cake pans (I used a 9x13). Bake at 350° for 25 minutes. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks. Spread frosting between layers and on top of cake. Garnish with chopped pecans, if desired.

Sheet Cake: Pour batter into a greased and floured 13- x 9-inch pan. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Spread cream cheese frosting on top of cake. Garnish, if desired.

Butter Roux Frosting:
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine the milk and flour in a saucepan and cook on medium heat until thickened. Cream together sugar, vanilla and butter, beating until fluffy. Gradually beat milk mixture into butter mixture (this is where I think I went wrong, if you don’t let the milk cool, it just melts the butter when you add it, which is what happened to me. And that makes it hard to follow the next instruction). Beat until the frosting becomes fluffy and spreadable.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter or margarine, softened
1 pound box confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream it all together.

Ellie ate part of it before I could take a picture...

Well, let me know what you think, and if you have a better one please share. All in all, I'd give this about 3 1/2 stars....

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