Red VelvetBy Mable Tan • Jun 8th, 2010 • Category: Baking Projects
Who would have thought that there were so many types of flour? I alone have seven types of flour in my larder. And seriously, I really only use two – plain and self-raising. Is all that flour really necessary?
I was looking for a red velvet cake recipe when almost every recipe I found asked for ‘cake flour’. “Hmm, that’s pretty specific,” I thought. What is cake flour? Well, good old Google directed me to Stephanie Jaworski’s floury explanation. If you’re not sure who Jaworski is, she’s the baker/ blogger behind Joy of Baking.
“A cake flour is used to make a white cake where a delicate tender crumb is desired. [...] Good for making cakes (especially white cakes and biscuits) and cookies where a tender and delicate texture is desired.”
But no one told me that this cake would transform into a bubbling active volcano.
See, clever me, filled the batter 90% to the top of the cake tin. What happened next was that the batter grew before my very eyes, creating a similar effect to flowing molten lava. Of course I could only look helplessly from outside because if I creaked open the oven door ever so slightly, the cake would fall flat. (Mental note: Pour less batter.)
I love the beetroot redness of the cake against the pale yellow of the cream cheese. The contrast is spectacular. I was initially appalled at the amount of food coloring needed but I suppose it is necessary in the name of beauty. The cake turned out moist and soft. Not exactly springy as I had expected but delicious nevertheless. Enjoy!
Red Velvet Cake
(recipe from Stephanie Jaworski’s Joy of Baking)
- 2 1/2 cups (250 grams) sifted cake flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons (15 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated white sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons liquid red food coloring
- 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Butter two – 9 inch (23 cm) round cake pans and line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl sift together the flour, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside.
- In bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until soft (about 1-2 minutes). Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes).
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.
- In a measuring cup whisk the buttermilk with the red food coloring.
- With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk to the butter mixture, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour.
- In a small cup combine the vinegar and baking soda. Allow the mixture to fizz and then quickly fold into the cake batter.
- Working quickly, divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans and smooth the tops with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon.
- Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 25 – 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean.
- Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Place a wire rack on top of the cake pan and invert, lifting off the pan.
- Once the cakes have completely cooled, wrap in plastic and place the cake layers in the freezer for at least an hour. (This is done to make filling and frosting the cakes easier.)
For Cream Cheese Frosting recipe click here.