Red Velvet Cake

20150917-011014-4214147.jpg Elegant, moist, and super appealing. The red velvet got it’s name for a reason. The signature bright red colour and the velvety texture it has.
And the best part of a red velvet is it’s best friend, none other than creamy and smooth cream cheese!

I made butter and buttermilk yesterday and I thought why not make red velvet cake?

Let me tell you something about red velvets and this cake recipe in particular is very moist.

So the second time I made red velvet was for cake pops, using this very same recipe. It did not work out. Like at all. The cake was too moist , and oh dear me who didn’t realise it until I put some frosting in and only came to face the truth after trying so hard to stick the cake balls to the pop sticks. It kept falling off. I’ve refrigerate it, and the moment it thaw during the waiting for the chocolate coating, they just slides downwards from the stick.

So this recipe is not advisable for cake pops. Well you can.. Probably…. Just adjust the amount of oil when baking and the amount of frosting to form the cake pops. Haven’t tried it..

I made a red velvet related recipe as one of my very first post. It is a triple layer cheesecake which got a chocolate biscuit base, red velvet cake bottom and a creamy cheesecake filling. And I do promise to maybe post about a red velvet recipe someday so here it is.

So for the red velvet cake, the ingredients needed are:

20150922-005315-3195037.jpgVegetable oil, vinegar, vanilla extract, sugar, flour, red food colouring, eggs, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda.

The thing that makes this cake red (other than the food coloring) and moist is all the work of science.

The cocoa powder, buttermilk and vinegar act as the acids react together with the baking soda causes the red colour and the moist texture of the cake.

20150922-010548-3948119.jpgSo now that we got the ingredients prepped, the making of the red velvet cake is super easy all you need to do first is sift the dry ingredients and whisk them together.

20150922-014956-6596608.jpg

20150923-183519-66919217.jpgAnd then whisk all the wet ingredients.

Adjust the colour but remember that the red will be darker once incorporated with the dry ingredients

20150923-183240-66760961.jpgthen the last step is just pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture. Couldn’t be easier

20150923-183426-66866837.jpgWhisk until everything is incorporated.

Look at that bright red colour!

I kept thinking about “roses are red, violet are blue” whenever I typed “red” even though I can’t make out the rest of the poem (I’m bad at finding things that rhymes)

Anyway bake the cake, cool it off, level it then on to the layering the cake

20150923-184444-67484093.jpgNow let’s talk about cream cheese.

The cream cheese buttercream I used for this recipe uses swiss meringue buttercream method because the usual cream cheese buttercream still requires at least 3 cups of icing sugar so it’s still is too sweet for me.
Swiss meringue method does requires more steps so feel free to use any cream cheese method that you like.

But seriously though anyway it is, cream cheese buttercream is good no matter what…
My. Favourite. Frosting. Of. All. Time.
I can say a cake is good just because of the cream cheese frosting.
Smooth… Creamy.. Cheesy.
Cream cheese is probably the only buttercream that I actually would finish without a trace.

Anyway a red velvet cake is not a red velvet without it’s classic pair, the cream cheese frosting.
They complete each other. Any red velvet inspired dessert should somewhat have something cream cheesy on it.
I won’t admit that it is a red velvet without the cream cheese. IT SHOULD BE AGAINST THE LAW.

20150924-014652-6412031.jpgAnyway moving on from my cream cheese rampage.
This to me, looks like a blank canvas, ready to be painted.

Layer the cake, then crumb coat it.
For those of you who doesn’t know crumb coating, it is applying a thin layer of cream all over the cake (it doesn’t have to be pretty and neat, just covered) then refrigerate the cake, once the frosting hardened, another layer of frosting can be apply. This ensures the cake to be neat and doesn’t have any cake bits on it especially working with dark coloured cakes or light coloured frosting.

A little tips, to make sure the cake layers is even, portion the buttercream, for example people use ice cream scooper to portion it. I usually use cups to portion my buttercream layers

Ignore my awful, duct taped spinning cake board. I got it from my aunt, and I am pretty sure that the cake board is at least as old as me.
But it has helped me like… A Lot
Still works perfectly well too so…..
20150924-021700-8220846.jpgThis part is optional but I got a lot of leftover cakes cutouts from leveling the red velvet cakes so I decided to make crunchy crumbs to decorate the side of the cake.

All I do is break the cake apart, them crumble it.
Bake them in a low temperature, basically just drying them so that the cake don’t lose their red colour.
I’ll explain the how to more on the recipe below.

20150924-022145-8505572.jpgPut a second coat of cream cheese frosting to the cake.

Next is the messy part, there are no neat way to do this so put a tray big enough to catch the cake crumbs that fell, then start scooping a handful of cake crumbs onto the sides of the cake, pushing slightly so that the crumbs sticks, try your best to cover everything.

20150924-144540-53140500.jpgOnce done, put the rest of the cream cheese into a pipping bag with a tip, then pipe rosettes on top of the cake.

Here’s a tip, do some research on how to pipe the rosettes and which pipping tip you want to use.

20150924-144830-53310221.jpg Pretty, elegant enough to impress, easy enough for beginners.

If you still have a lot of crumbs left that haven’t been dried, you can make cake truffles (that’s what I did with the leftovers), or the triple layer cheesecake, that’s why I made that cheesecake, it was because I had some cakes leftover.

Or if you have some crumbs that has been dried leftover, sprinkle it on ice cream, waffle, etc.

I’m thinking of making a post about what to do with leftover cakes. Maybe soon.

20150924-152123-55283584.jpgI’m ready to eat it…

20150924-153127-55887280.jpgTime to see how’s the inside look.

20150924-153213-55933421.jpg Red cakes layers goes contrast with the white frosting layers.

Well not the reddest red velvet cake, but I was too horrified to put too much red food colouring in. Well I could use beets but I don’t find and buy beets very often.

The first original red velvet cake was by a guy who sell food flavourings and food colourings. No wonder if the original recipe got a lot of food coloring in it.

20150925-003703-2223238.jpgI made another one of a different top design for my cousin’s birthday

Anyway have a great one everybody!

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Red Velvet Recipe
Makes 3 tiered 22cm in diameter cake

Ingredients

Red Velvet Cake
• 3 ¾ cups (480g) all purpose flour
• 2 ½ cups (500g) sugar
• 1½ tbsp (11g) cocoa powder
• 1½ tsp (7g) salt
• 1½ tsp (7g) baking soda
• 3 eggs
• 2¼ cups (540ml) vegetable oil
• 1½ cups (300ml) buttermilk
• 1½ tbsp (23ml) vinegar
• 2 tsp vanilla essence
• 2 tbsp red food colouring

Cream Cheese Buttercream
adapted from korenainthekitchen’s recipe
• 2 egg whites
• 120 g granulated sugar
• 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter (cubed and room temperature)
• 225g cream cheese (cubed and room temperature)
• 1 tsp vanilla essence

how to make:
The cake
1) Preheat the oven and smear 3 baking pans with non-stick pan release or butter all over the pan and line the bottom with parchment paper and coat the sides with flour.
2) Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder,salt and baking soda in a bowl then whisk to combine.
3) Whisk the eggs, vegetable oil, buttermilk,vinegar, vanilla and red food coloring until combined.
4) Pour the wet mixture to the dry mixture, whisk until combined.
5) Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans and bake at 350°F or 180°C for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
6) Once the cakes had cooled, level the top and make sure all the layers are even.
7) Crumble the leftover cakes from the leveled cakes and put them in a baking pan, spread evenly then dry them in an oven at 266°F or 130°C and leave the oven door slightly ajar for 1-2 hours (until the biggest chunk of the cake is crunchy)

The buttercream
1) In a heatproof bowl, combine the egg whites and sugar and whisk over a pan of simmering water, don’t let the bowl touch the water. Whisk until all of the sugar has dissolved (when you rub the mixture between your finger it is smooth).
2) Take the bowl off the heat, then whisk with an electric beater until stiff and glossy and the mixture is no longer hot
3) Beat the room temperature butter one cube at a time until all the butter has incorporated thoroughly.
4) In another bowl, beat the cream cheese until no big chunks left then start incorporating the meringue buttercream one spoon at a time until everything are well combined.
5) Add the vanilla and beat well. Store in the fridge until ready to use (thaw it first if it took more than 1 hour)

Assembly
1) In the plate you want to present the cake, smear a little bit of cream cheese in the bottom of the plate.
2) Put the first layer of the cake then put about 1-2 cups of frosting in between, evenly spread then put the second layer of cake, keep doing it until the last piece of cake.
3) Thinly spread the buttercream all over the cake (crumb coating) and put the cake in the fridge for about 1 hour.
4) Once cooled, spread the second coat of the buttercream.
5) Put a big tray on the bottom of the cake then start gently pushing handfuls of cake crumbs all over the sides of the cake until all around the sides of the cake has coated.
6) With the rest of the buttercream put in a piping bag, pipe rosettes on top of the cake.

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Green Tea and Earl grey Tea Madeleines

20141104-175746-64666777.jpg I cannot believe october has ended. I mean like seriously the time went super fast for me. I also just realise i haven’t posted anything on my blog on october since my goal is to post at least once a month. I guess i have failed…
But!! Not aware of the time is not my only reason that i haven’t posted anything last month. My other reason was: a) the camera i usually used was broken, and b) i haven’t really have a lot of time to bake because of school stuff.

Anyway i finally got some time to bake and i decided to make some madelines. These French delicacies looks so pretty. Madeleines are pretty easy to make in general. And since i think that regular madeleines are just too plain to my taste, i decided to flavour mine with green tea and earl grey tea, my two favorite tea.

Here are the ingredients:
For the green tea madeleines

20141104-180809-65289414.jpg Cream, melted butter, sugar, eggs, flour + baking powder, honey and green tea powder

For the earl grey madeleines

20141104-181213-65533580.jpg Pretty much the same ingredients except for the green tea powder, i opened up a bag of earl grey tea to add flavour to my the madelines

The method are also pretty much the same.
First, how to make the green tea madeleines:
20141105-221535-80135249.jpgIn a bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until fluffy and pale.

Yes, i would make your life a whole lot easier to use electric beater but a little work out is not to bad isn’t it? Work those elbow grease!

20141107-225908-82748386.jpgMix the honey with the butter

20141109-172344-62624514.jpgMix the butter and honey mixture into the whisked up egg

20141105-222054-80454920.jpgNext sift in the whisked flour, baking powder and green tea powder into the eggs and fold the mixture.

We want to keep much air in it thus the whisking and sifting the flour. It provides more air into the mixture, also folding the mixture gently to keep as much air as possible.

20141105-222534-80734826.jpgLastly add in the milk and mix it through.

Next is the earl grey one

20141107-224417-81857014.jpgThis step is to ‘Infuse’ the earl grey fragrance to the sugar. There is two way to do this; first way is to grind the tea leaves and sugar in a mortar and then rub them together, the second way is to put them into a food processor and blitz them up a couple of time. I don’t really own a mortar and pestle so i just prefer blitz them and then rub them together.

20141109-172607-62767272.jpgincorporate the earl grey sugar with the eggs

20141109-172719-62839503.jpgand beat the them until pale and fluffy

20141109-172806-62886275.jpgFold in the dry ingredients

Put the Madeleines mixture in the fridge for 1 hour.

20141109-172927-62967657.jpgthen transfer them into a pipping bag to make this part a little easier

20141109-173012-63012607.jpgPipe the batter into the madeleines molds only filling about ¾ of the shell.

20141109-173337-63217175.jpg

20141109-173338-63218142.jpgAnd bake them

20141109-182415-66255557.jpgLet them cool a bit

20141109-182456-66296042.jpgDrizzle with LOADS of chocolate

20141109-182554-66354211.jpgOkay maybe a little bit too much……

Have a grand november everybody!

This recipe is adapted from food52

Earl grey madeleines
• 3 tablespoons earl grey tea leaves
• 2/3 cup caster sugar
• 3 eggs at room temperature
• 2 tablespoons liquid honey
• 1/4 cup whole milk
• 1 1/4 cups flour
• 1 pinch of salt
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 8 tablespoons softened butter

How to make:
1) Put the sugar and earl grey tea leaves in a food processor and blitz them up. (For better result, grind the sugar and tea leaves in a mortar and rub the tea leaves with the sugar together).
2) Whisk the infused sugar and honey with the eggs until pale and fluffy
3) Sift the flour, salt, and baking powder into the egg mixture and fold, add in the melted butter and milk.
4) Put the mixture in the fridge for about 1 hour
5) Fill the molds with the mixture, not filling it too full
6) Bake at 460°F for about 2 to 3 minutes, until you see a small depression, then reduce the temperature of the oven to 390°F. Cook for an additional 4 minutes (the hump should start to form), then reduce to 350°F and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes, until the madeleines are golden and well rounded. In the end, your madeleines will cook between 10 and 12 minutes. Do not over bake or they will be too dry.
7) Let it slightly cooled and then drizzled with chocolate.

Green tea madeleines
• 1 tablespoon of good quality green tea powder
• 2/3 cup caster sugar
• 3 eggs at room temperature
• 2 tablespoons liquid honey
• 1/4 cup whole milk
• 1 1/4 cups flour
• 1 pinch of salt
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 8 tablespoons softened butter

How to make:
1) Whisk the sugar and honey with the eggs until pale and fluffy
3) Sift the flour, green tea powder, salt, and baking powder into the egg mixture and fold, add in the melted butter and milk.
4) Put the mixture in the fridge for about 1 hour
5) Fill the molds with the mixture, not filling it too full
6) Bake at 460°F for about 2 to 3 minutes, until you see a small depression, then reduce the temperature of the oven to 390°F. Cook for an additional 4 minutes (the hump should start to form), then reduce to 350°F and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes, until the madeleines are golden and well rounded. In the end, your madeleines will cook between 10 and 12 minutes. Do not over bake or they will be too dry.
7) Unmold immediately and let cool on a rack. Make sure that for each new batch the pan is cool and properly buttered and floured. They’re best eaten slightly warm, direct from the oven and cooled for a few minutes. But you can store them for a couple of days in an airtight container.
8) drizzle with chocolate if desired.