Thursday, August 19, 2010

Blue Days & Red Velvet

Red Velvet Cake 
Icing recipe courtesy of Mary Beth Riley. Red Velvet Cake recipe by Chef David Guas

1 cup powdered sugar
8 Tbsp. Crisco or margarine, softened
½ cup whole milk
4 Tbsp. all purpose flour
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt

2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups plus 1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
1⁄2 cup Dutch-process cocoa
1 1⁄2 tsp. baking powder
1 1⁄2 tsp. baking soda
1⁄2 tsp. salt
1 pound box light brown sugar
3 Tbsp. red food coloring
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 3⁄4 cups buttermilk

Cream all ingredients in a large size mixing bowl until desired consistency.

     Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-inch cake pans with 1 tablespoon butter each. Add 2 tablespoons flour to each and shake pans to coat bottom and sides. Tap out excess flour.
     Sift remaining 3 cups flour with cocoa, baking power, baking soda and salt.
     With an electric mixer, beat 2 sticks butter with the brown sugar, food coloring, and vanilla on low to combine. Increase speed to medium and beat until aerated and pale, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed and add eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly between additions. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary.
     Add 1⁄3 of the dry ingredients, then half the buttermilk. Repeat, finishing with the final third of the dry mix. Scrape down bottom and sides of the bowl and divide the mixture between the two prepared pans. Spread as evenly as possible.
     Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean and the center resists slight pressure, about 40 minutes. Cool on a wire rack 15 minutes, then run a paring knife around edges to release the cake from the sides. Invert cakes onto the cooling rack. Cool 1 hour, then wrap each in plastic wrap for at least a few hours.  Ice when cooled.

I had an ancient recipe for Red Velvet cake in my grandma's recipe box and I tried the recipe at least four times before giving up on it and marking it with a big, fat, X.  The cake turned out to be dense and dry, and I was disappointed each time I baked it because I held out hope that magic would occur and the cake would be divine.  Well, folks, this recipe did not let me down.  Now, I'm off to a good nights sleep so that I may get crackin' in the kitchen early tomorrow!  Pics to follow soon; toodaloo!

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