Red Velvet and Cream Cheese Frosting

Along with the dairy- and gluten-free chocolate cake that I made a few weeks ago, I also made a red velvet cake. This cake didn’t come with the same allergy restrictions, since there was already an allergy-friendly option available at the party.

I have never made a red velvet cake before, so this was a first for me. I always knew these used a lot of red food colouring, but I didn’t realize this was a full two and a half tablespoons of food colouring. That’s a full bottle of food colouring!!

I unfortunately didn’t get too many progress photos of this cake, because it was late at night, but I used this recipe because it got great reviews. This made an amazing, light red velvet cake. I really like the cake flour in this (I had to swap for flour and cornstarch, as I don’t tend to buy cake flour), and it makes me want to try either reducing flour or using cake flour in my other cake recipes. I find that my yellow cake recipe just isn’t as fluffy as I’d like it, but this recipe came out lovely and light and fluffy.

I was only making a 6″ round cake, but the recipe is for an 8″ round. Instead of adjusting the recipe, I made the full 8″ cake, but I used 2 cups of batter for each of the 6″ layer, then the remaining 2 cups of batter to make 8 cupcakes.

These come out of the oven with a little caramelization on them. To get a better look when the cake is cut into, I shaved off the caramelization so the inside of the cake is an even, deep red.

I stuck with a simple cream cheese frosting, using this recipe by cupcake Jemma. To decorate on top, I made a light swirling pattern with the tip of a small offset spatula, then sprinkled on some red velvet crumbs.

Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

I had a little bit more fun with the cupcakes, since these were just leftovers and I had some more room to experiment.

I recently bought a semi-circular silicon mold, which I’ve been meaning to try out. What I really wanted to do was a no-bake cheesecake to top these cupcakes (I thought that might be a cheeky way to replace a cream cheese frosting), but I was working on these pretty late at night so I really didn’t have time to set the cheesecake. What I did instead was fill the molds with my leftover cream cheese icing and put them in the freezer to set up.

I definitely recommend using something a little more fluid in silicon molds. I find that something as thick as buttercream doesn’t quite fill the mold as well and you see some small imperfections and dents where the cream cheese frosting didn’t quite get to the edge of the mold.

While those were setting up in the freezer, I made some chocolate cream cheese frosting, using the second recipe in the Cupcake Jemma recipe that I linked to above.

To frost these, I piped on a little of the chocolate cream cheese frosting with an open star tip. I then took out one of the frozen hemispheres of icing and placed it on top.

Red Velvet 3

To finish these off, I melted some semisweet chocolate and drizzled it on top. This helped to camouflage some of the imperfections in the hemisphere of cream cheese.

Red Velvet 4

I have a lower-quality cellphone image that shows the nice red colour on the inside (and the very large icing-to-cupcake ratio):

IMG_20180320_122327898

I am still not quite sure how I feel about red velvet. While it is quite pretty to look at, the flavour really isn’t quite enough of anything. A little cocoa, a little bitterness, but mostly just sweet, which isn’t quite a flavour on its own. That being said, I do really love this cake recipe; it came out lovely and light and fluffy, more so than any other cake recipe I have tried so far. I really want to look at some of the elements that made this cake so light and fluffy (baking soda and buttermilk, as well as cake flour), and see how I can tweak my usual vanilla and chocolate cake recipes to try to get the same level of lightness and fluffiness.

 

 

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