February 20, 2013

red velvet cake - for a birthday!

I have a lot of reasons to be thankful to my best friend Sarah – she is my ultimate-patient-problem listener, my shoulder to cry, my sleep-over partner, my sweet holiday escapee and the most importantly we have being friends for more than 8 years. How time flies! *hug*

I feel like I was not enough to be called as a good friend because for years since we left high school, I couldn't make a time to be with her on her birthdays and give her anything except plain birthday wish messages (but I’m glad we could have free 24 hours phone talk the whole week. Thanks Celcom!). So for her birthday this year, I wanted to make sure that she won't just get my predictable boring birthday wish at all. I had planned what to bake for her two weeks before the day comes – listing things to buy, how to meet up, how to surprise. That’s me. I always went overboard when it comes to someone’s birthday. Nah that was nothing but I was happy that everything went well!

Even though I did not ask for her birthday cake request (that was obviously named a surprise), I knew what she would love and named for if she was asked. So I went with a Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and she totally loved it!  And thanks to my favorite friend Liana for driving us all the way to Pulau Wan Man! Alhamdulillah, we were lucky as the rain stopped as we reached there and we all loved the place!

Speaking of the cake, the frosting was a tried recipe and I was a bit disappointed with how it turned out. I made a half batch of it because I wanted it to look balance with the cake size but it ended up runny and no consistency even I did add a couple tbsp. of sugar (no I didn't discard it unless it tasted bad!). I froze it for a while before I frost the cake thus it didn't hurt me too much at the end. The cake texture was as nice as I wanted it to be and I’m pretty sure that any recipe that calls for buttermilk will make a huge difference than the one that doesn't :)

Although her birthday celebration was on days earlier, I hope this cake made her day
brighter before she fly to Macca for her Umrah - that is the greatest birthday gift! Happy Birthday Sarah! Love you to bits! 

Red Velvet Cake
Recipe adapted from Joy of Baking
For Malay version view Here


for the cake:
2 1/2 cups (250 g) sifted cake flour (or wheat flour is just fine)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. (15 g) regular or Dutch-processed cocoa powder (I used Van Hauten)
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature (or regular butter)
1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract/essence
1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk* (see note below)
2 tbsp. liquid red food coloring
1 tsp. white distilled vinegar
1 tsp. baking soda

for the cream cheese frosting**:
250 g cream cheese (Philadelphia is a good option)
120 g butter
120 g icing sugar, sieved and mixed with drops of hot water and stir well (I've overdone this, that's why)


for the cake:
-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 refrigerator for at least an hour (or overnight)-(This is done to make filling and frosting the cakes easier).

for the cream cheese frosting:
-In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla and sugar and beat until smooth. 
-Whip until the frosting is thick enough to spread. Add more sugar or cream as needed to get the right consistency. 

for assembly:
-With a serrated knife, cut each cake layer in half, horizontally (I cut mine to 3 layers).
-Place one of the cake layers, top of the cake facing down, onto your serving platter. Spread the cake layer with a layer of frosting.  Place another layer of cake on top of the frosting and continue to frost and stack the cake layers.
-Frost the top and sides of the cake. You can garnish the cake with sweetened or unsweetened coconut.

- **The frosting was my tried recipe and not originally adapted from the cake recipe. If you wish to have the best frosting ever, try this out or any other your go-to frosting.
- *If you don't want to buy a jug of buttermilk you can make your own by adding 1 tbsp. of white distilled vinegar, or lemon juice to 1 cup (240 ml) of milk. Let this mixture stand 5 to 10 minutes before using.
- I'm not so sure which one of those pictures are the true color of the cake because they were all taken by both of our mobile cameras and my digital camera lol. But surely it was my favorite kind of red!
- I'm a very very very choosy person when I have to pick a recipe, so I have lots of RVC recipes in my folder! This time I didn't choose a recipe that called for oil because it will give you a yulk-ier taste rather than butter (except for my Moist Chocolate Cake). 
- And also, I chose the recipe that was really convincing for me to try so I can get the best result (that's why you can't randomly pick one). I wanted to make sure that my cake is in 'real' red because some peoples complained about the color after doing RVC.  I was a bit satisfied and quite lucky with this recipe so be sure that you choose the best food flavoring brand you can find. Thank God this one didn't hurt me either! I mean not totally. Err except the frosting. duhhh

I'm still an amateur, so you can do better than me - a neat one I think :)
And you should drive carefully when you have a cake to be taken care of. Don't langgar2 lubang :P

© sweetytoothy. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe .

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