Sunday, May 22, 2011

Razorback Velvet Cake with Berries

My husband's work place has had some visitors from across the pond, Brits, this week. So we were supposed to go to a game night with some of my some of his work friends to visit with all the newbies.  I decided to make a very Southern dessert to take over there.  Red Velvet cake with cream cheese frosting.  This cake has just a bit of chocolate added to it to give it the velvety texture it's known for and is dyed a deep Razorback red.  It seemed an appropriate choice to share with the British.  But I'm not going to lie, I was tempted to make scones and Banoffee pie and ask them if it was anything like the originals.  Unfortunately, my Love was not feeling too hot.  We stayed in.  And regrettably, I had already made a second cake to take to church.  Twin cakes.  Still coming up with something to do with the second cake.

My recipe is adapted from here, but it tastes a little different the way I make it.

2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour (sifted, then measured~you can make your own with 1/4 cup of cornstarch inside your 1 cup measuring cup, filled the rest of the way with flour.) 
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk (I made some with almond milk and a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar)
1 teaspoon apple vinegar  (even if you make your own buttermilk, add this too)
1 Tablespoon of vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
Lots of Americolor Red until the batter is RED like an Arkansas razorback

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with baking spray. Sift sifted flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into medium bowl. Whisk buttermilk, vinegar, and vanilla in small bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until well blended. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Beat in dry ingredients in 4 additions alternately with buttermilk mixture in 3 additions.  Add the red food coloring until the desired shade.  Think of the grooms cake in the movie Steel Magnolias.

Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 22 (in an electric oven) minutes. Cool in pans on racks 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto racks; cool completely.

Don't skimp on the sifting or you will end up with a heavy cake with clumps of cocoa powder in it. 

Make a batch of your favorite cream cheese frosting or vanilla buttercream.  I like the taste of the cream cheese frosting but I really don't like how mine isn't manipulatable like buttercream is so I guess I need to try some new recipes. 

Frost the cake per normal.  If you want extra complexity and beauty for your presentation, add some fresh berries to the middle and top of the cake.  This is also great for hiding frosting flaws as well as getting your daily dose of antioxidants!  Any berries you like are fine.  The original recipe calls for blueberries and raspberries, but you can use whatever you got the best deal on at your local farmers market.

On one cake, I took some of the crust I had cut from around the edge, crumbled it, and then patted it to the side of one of the cakes.  The other I added the berries to the bottom for a border.

I must say, very delicious indeed.

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