Monday, December 30, 2013

Red Velvet Cake




Alright then, I'm calling it quits on this year.  Ok, ok, I mean it's the last post for the year. And what an year it's been.

First things first, this year has been sooooo  much better than 2012. Ofcourse it's been a roller coaster of sorts, but the resonating thing that I have felt throughout has been L.O.V.E

I've felt so much love from my family and my friends that it overwhelms me. Back home in Delhi, just before we left, I realised that they were such an integral part of my life and it meant as much to them as to me. Here in Islamabad, we've made friends so quickly that a part of us feels that we've lived here forever. We've received so much love from everyone  around us that it's made me/us feel so much better about the life we lead. 

2013 has also been an year of cooking for me. I've really made some fabulous meals that I can easily say I have been very proud of. I've also been exposed to some new ingredients that has changed the way I think of food.

Having spent half the year in Delhi and half in Islamabad, I learnt a lot of new words for ingredients across borders. I also learnt how people use these ingredients in their regular everyday cooking, which was so exciting for me. And how wonderful it was to see how the cuisine changes so little and yet tastes so different

I've loved how people have welcomed us with open arms and into their homes and shared food with us.  It's just made everything so much easier and so much more nicer.

Which is why, I'm ending this year with cake that I love very very much. The Red Velvet. My version of the red velvet is nothing spectacular, except it is perhaps the moistest cake you've ever eaten.  The underlying cocoa flavour is mellow, the cream cheese just the right amount and honestly, such a light cake that you'll be wondering why you haven't made this at home before.

To me the Red Velvet is a sign of the good times, and I'm hoping that it continues into next year as well.



Red Velvet Cake
Adapted from The Joy of Baking


2 ¼ cup sifted flour
¼ cup corn flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
4 egg whites
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1 tsp + 1 tsp vinegar
2 tablespoons liquid red food coloring
1 teaspoon baking soda

Cream Cheese Frosting:
400 grams cream cheese
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
1 1/2 cups cold heavy whipping cream (double cream) (35-40% butterfat)

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Centigrade and place rack in centre of oven. Butter two - 9 inch round cake pans and line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper. Set aside.

2.In a mixing bowl sift together the flour, corn flour, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside. Add one teaspoon of vinegar to one cup of milk and set aside.

3. In bowl beat the butter until soft (about 1-2 minutes). Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add all the egg white together and whisk well for 2 to 3 minutes until the mix appears fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.

4.In a measuring cup whisk the milk mixture 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.

5. In a small cup combine the additional teaspoon of vinegar and baking soda. Allow the mixture to fizz and then quickly fold into the cake batter. 

6. Working quickly, divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans and smooth the tops with an off set 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.

7.  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.)


Cream Cheese Frosting:

1. In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla and icing sugar and beat until smooth. Using the whisk attachment, gradually add the cream. Add more sugar or cream as needed to get the right consistency.

2. Assemble: With a serrated knife, cut each cake layer in half, horizontally. You will now have four cake 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.  

3. 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. 

4. I crumbled the fourth layer and added it to the sides of the cake.

5. Chill for one hour before eating.





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