Red velvet cake would have to be one of my all time favorite American cakes. It looks sooooo impressive, it tastes divine and last but not least, it is quite easy to make, so when a friend of mine headed for another birthday this week, I used this as a perfect excuse to make the gorgeous cake!
I got the recipe from my all time favorite cookbook mag- Saveur and adapted it to my tastes. The Saveur recipe calls for 12-oz cream cheese and 12-oz butter for the frosting. I thought I could not justify 12 oz of butter if I was to eat more that one slice, so I made it 'user friendly', cut the butter down and proudly ate my body weight in cake and frosting without the guilt :0).
If you'd like to give the Saveur recipe a go it's in issue no. 91, however my version was scrumptious and worth a return visit sometime this year.
Red Velvet Cake
For the cake:
1 tablespoon butter
2 1/2 cups plus 2 tbsp cake flour
1 1/2 cups castor sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda (bi-carb)
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoon red food colouring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
12 oz cream cheese, softened
6 oz unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar (icing sugar)
1 1/2 cups flaked almonds, roasted
For the cake:
Preheat oven to 180 degree (350) and grease three 8-inch round cake tins with butter, dust with extra tablespoons of flour then set aside.
Sift remaining dry ingredients into a medium bowl and set aside.
In a mixer beat eggs, oil, buttermilk, food colouring, vanilla and vinegar until well combined and smooth, 1-2 minutes.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
Divide batter between the three tins, bake in the oven for 30 minutes, rotating pans half way for even cooking. Let cakes cool for 5 minutes in the tins then remove and cool on a wire rack until cold.
For the frosting:
Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla in a bowl of an electric mixer until well combined. Add sugar and beat on a medium speed until light and fluffy- approx 7 minutes.
note: butter needs to be soft for best results
Assembly of cake:
Put one layer of cake on a plate and place a 1/4 of the frosting on the top.
Add second cake layer on top and repeat frosting. Set remaining layer on top, layer with remaining frosting on top and around the sides of all three layers.
Press on flaked almonds to the sides of the cake then leave to set for 10 minutes.
Slice and serve