Wednesday, August 26, 2009

red velvet cake & icing, from scratch

Red Velvet Cake
Time: 90 minutes, plus cooling
from "The Confetti Cakes Cookbook"

• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
• 3½ cups cake flour
• ½ cup unsweetened cocoa (not Dutch process)
• 1½ teaspoons salt
• 2 cups canola oil
• 2¼ cups granulated sugar
• 3 large eggs
• 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) red food coloring
• 1½ teaspoons vanilla
• 1¼ cup buttermilk
• 2 teaspoons baking soda
• 2½ teaspoons white vinegar.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place teaspoon of butter in each of 3 round 9-inch layer cake pans and place pans in oven for a few minutes until butter melts. Remove pans from oven, brush interior bottom and sides of each with butter and line bottoms with parchment.

2. Whisk cake flour, cocoa and salt in a bowl.

3. Place oil and sugar in bowl of an electric mixer and beat at medium speed until well-blended. Beat in eggs one at a time. With machine on low, very slowly add red food coloring. (Take care: it may splash.) Add vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk in two batches. Scrape down bowl and beat just long enough to combine.

4. Place baking soda in a small dish, stir in vinegar and add to batter with machine running. Beat for 10 seconds.

5. Divide batter among pans, place in oven and bake until a cake tester comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pans 20 minutes. Then remove from pans, flip layers over and peel off parchment. Cool completely before frosting.

Yield: 3 cake layers.

Red Velvet Cake Icing
Time: 15 minutes
from “The Waldorf-Astoria Cookbook”

• 2 cups heavy cream, cold
• 12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
• 12 ounces mascarpone
• ½ teaspoon vanilla
• 1½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted.

1. Softly whip cream by hand, in electric mixer or in food processor. Cover in bowl and refrigerate.

2. Blend cream cheese and mascarpone in food processor or electric mixer until smooth. Add vanilla, pulse briefly, and add confectioners’ sugar. Blend well.

3. Transfer cream cheese mixture to bowl; fold in whipped cream. Refrigerate until needed.

Yield: Icing for top and sides of 3-layer cake.

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