The Red Velvet Cake is a distinctly American cake, with a bright red colour. Or should that be color? The hue originally came from the vinegar and buttermilk reacting with the cocoa, turning it reddy brown. As a more alkaline cocoa became available, this became less pronounced and artifical colouring was needed.
We used the recipe from Equal Opportunity Kitchen, with only one variant being that it makes 3 layers as shown in the pictures and not 2 as stated in the text.
1/2 cup butter softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp white vinegar
3 large eggs
1 (1-ounce) bottle liquid red food colouring (tasteless variety)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1. Beat butter at medium speed with stand mixer (paddle attachment) or electric mixer until fluffy.
2. Gradually add sugar, vanilla and vinegar, beating well.
3. Add eggs, 1 at a time beating until blended after each addition.
4. Add food colouring, beating until combined.
5. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition.
6. Pour into 2 greased and floured 9 inch round cakepans.
7. Bake at 350F for 20 - 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 5 minutes; remove from pans and cool on wire racks.
Here's what the batter looked like: That's some serious e numbers.
They didn't loose this when baked either! After cooling I flipped 2 of the 3 layers upside down, and couldn't help but think they looked like 2 burgers.
Next came the cream cheese frosting, which was a bit dissapointing. The butter had been warmed to make it spreadable, perhaps a little too much because loads more icing sugar than the recipe had to be added, and it still dripped down the sides.
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (16 oz) package powdered sugar (2 cups)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (if you want your icing to stay pure white use clear vanilla extract)
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Beat cream cheese and butter until creamy; gradually add sugar and vanilla, beating well.
Though I have to say, I think the final result looks pretty good!