Want the perfect Valentine's Day dessert? Or just a fun dessert for any time of the year. Red Velvet Cake is an old fashioned Southern classic that has become the most popular Cake at bakeries across America. It is know for it's vibrant bright red Cake and creamy Cream Cheese Icing, although there is much debate on what the original Icing should be. You can easily use Vanilla Butter Cream Icing to top this moist Cake. Original recipes also contained a small amount of Cocoa Powder and Vinegar. In my recipe testing I found that neither one made a difference so I left them out of my recipe. I also made mine more flavorful using more Extracts. If you have a Sweetie that has a sweet tooth you can make them Red Velvet Cupcakes and swoon them all over again when you are Cooking The Amazing.
Here is the recipe.
1 1/2 Sticks Butter, unsalted, softened
1 3/4 c Sugar
6 Egg Whites, From Large Eggs
1/4 t Cream Of Tartar
1 c Buttermilk
1/2 c Sour Cream
1 T Vanilla Extract
3 t Almond Extract
1 oz Liquid Red Food Coloring
2 1/2 c Cake Flour (You may substitute All Purpose Flour but will be slightly more dense)
2 t Baking Powder
2 t Baking Soda
1 t Sea Salt, fine grain
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Make sure you aren't wearing white clothes or any special clothes that you don't want to get Red Food Coloring on. Prepare ahead: Allow your Eggs and Butter to sit out at room tempertaure for a more fluffy Cake.
2. Grease with Butter or spray with Pam, 3 Cake pans 8 inches round or fill 20 large Cupcake liners into Muffin tins. Or 24-26 small Cupcake liners. Line the Cake pans with parchment rounds or wax paper wounds on the bottom of the pans to ensure easy removal once baked.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a large bowl with a hand mixer, place six room temperature Egg Whites and 1/4 t Cream of Tartar and beat until you get stiff peaks. Remove them from the bowl and set aside for later. I don't even wipe out the bowl and continue on with the next step. It all ends up in the cake anyway.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment (switch out the whisk) or a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the Butter for 2 minutes then add the Sugar and beat for 2 minutes more.
5. Add the Buttermilk, Sour Cream, Vanilla Extract and the Almond Extract and mix for approx 2 mins. It will look curdled. Scrape down the bowl to be sure to get it well mixed with a rubber spatula.
6. Then add the Red Food Coloring. Mix it on low to prevent it flying out and staining you and your kitchen!
7. In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients using a whisk so that it is well incorporated.
8. Slowly add the dry ingredients by sifting them over the wet ingredients then mix on low speed for a few seconds so the flour doesn't make a dust cloud in your face (I've done it a million times!) and then increase speed to medium for 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl half way through mixing. Next fold in all of the Egg Whites until well incorporated using a rubber spatula. Then divide Cake Batter between prepared cake pans or scoop into Cupcake Liners.
9. For Cupcakes: Using an Ice Cream scoop or large spoon fill Cupcake liners 1/2 way. Do not fill higher or it will overflow during baking.
For Layer Cake: Pour 1/3rd of the Batter into each prepared Cake pan.
10. Bake Cupcakes at 350 degrees in the center of the oven for 22-25 minutes. Bake Cakes at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
The top center may look wet even though they are done. Test using a toothpick. If it comes out clean it is done. Allow to cool in the pans for 1-2 hrs until completely cool before icing with your favorite Icing.
CREAM CHEESE ICING
2 Sticks Butter, unsalted, softened
16 oz. Cream Cheese (2 bars) softened
3 c Powdered Sugar
4 t Vanilla Extract
1/4 t Almond Extract
Pinch Sea Salt, fine grain (small pinch)
Total Prep Time: 7 minutes (except time to soften butter and cream cheese.)
1. Allow Butter and Cream Cheese to sit out until at room temperature and softened.
2. In a large bowl, place the softened Butter.
3. Cream the Butter with a hand mixer for 2 minutes. Then add the Cream Cheese and cream for 2 minutes or so more until well mixed.
4. 1 cup at a time, add the Powdered Sugar and blend well.
5. Add Salt, Vanilla and Almond Extracts and mix well.
6. Keep Cream Cheese Icing at room temperature for the best consistency to ice cakes.
7. Refrigerate unused icing. To use again, bring to room temperature then mix with a hand mixer for about 1 minute before using.
OPTION: For those that like a very strong Cream Cheese taste add another 4 oz. of Cream Cheese for a more intense flavor.
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