October 26, 2011

Old-Fashioned Red Velvet Cake w/ Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting


That's my response to this cake.


Cream cheese frosting is, on it's own, fantastic. The sweet tangy flavor with such a richness to it- perfection. Of course chocolate is equally wonderful. Therefore the two together are a perfect match. And that's just the frosting.

This cake is amazing. There's no other word for it. But before I go on too far, I just want to add a disclaimer here and say that it's not a chocolatey cake. Not at all. Not even by red velvet standards. It's really more of a yellow butter cake in taste.

But oh my.

It's rich. It's buttery and intense and every bite is a perfect bite.

Normally I try to stick with healthier recipes, but with this one- you just have to commit. It's worth every bite. I swear.

This was also a special cake. It was a birthday cake. In my family, we always bake a cake from scratch for the other person. Nobody is allowed to bake their own cake. We all have favorites, but sometimes we like to mix things up a little. Hence this cake.

This is a Birthday cake with a capital B. It is also a Valentine's Day cake, an Anniversary cake, a New Year's cake, an I-was-just-in-the-neighberhood-and-thought-I'd-say-hey cake. It's a my-team-just-won-the-superbowl cake, an I-just-reorganized-my-desktop cake, and of the course a Just-had-a-slice-ten-minutes-ago-but-who-cares cake.

Yeaaaaah. Get serious.

Red Velvet Cake
(from Joy of Cooking)

2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons red food dye

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Assemble all the ingredients and leave them out so all ingredients are room temperature. Take two 9 or 8 inch pans. Cut out circles in wax paper and attach the circles using Crisco as a glue. Grease the top of the wax paper and flour.

Take a bowl and whisk together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Beat the butter until creamy. Gradually add the sugar to the mixer on high speed until light and fluffy. This should take 3 to 5 minutes.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla. Beat in the egg mixture into the butter for around 2 minutes.

Take the flour mixture and buttermilk and add alternately to the batter on slow speed- 3 parts flour, 2 parts buttermilk. Scrap down the sides, if necessary. Beat until smooth.

Fill the two prepared pans.

Bake for 25-30 minutes for the 9 inch pan. Bake 30-35 minutes in the 8-inch pan.

Check cake with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, remove pans from the oven and cool on a rack.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
(from Joy of Cooking)

8 ounces cold cream cheese
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
5 ounces semisweet/bittersweet chocolate, melted
3 tablespoons coffee or water

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy. Don't over work the mixture.

Melt the chocolate and mix with the coffee or water mixture. Cool to lukewarm, then stir into the frosting.

If the mixture is too thin, chill in the refrigerator for ten minutes before spreading.

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