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Recipe Testing

When people find out that I make cake, they inevitably say to my kids, "You must get cake all the time!" This is the point when both children turn to me with anger and resentment in their eyes. No they don't get cake. Not often. Only birthdays really. Well tonight they are happy children! I made us a cake.

I have the occasional order for red velvet cake, and no tried and trusted recipe. I even had a bride and groom come for a cake tasting, and I used a recipe that I'd thought I made before, but it was suspiciously brick-like. VERY dense. Too dense. So now I'm on a quest to find a good red velvet recipe that I like.

My kids couldn't be happier.

And if you're wondering about this one, here is my review:

Texture is might lighter, not nearly as dense. The one I made a few weeks back that was super dense had a more identifiably 'red velvet' flavour. This one isn't quite as distinct, but still very tasty. I would definitely use this recipe over the other one, but I'm not sure my quest is over yet.


A note I didn't mention about red velvet before is that I'm somewhat against adding artificial colour to an otherwise perfect recipe just for the novelty of the colour itself. Of course, the exception would be rainbow cakes, which I love for the obvious reasons. In the case of red velvet, the colour is added to try to enhance the look of a chemical reaction that occurs naturally. (The vinegar and buttermilk's affect on the cocoa.) I used very little colour in my test, definitely less than a tablespoon, and you can see what the result is.

Here is the recipe for this Red Velevet Cake:

recipe found in Cool Layer Cakes by Ceri Olofson

150g sugar (original recipe calls for superfine sugar)

60g unsalted butter, softened

1 large egg

120ml buttermilk

1 tsp vanilla

1 tbsp red food colouring gel (or to desired colour)

20g unsweetened cocoa powder

150g all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp white vinegar

Preheat oven to 350° and prepare an 8" pan. (I would have actually preferred a 6" for this amount of batter because I prefer a taller cake with more layers.)

Beat together sugar and butter until smooth. In another bowl, lightly beat the egg. Add the egg to the sugar and butter mixture on medium speed.

In a small bowl, mix together the buttermilk, vanilla and food colour.

Sift together the flour and cocoa powder in another bowl.

With the mixer on low speed, add half the red buttermilk to the butter, then half the flour. Do this one more time and scrape the sides of the bowl.

Add baking soda and vinegar and beat until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 mins.

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