Good afternoon from sunny, snow-capped Vancouver! What a beautiful city we live in my friends! On days like today when those heavy rain clouds lift away from our city skies and we are left with bluebird, crystalline views, the rainy days of November-past feel far away, don’t they?
As I write this, sunlight is beaming through the oversized windows of a little cafe on Fraser Street where I am cozied up, typing away. It’s been a while since my last blog post, and for that I apologize. It sounds like an extremely cheap excuse, but I have been so busy with my music this fall, and blogging on Blue Owl has been put on hold for a little bit. It really does feel good to be back here however, posting a recipe that is sure to be a future favourite of mine and I hope yours as well!
Today I will share with you a traditional recipe from the southern states, the well-loved and much sought-after Red Velvet Cake. There is something so bizarrely addicting about the red velvet cake taste. Are you a lover or a hater? I recommend giving this recipe a try if you fall into the second camp, as it focuses on tradition above all else and avoids the somewhat sickly sweet frostings that many present-day bakeries have opted to use for their cakes. This recipe uses a boiled milk “heritage” frosting which is creamy, light and a delicate partner for the smooth, fluffy velvet cake.
Red Velvet Cake
1 3/4 plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour 3 tbsp unsweetened dutch cocoa powder 3/4 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened (1 ½ sticks) 1 ½ cups granulated sugar 2 large eggs 2 tsp vanilla extract 1 tsp red gel food coloring (optional) 1 cup buttermilk 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp white vinegar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 6-inch round cake pans and set aside. I like to cut out parchment paper circles for the bottom of my pans to reduce the chance of pan-sticking. A little more work though! ;)
- Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment , cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add in the cocoa, vanilla, red coloring, and eggs – one at a time. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.
- With the mixer on low, add in half of the dry ingredients followed by the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Stop the mixer when the last few streaks of flour disappear.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the baking soda and vinegar. With the mixer on medium low, add the baking soda mix. Mix for 30 seconds to combine.
- Divide the batter between the three pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.
- Cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes before removing the cakes from their pans.
Recipe Credit: Tessa Huff of stylesweetca.com
1/4 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup whole milk Pinch of salt 1 cup unsalted butter 1 cup granulated sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla
- In a small saucepan, whisk together the flour, milk and salt to remove any lumps. Once mixture is smooth, turn stove to low heat and stir mixture with a wooden spoon until very thick and pasty. Remove from heat and transfer mixture to a small bowl. Store sealed mixture in the fridge until it is completely cool.
- Cream sugar and butter and vanilla until fluffy (2-4 mins). Add to completely cooled flour and milk mixture. Using a paddle attachment, mix on high speed with an electric mixer until the mixture is light, fluffy and pale in colour (the consistency of whipped cream).
- Gently cut each cooled cake in half, and place the first layer on your turn table. Spread a dollop of frosting on completely cooled cake. Repeat with the remaining 5 layers of the cake, and make sure that you save enough for the exterior.
- Spread a thin layer of frosting around the outside of your cake. This will be your “crumb coat.” Place the frosted cake in your fridge to set for about 5-7 mins.
- Spread the remainder of your frosting on the cake using an offset spatula. This recipe will make enough for a “rustic/heritage” look, and you will still see the colour of the cake popping through. (as seen in the photography above). If you wish to have more of a thicker look, I suggest doubling the recipe for your frosting. Happy baking!
- Store in the refrigerator.
White Chocolate Flakes/Curls
1 6-10 oz block of white chocolate
- Microwave the block of chocolate on medium until it is only gently softened (about 20 seconds).
- Use a vegetable peeler to scrape against the long edge of the chocolate bock. If the chocolate curls without the curl shattering or breaking, then it is the perfect softness.
Happy New Year by the way!! I hope you had a wonderful, restful break filled with lots of indulgences, lazing about and time spent with your favourite people. :) Do you have a pet? If so, you may be able to relate to me.. One of the most challenging things during holiday times is finding someone who is available to look after my cat! That’s really where this cake came into the picture. I went on a ski trip with my family over the New Years weekend and was desperate to find a kitty sitter for my cat Cosette while I was away! It was such a challenge…
I ended up asking my friend who I know is terribly allergic to cats and who doesn’t really like them very much to step in to help. She was such a sweetheart and helped me out despite her concerns! What a friend… she was very much deserving of this cake let’s just say!! Thank you Paisley… and what a start stepping into 2017 feeling grateful and thankful to have such a great group of supportive, loving friends that I can fall back on.
On that note, I hope that you have a wonderful start to your 2017. Have you made any resolutions? My resolutions are to start using http://www.ynab.com for better financial planning, and to dedicate more time to the people I love. (that’s you!) :)
PS: I’m going here on a date tonight!!
PPS: This makes me want to eat fettuccine
PPPS: Victoria Beckham’s letter to her 18 year old self (a beautiful read).