November 27, 2011

Red Velvet Cake Pops/Balls

I only heard about red velvet cake a few years ago but have only now decided to give it a go. I found a recipe I will share which I have tweaked slightly from The Velveteen Baker's blog (and which does not require you to buy a boxed cake mix as I have never seen them here in the UK anyway).

Why red velvet - they are RED - blood red (or raw meat red as my boss described them) but it really is only a chocolate cake with red food colouring and a bit of vinegar (to get a bubble reaction with the baking soda apparently). I have read that if you prefer not to use food colouring (there is a lot in this recipe I must say) that you can use beetroot - I haven't tried it but I will next time to make it a bit more natural.

For the cake (I will update this next time I make with weighted measurements)

2.5cups + 5Tbsp plain flour, sift before measuring
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
1tsp baking soda
1tsp salt
1Tbsp + 1tsp natural cocoa powder, not dutch-processed
1.5cups vegetable oil
1 c milk (semi skimmed) with 1tsp lemon juice or vinegar added to it (aka buttermilk), room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
2Tbsp red food colouring - yes a lot (you can add beet juice instead but i haven't made to figure out how much)
1tsp white distilled vinegar
1tsp Vanilla extract

For the cream cheese icing:
2.25 cups icing sugar sifted
4oz  of cream cheese, softened
0.25cups mascarpone cheese (I completely missed this out  - and they were still good!)
4Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
05tsp vanilla extract

PreHeat oven to 180 Celsius (fan) 350 Fahrenhit

In a medium bowl mix the sifted flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda & salt.
In a large bowl  gently beat the oil, milk, eggs, vinegar, vanilla and colouring
Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until smooth.

Pour into a lined pan (round/square, whatever you want as it will just get crumpled up afterward) (9x13 is a guide)

Bake for approx 30min (turn once halfway through). Cool in the pan for 10min then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled it is a good idea to cut off any 'hard' crusts that may have formed so that the cake balls are not crunchy - use a serrated knife or a cake saw (love it!)

In a large bowl beat the cream cheese, mascapone, butter and vanilla until smooth. Sift in the icing sugar and beat until smooth. 

Rub together your cake into crumbs and add icing. Mix together until all gooey and combined (yep - very messy)
Roll out balls (about walnut sized) and place on a lined baking sheet or plate (something that will fit into the fridge or freezer). The freezer works best. Leave to set for at least 30min.

Coat with chocolate as you wish and decorate with whatever takes your fancy on the day!

In looking for recipes I came across a blog whereby it appears not to be such a new idea (red velvet) but has been passed down for some generations in America - here is a take on the above if you wanted to try something different

Here's the icing recipe that's been passed down in my family. The recipe comes from Grandma, but the directions are from my mom.
5 Tbsp flour
1 cup milk
1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla
Cook flour & milk until thick, whisking constantly. Take off heat & lay plastic wrap over the surface to prevent a skin from forming; cool in refrigerator. Cream together sugar & butter/margarine. Add cooled flour mixture & vanilla & beat with electric mixer for a long time until fluffy.

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