Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake

Cake

2.5 c flour
1.5 c sugar
2  T unsweetened baking cocoa
1 T baking powder
1 t salt
1.5 c vegetable oil
1 c buttermilk
1 t vanilla
1  oz red food coloring
2 eggs

  1. Heat Oven to 350˚F. Grease bottoms and sides of 3 (8 or 9-inch) round pans with shortening; lightly flour.
  2. In a large bowl, beat all cake ingredients with electric mixer on low-speed 30 seconds,  scraping bowl constantly. Beat two minutes on medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally.
  3. Pour into pans.
  4. Bake 25-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  5. Cool ten minutes; remove from pans to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

Frosting

0.5 c flour
1.5 c milk
1.5 c sugar
1.5 c butter, softened
1 T vanilla

  1. In medium saucepan, mix 0.5 cups flour and 1.5 cups milk with whisk until smooth.
  2. Cook over medium heat until mixture is very thick, stirring constantly.
  3. Remove from heat; cool 10 minutes.
  4.  In a large bowl, beat 1.5 cups sugar and butter with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  5.  Gradually add flour mixture by tablespoons; beat on high-speed until smooth.

Cake Assembly

  1. Fill and frost cake, using 1 cup frosting between layers.
  2. Store covered in fridge.

While the cake is cooking, we are reflecting on how the first step of our cake making process went. First we should mention that we did, in fact, not make Red Velvet Cake, instead we made Pink Velvet Cake. While there is a common misconception about a reaction with the cocoa powder that turns the cake red, it only gets its coloring from the red food dye. Without knowing this before experimenting, we did not add enough dye to turn the cake a deep red color. We also learned a new, very effective way to grease the pan. By adding parchment paper to the bottom of a greased pan, and then greasing the top of the paper, it keeps the cake together and stops it from sticking to the pan. When we got to cooking the cake, we found out two things. Our oven was accidentally set to 400˚ F, and thankfully, after checking 14 minutes into the cook time, discovered that our cakes were cooked. The red velvet cake doesn’t rise as much as expected.

While waiting for the cake to cool, we learned yet another trick to baking. By putting the cakes into the fridge, we can reduce the cooling time and speed up the entire process.

After allowing the butter to soften, we made the frosting. We found, through tasting the frosting, that you have to mix the milk and flour together before putting it in the sauce pan because the flour becomes clumpy, and the frosting looks and tastes wrong. To remedy this problem we tried something rather low-tech. We took the frosting and pressed it through the strainer with the back of a rubber spatula. This effectively removed all the flour clumps and left a smooth, creamy, sugary delight. Other than that, the frosting went smoothly and without error.

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