Monday, 14 February 2011

Red velvet cake

I have to admit this is a last minute substitution. I have a carefully drawn up schedule of what I am going to post on each day on this blog (mainly because I have to make it and photograph it myself in preparation). But today, at the last minute, I threw the schedule out of the window in favour of a spot of whimsy. It's Valentine's day, after all.

Now I don't subscribe to excessive silliness on this day, but I do like to give (and receive) a card and some little gesture of romance (flowers will do nicely, thanks, hon). This year, I also indulged in a little baking... purely because I found heart-shaped silicon cupcake and sponge moulds in my grocery store and was tickled pink with them. I actually bought them so that my son could make something special for his lovely girlfriend, but then I felt compelled to try them out myself first (as you do).

I made a batch of heart shaped cupcakes for the visitors' room in church yesterday, using a lime and coconut cupcake recipe I got from the Kitchen Crusader (just yum). Her recipe left me with a whole lot of icing, though, so - naturally - I had to find a use for it. I decided made a heart-shaped cake using a recipe for red velvet cupcakes. The recipe I found originally called for cream cheese icing, which I have already described as part of the recipe for banana, carrot and nut cake. I found it worked just fine with the lime and coconut. Feel free to make your own substitutions. That's the joy of baking, after all!

Oven temperature

140g plain (cake) flour
20ml cocoa powder
2.5ml bicarbonate of soda
2.5ml baking powder
125ml buttermilk
5ml vinegar
2.5ml vanilla extract
25ml red food colouring (liquid) or 2.5ml red paste
55g butter at room temperature
175g sugar
2 eggs

50g butter, softened
250g icing sugar
60ml coconut milk
7.5ml lime juice

  • Preheat the oven.
  • Grease a 20cm cake tin (unless you're using silicon, of course, which needs no such folderol) or line a 12 hole muffin pan with paper cases
  • Sift the flour, cocoa powder, bicarb, baking powder and salt together, ready for later use.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla and food colouring. Do not be tempted to lick your fingers (as I did) if this mixture splooshes you... bleagh!
  • Cream the butter and sugar together well.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one.
  • Alternate adding the dry ingredients with the red mixture, about a third at a time, beating well after each addition. Keep going until you've mixed the whole lot together.
  • Either pour it into the cake tin or divide it between the paper cases.
  • Bake in the centre of the oven for about 20 minutes for cupcakes, or 25 for a single cake. Test with a skewer (it should come out dry) or by pressing gently (if the cake springs back when pressed gently, it's done).
  • Turn the cake out onto a cooling rack. Wait until it has cooled before icing it.
  • Use an electric beater on the butter until it's very pale.
  • Add the icing sugar, about a third at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Add coconut milk and lime juice and beat well until completely combined.
  • Spread the icing on the cupcakes/cake and decorate as required.

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