Red Velvet is a super trendy cake nowadays. Who wouldn’t want to bake a perfectly baked, moist red velvet filled and frosted with cream cheese frosting. The recipe of red velvet is very close to Devli’s food cake and you can even say this is a variation of devil’s food cake.
Ingredients for Cake:
•4 egg (room temp)
• 600 gm sugar
• 500 gm flour
• 4 tbsp coco powder [ We use Cadburry Cocoa , price varies from 350-450 tk and available at superstores, generel stores etc.]
• 200 gm butter ( room temp/cut into small pieces) [You can use Aarong/Pran Butter, Milk Vita is a little too salty for this recipe, price is around 160-170 tk]
• 2 tbsp brewed coffee [We always use Nescafe Gold, a large bottle is probably 700-800 tk, you can buy the smaller ones though]
• 1 cup sour cream [Naarmann sour cream is the brand that we use, costs about 700-800 tk per litre polypack]
• 1 cup milk
• 3 tbspoon red food color. (You can use Foster Clark/ Bakewell liquid color or 1 tablespoon of Wilton/Sugarflair/Americolor gel color)
• 4 tsp vanilla essence [Foster Clark works fine]
• 2 tsp baking soda
• 1.5 tbsp vinegar [ White Vinegar]
• Preheat the oven to 175 degree Celsius/350 degree Fahrenheit.
• Warm up the milk a little and mix coffee powder with it.
• Pour sour cream over the coffee mixed milk after getting into room temperature and stir well.
• In a bowl sift together flour and cocoa powder and set aside.
• In a large bowl start beating butter until fluffy.
• Add sugar gradually and continue beating.
• Add the eggs, one at a time and mix until well combined ( remember not to overbeat the egg, otherwise the cake will have a rubbery texture).
• Once the mixture is well combined, add the dry and wet ingredients alternatives ( 1/3rd at a time). DO NOT OVERMIX.
• Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again with a spatula.
• Now comes the tricky part. Spoon over the baking soda on the mix and then pour the vinegar just on top of the soda. You will see fizzes, mix quickly and thoroughly.
• Pour the mix quickly in the pre greased 10 inches cake pans( try to make the top as even as possible).
• Bake in the pre heated oven for 24-30 minutes until a wooden stick comes out clean.
Ingredients for the Frosting:
1 and 1/2 cup of cream cheese. (Preferably Philadelphia or Garden’or cheese blocks, available in Gulshan DCC 1 market)
1/3 cup superfine icing sugar ( You can Use SIS or even Anchor, we use custom made icing sugar though)
2/3 cup Italian/Swiss meringue buttercream. ( usual recipes call for butter, which i replaced with meringue buttercream for a smoother and stiffer frosting.)
Start beating the cream cheese in a bowl with a hand held or stand alone electric beater. Beat until there is no lump in it.
Gradually add icing sugar and continue beating until all the sugar is incorporated. There should be no grittiness.
Add buttercream and mix for a brief amount of time. Do not overmix at this point, If there is any curdling, add a bit of softened ( but not melted) butter and beat, it should be alright.
Once the frosting is ready and your cake is cooled for an hour or so you can start filling and icing your cake. Before you put on the final decoration you have to crumb coat the cake and let it set in the refrigerator for a while.
Now decorate your cake as per you wish. Keep it simple like this:
Or you can add some buttercream decoration:
Or Cover the cake with Fondant and decorate in style.
Creaming method is one of the most popular cake mixing method. The good thing about this method is that you will end up making a tasty cake even if you make some mistakes here and there. We can actually talk for ages if we want to discuss this process thoroughly. However we are going to simplify the whole process in some simple steps. We are also going to show you some video tutorials in future posts.
This method is named creaming method as the recipes call for ”Cream butter and sugar” or “Beat butter and sugar”. What you basically have to do is beat butter/shortening and sugar together until the butter turns to look paler in color. Creaming basically means adding air bubbles to the batter by beating sugar with solid butter. Here comes two important issues to notice, you need crystallized ( can be very fine crystals though) sugar for an aerated batter and also the butter/shortening has to be solid. Many recipes ask for room temperature butter, but in a hot country like ours it is recommended not to keep butter out of refrigerator for more than 10 minutes or so. And the best way to do this is just to cut your solid butter into small cubes and then start beating them. If your recipe asks for both butter and shortening , beat the shortening first and then add butter to it.
You have to scrape your bowls quite often to get an even mix of air bubbles throughout the batter and be careful never to under or over mix. Although many recipes ask you to continue beating until the mix of butter and sugar becomes light and fluffy, some of the recipes have so little amount of fat that you will actually never get a fluffy mix, rather your mix will feel like sand. So look at the ratio and if you see the ratio of fat is too low, just beat until the sand like mixture looks even. If you beat for too long and your batter’s fat becomes too warm, the air bubbles incorporated inside the batter will start to loosen up and you will get a half ruined mix.
The next step is to add eggs. Since you need to create egg-water-fat emulsification, the eggs has to be added gradually like one at a time. (This is more like how you make mayo and add oil little by little so the mix does not get runny). Eggs can be both room temperature and cold but both are fine. However cold eggs might result in a little curdling of the batter which is okay.
Another important thing is in this method the final wet and dry ingredients are always added in the last and are added alternatively in two or three pats. You have to scrape your bowl often and mix the batter. However just remember to mix enough as under-mixing will cause lumps inside the cake whereas over-mixing will cause losing too many air bubbles.
Lastly you need to add some leavening agent to the batter. However, creaming method cakes basically rise inside the oven due to three types of leavening – from air bubbles trapped inside the batter, from the steam created from the liquids added to the batter and also from the chemical leavening agents. The chemical leavening agent can be baking powder/baking soda. The recipes that call for only baking soda needs you to add some vinegar to activate the agent.
We are now going to talk about the six basic methods of cake making. The examples and recipes will be there in the next sessions:
Creaming Method: This method is called creaming method as butter/fat content and sugar is creamed together at first. Afterwards the dry ingredients and the liquid ingredients are added alternatively. The high fat content absorbs the liquid quickly and the flour helps to bind the liquid content to the batter ( the liquid usually seems to get separated otherwise). The cakes made using this method are usually a little dense, but super moist. One important thing to remember while making cake in this method is that we do not use any egg white foams here , but you definitely need some sort of leavening/rising agent ( chemical agents) as the fat makes the batter quite heavy. The most common cakes that we make using this method is the super popular red velvet cake and devils’ food cake. (We will see the video tutorials along with recipe in our next tutorial section.)
Whisked Sponge Method/ Foaming Method: This one is probably the most popular in our country. Everyone wants to master a light yet perfect sponge. Sponges are made by whipping egg whites or whole eggs with sugar into a thick foam and then folding flour into the mixture. Typically no extra leavening and fat is added in this method, but there are exceptions like genoise.
Angel Food Cake Method: Angel food cake is basically a variation of good old sponge cake. However there is absolutely no fat (not even egg yolks) used in this method and the name angel food cake is derived from the idea that this cake has such an airy light texture that it could be the food of angels. Special pans are needed to bake angel food cake properly.
Chiffon Cake Method: This method also uses the foam of egg whites as part of leavening, however this method also requires chemical leavening and is not definitely fat free. This method not only uses egg yolks and butter/oil, some of the chiffon cake recipe also asks for additional egg yolks into the batter.
Two Stage Method: In this method we first mix the dry ingredients with the fat content and then we add the liquid in parts. The batter is usually thinner than most other cakes. The mixing is usually done in slower speed and you might need to scrape in the bowl quite often. The batter is usually more liquid and needs slow and low baking. Chocolate fudge cake can be the ebst example for this method.
Flour-Batter Method: The cake that is produced using this method is usually the one with fine grains. Here the fat and half of the flour is first mixed and the sugar and egg are whipped separately, Afterwards the two mixtures are combined and liquids and the rest of the flour are incorporated in the end. An example of this could be heavy fruit based pound cakes.
Although there are like millions of cake recipes in cookbooks and all over internet, the cakes that we usually see can be divided into two basic groups. One of the groups use substantial amount of fat, whereas the other group use no fat or a very little amount of fat. The most interesting thing is there are just six basic methods that let us make these two types of cakes. All the innumerable recipes that we see are some improvised versions of these six basic cake mixing methods. In this first tutorial series, we are simply going to discuss about the methods and their way of mixing, we will also show examples from each method and if possible video tutorial of that recipe. However, as an addition to the mixing methods we are also going to discuss a little about the raising or leavening of the cakes and how in each methods the leaving is done differently so that you get to understand the chemistry behind cake baking too. Since it will take us quite some time to write down all that we know, we are going to divide the tutorial into even smaller groups.
Lets start with cake raising or leavening today as it is necessary to understand this before going into the details of mixing methods However, we will keep it short. Leavening basically refers to making light or raising. If you cut inside a cake, most of them will have very visible sponge like texture ( lots and lots of holes inside). Some cakes have random spongy texture with lots of un-uniform holes, some have uniform ones and some cakes might not have any visible ones. This texture is a result of the leavening gases getting expanded in the oven heat. ( Well this is kind of basic science that gas gets expanded in warmer temperature). There are basically four types of leavening gases.
The first one is air and an example of this is the use of egg white foams in cake batter where air is whipped into the cake batter and during baking, the air bubbles trapped inside the batter gets expanded and help the cake raise.
The second one is water vapor or steam. Pastries like Choux pastry or some quickbread crusts traps water vapor generated from the heating of the ingredients and helps to raise.
The third one is carbon dioxide that is generated from the using of chemical leaving agents like baking soda and baking powder. We use them in so many different recipes.
The fourth one is the gas created from yeast fermentation. This is also called the biological method of leavening. Most of the breads and some pastries like danish and croissant use this method.