Sunday, 29 January 2012

Well it was *supposed* to be red velvet...

I know. I've commited a huge blogging sin. It's been four months (FOUR!) since I last wrote a blog post. I've missed blogging edible goodies for all the fun holidays; halloween, my birthday, Christmas...I'm disappointed in myself! I started a new job in October and I feel like it's taken over my life. Sadly it's completely baking unrelated, and I'm working early, late, away, even a weekend or two. My New Year's resolution should definitely have been to make more time to bake.

But anyway, here I am, back with another promise to try and turn over a new blogging leaf! Here goes...

I'm no stranger to red velvet cake. I've tried Eric Lanlard's offering from his Soho shop Cox, Cookies and Cake:

Delicious and perfectly blood red!

I've sampled a mini red velvet cuppie from Ella's Bakehouse in Covent Garden:

I've even tried my own hand at Hummingbird Bakery's red velvet cupcake recipe.

But I've never made a large layer red velvet cake, and I wanted to give it a go. The results were not exactly as desired...

The recipe I used was from a book I got for my birthday in November, Cake Magic, and have yet to even open. Shameful. Anyway, it was slightly different to most other red velvet cake recipes I had seen, but I decided to give it a go.

The first disaster was that the recipe doesn't state how much red food colouring you should add, so I went with a guess of one tablespoon, and when that didn't appear to be enough, I added another tablespoon. But the result was...well just muddy purple. I thought there was rather a lot of cocoa powder for a red velvet recipe (30g), so I guess that explains the muddy colour. It suggested spreading the mixture over 3 x 8" tins, but I barely got it to spread over 2 x 7" tins. And well...when I took it out, it may as well have been a couple of biscuits. I know my oven IS pants but still, I expected them to rise a little, but nope, nothing!

So basically, I ended up with what I can only describe as two purple velvet excuses for cake, which were yummy, but pretty much tasted like your bog standard chocolate cake. And one fell apart when I took it out the tin. A failure you might think.

But fear not, because, as my dear old Grandad used to say, I have a cunning plan! And here is what I actually ended up with...

Mini layer cakes! Ok, so really it's just the size of a normal (ish) cupcake. But how cute! I ended up cutting out the decent bits of cake with a 68mm round cutter, sandwiched them together and voila! Not what I intended, but it all worked out tastily in the end. 

I haven't mastered the art of icing the cakes without getting the crumbs all through the icing yet...


  1. I used an entire bottle of cochineal last time. Basically though, it is just a reddish chocolate cake.

    Have a look at youtube for how to crumb coat. It revolutionised my icing.

    Love the mini layer cake idea.

  2. Ahh I will have a look, thank you! I will just have to keep practising :)

    Yes, I just thought 30g was rather a lot compared to other recipes I've tried, I prefer that 'hint' of chocolate taste. This recipe also used red wine vinegar, whereas I've only used cider vinegar previously, which I think gives quite a different taste.