I think every food blog should have a red velvet cake recipe...what say???? I know I want one and trust me I've been at it for so darn long. The Hummingbird Bakery here in Notting Hill got me hooked on to the lil red darlings about a year back and since then I have been trying to recreate it at home. Five times and I've never been successful. Have tried different recipes, different brands, different procedures, but never have I managed to get that red colour....that I am so deeply in love with. I know using food colouring is not the best, but what the hell...once in a blue moon you crave some red velvet goodness and its OK to indulge, I guess!
So anyhoo, after all those disaster episodes I finally decided to use a ready mix..yes, I'm a cheater..a good one at that, because I couldn't for the love of me find a red velvet cake mix in any of the supermarkets here in London and so I wrote to my cousin in the US, who happened to be visiting me, to bring me the original Duncan Hines Red Velvet Cake mix. He did and boy was I glad. If you cant make em, buy them...that motto kinda works great with me, you know :)
I was waiting for an occasion to make it, but my baby (read Ro) was nagging me saying I never make cakes (ya rt!) for him. So finally I decided to give this mix a go and I was so happy when I saw the red colour appear when I mixed it all together. I forgot how amazingly easy ready mixes were. I even thought out loud, that I should go back to being a Betty Crocker ready mix fan. It makes life so much more easier especially if you have any intention of filling and frosting it. The cakes were ready in no time and they were so spongy and soft and doing the job of the original red velvet so beautifully.
Now what is red velvet without the traditional cream cheese frosting? So I finally put my cupcake decorating class to good use and for the first time my cream cheese frosting came out perfect...it was the right consistency to spread and to pipe, something I always managed to screw before I was shown how to do it. A lot of you wrote in asking for tips from that cupcake decorating class. This is one of the proportions I learned for the cream cheese frosting and hence forth I think I'm gonna follow it and be a happy gal.
I am not giving you the cake recipe simply because I didn't make it from scratch and the recipe that I have been following haven't been yielding good results. So here is the cream cheese frosting recipe.
Cream cheese- 175 gms
Mascarpone cheese- 175 gms
Icing sugar- 83 gms
Vanilla extract- 1/2 tsp
Mix together all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and using a paddle attachment beat on low speed till they are all just combined and then on medium speed for about a minute or two max till you gain the required consistency. Don't over-beat it because once the icing becomes loose, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. Trust me, I KNOW!
Once thing I learned while making a layer cake is to weigh the batter equally for a consistent cake size. That way you wont end up with 2 different sizes.
I also find that after doing a crumb coating for the cake, placing it in the refrigerator for about 15 to 20 minutes helps while doing the final layer on top.