Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Red Velvet Cake

Yesterday, Robert and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary. When I think back on our wedding day, it really is hard for me to imagine that it's been three years. While the time we have spent with Robert in law school certainly feels the weight of the full three years, our time together as man and wife barely even feels like a year. I have been truly blessed to have married my perfect compliment and my best friend. The past three years have challenged me to serve him better and him me.
This picture was taken immediately after the ceremony.

This year Robert and I decided that we would give each other the gift of the arts as our anniversary gifts to each other. We purchased a membership to the Kimball Art Museum in Ft. Worth, saw a friend of mine perform in the Ft. Worth Opera and this Friday will go see the musical Chicago, a personal favorite of ours. Since both nights at the theatre include nice meals, we decided that we would eat in on our actual anniversary.

As I thought about what I would prepare for dinner, I decided that I wanted to do two things to make it a special meal at home. First, I wanted to prepare any meal of Robert's choosing (he chose prosciutto wrapped, stuffed chicken) and second, I wanted to bake a red velvet cake. The reason for the cake is simple. The first anniversary is always celebrated with the consumption of your wedding cake, in our case our baker made us a fresh version so we wouldn't have to eat it frozen. As I thought about this first anniversary tradition, I wondered why cake shouldn't be a part of every anniversary celebration.
 Our beautiful wedding cake by Panini

This is the only cake cutting picture we have, of course we are not at all serious!

Our wedding cake, while beautiful and absolutely delicious, was not red velvet. However, in the last three years red velvet has quickly become both of our favorite cake variety and I think it is safe to say that if we were planning our wedding today, our wedding cake would have certainly been red velvet. For all these reasons I decided to undergo the adventure of baking a red velvet cake to end dinner last night.

This was my first attempt at baking a red velvet cake and I think it's safe to say that it was a big success. The cake was moist and had just the right amount of cream cheese icing to accompany it. While we may have had to wait until 10:30pm to enjoy it, the wait was well worth it.

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Red Velvet Cake
Cake Ingredients
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 Tablespoon distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 oz. red food coloring

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 cups confectioners’ sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using butter, grease and flour two 8 inch cake pans.
In a medium sized bowl add the 2 eggs and gently stir with a wire whisk.
Add the 1 1/2 cups oil,
cup of buttermilk,
 tablespoon of vinegar,
 teaspoon of vanilla,
 and 2 ounces of red food coloring.
Using the whisk, stir until completely combined.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl if using a hand mixer or whisking by hand) add the 2 1/2 cups of flour,
 2 cups of sugar,
 tablespoon of cocoa,
 salt and baking soda.
 Using the whisk attachment on the mixer, mix until the ingredients are fully incorporated.

Pour the wet ingredients mixture into the dry ingredients with the mixer on low. 

Once the liquid contents have been poured in, mix on medium-high for about a minute, or until fully blended.
Pour the batter into the two cake pans, evenly dispersing the batter. Drop each pan on the counter a few times each to break up any bubbles that may exist in the batter.
Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when place in the center. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes.
 After 10 minutes, remove from the pans and set on wire racks. Cool completely before icing.
When the cakes have cooled, (and you have cleaned the wire whisk attachment and bowl for your stand mixer) add the butter and cream cheese to the bowl and cream until smooth.
 Add the teaspoon of vanilla and mix well.
 In batches, add the confectioners sugar.
 When done the frosting should be smooth and creamy. Doesn't that look delicious?!
At this point, if the cake is completely cool you can begin icing the cake. If the cake is even a little bit warm, do yourself a favor and just be patient! I never wait long enough and always am frustrated at how difficult it is to get the icing to appropriately adhere to the cake. If you're serving the cake as dessert, you might want to bake the cake before starting dinner and let it cool while you cook and eat and then ice it afterwards.

To ice the cake, place the first cake on the cake stand or platter.
 Top with as much icing as you would like in between layers. Robert and I are not big icing people so I chose to go on the lighter side.
 Place the second cake on top of the iced cake.
 Apply as much of the rest of the icing to the remainder of the cake.
 Now cut yourself a big ol' slice and enjoy! You've earned it!
Source: bakerella

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