19 November 2012

Birthday birthday birthday!!

For the past few years I've had a coffee and walnut cake as my birthday cake of choice, made by myself or my mother.  This year I fancied a change and was feeling exciting so I went for a red velvet.

I've made red velvet cupcakes from the Hummingbird bakery several times but I've never made a layer cake.  Being super fussy I knew I wanted to make a 7" cake because I like the way they look (don't ask), but the Hummingbird recipe makes a 3-layer 9" cake, larger than ideal.  I had a quick google of '7" red velvet cake' and came across Gino D'Acampo's recipe on the itv website here.  A little random, but it was delicious!

The cake came up such a vivid colour, it doesn't look like it should taste like chocolate! Traditionally, red velvet cake is iced with cream cheese frosting, but it freaks me out so I like to use white chocolate buttercream on mine.  Swiss merringue buttercream doesn't cope well in heat so I went for a delicious white chocolate buttercream I used to ice a ginger carrot cake with the recipe from Sweetapolita.

Most perplexing for me though was to have a bbq outdoors for dinner on my birthday and not have to wear a million scarves and sweaters to stay alive! 

Gino D'Acampo's Red Velvet Cake
120 g unsalted butter
300 g caster sugar
2 eggs
20 g cocoa powder
40 ml red food colouring
1 tsp vanilla extract
240 ml sour cream
300 g plain flour
pinch bicarb soda
pinch salt

1) Preheat the oven to 170 degrees and grease and line 2 x 7" cake pans.
2) Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3) Add the eggs one and a time, beating well after each addition.
4) Beat in the food colouring and vanilla extract.
5) Fold in the sour cream.
6) Sift in the dry ingredients and fold through until well combined and the mixture is smooth.
7) Split the mixture between the 2 pans and bake for 35-40 minutes - mine took 40 minutes.

The recipe on the itv website is different to the procedure I followed, but to be honest, I couldn't be bothered to faff around making it how they suggested and I don't like whisking when the dry ingredients are added so I had a fiddle and made it my own way!

White Chocolate Buttercream - taken from Sweetapolita and makes enough to cover and ice a 10" layer cake
250 g unsalted butter
175 g white chocolate
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp almond extract
pinch of salt
750 g icing sugar

1) Cream the butter until it is soft.
2) Melt chocolate in the microwave and add to the butter, with extracts and beat through.
3) Sift in icing sugar and beat well to combine.

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