Saturday, February 19, 2011

Red Velvet Cake (a trend which I don't really understand)

The Altitude Adjustment Section
This recipe for Red Velvet Cake was featured on Chowhound as part of their Valentine’s Day All-Star Recipes. I adjusted it for our altitude. Big deal, it's red ... am I missing something? But at heart this is a tasty chocolate cake with a hint of orange which makes it interesting.

2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour,
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 1/2 tablespoons water
2 sticks (which equals 8 ounces) unsalted butter, room temp
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
1 cup low-fat buttermilk

Heat the oven to 350°F. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans generously, line with parchment and spray again. Sift the measured flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together twice; set aside. In a separate bowl whisk the cocoa, food coloring, and water. Beat the butter in a large bowl in your electric mixer with a paddle attachment on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the sugar, a 1/4 cup at a time, beating about 15 seconds after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, until the mixture has lightened in color and become fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, the vanilla, and the orange zest beating 15 seconds after each addition. Add the red cocoa mixture and mix until evenly incorporated. On low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour mixture, until just incorporated. Once all the ingredients are incorporated, fold the batter 3 to 5 strokes to make sure everything is mixed together. Do not overwork the batter, as this will make the cake tough.

Divide the batter between the cake pans and spread the tops evenly with the spoon or spatula. Bake until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the cakes cool in their pans on a rack for 10 minutes. Slide a thin paring knife around the edges and invert the cakes onto the rack to cool completely, at least 1 hour. Frost with cream cheese icing.