Saturday, October 29, 2005

No Mistake Red Velvet Cake

Mike's choice for his birthday cake this year!

2 cups sugar
2 1/3 cups flour
1 tbs. Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups vegetable oil
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 ounce (1 bottle) red food coloring

1 recipe Pecan Cream Cheese Frosting (below)

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease two round 9-ince cake pans and line the bottom of each pan with a circle of parchment paper. Grease the paper.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine all the ingredients and whip on low speed for 1 minute, or until everything is incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl and increase the speed to medium and whip for 2 minutes. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and smooth the surface of the batter with a spoon.
3. Place the pans on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 to 30 mintues, or until a toothpicck inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans for 15 minutes. Invert the cakes onto a wire rack, remove the paper, and cool completely. Flip the cakes right side up.
4. With a serrated knife, trim off the domed top of each cake to make a flat surface. Sandwich the layers with frosting and cover the sides and the top with frosting.

Pecan Cream Cheese Frosting

5 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 1/2 tbs. unsalted butter, softened
3 cups confectioners sugar
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. heavy cream
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese and butter and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes or until smooth. Scrape the inside of the bowl. Reduce the speed to low, gradually add the confectioners sugar, and mix until incorporated. Add the vanilla and cream and mix until smooth. Fold in the nuts.

This recipe is by Stephanie Hall in the book, Baking from the Heart. She is the pastry chef of Elizabeth's restaurant in Savannah, Georgia.

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