I was asked recently to bake a fancy cake for a friend hosting a “Cake and Coffee” stall at a local fete, she was inundated with offers of chocolate and carrot cakes so I knew I would have to come up with something different and decided to make a “red velvet cake”, from "Joy of Baking", fresh raspberries would have been nice, but they are out of season so had to settle for raspberry essence and berry flavoured marshmallows to decorate. I am sorry I could not attend the fete and so don’t have a pic of the interior of the cake, but am assured it was very red and eagerly devoured.
RED VELVET CAKE:adapted from “Joy of Baking”
Preheat oven to 175 degrees C and place rack in centre of oven. Butter two 23 cm round cake pans and line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
2 1/2 cups (250 grams) sifted cake flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons (15 grams) regular or Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (300 grams) white sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoons pure raspberry extract
1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk
1 bottle liquid red food colouring
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda
In a mixing bowl sift together the flour, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside.
Beat the butter until soft (about 1-2 minutes). Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the raspberry extract and beat until combined.
In a measuring cup whisk the buttermilk with the red food colouring, make sure very well mixed or cake will be streaky. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk to the butter mixture, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour and again be sure it’s not streaky.
In a small cup combine the vinegar and baking soda. Allow the mixture to fizz and then quickly fold into the cake batter.
Working quickly, divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans and smooth the tops with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon, it tends to rise in middle as it cooks, so be sure very flat on top. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 25 - 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cakes comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Place a wire rack on top of the cake pan and invert, lifting off the pan. Once the cakes have completely cooled, wrap in plastic and place the cake layers in the refrigerator for at least an hour (or overnight). (This is done to make filling and frosting the cakes easier.)
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 350 g cream cheese, softened
- 225 g 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 500 g 4 cups icing sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy.
- Add the butter; beat until smooth and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the sifted icing sugar, ½ cup at-a-time, beating well after each addition, scraping sides and bottom of bowl as needed.
- Add the vanilla, mix to combine.
- If piping the frosting, refrigerate frosting for 15 to 20 minutes before assembling cakes (frosting will firm up, making it much easier to pipe).
- If not using immediately frosting can be refrigerated up to 3 days in an airtight container. Allow frosting to come to room temperature and beat on low speed in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until smooth.
I then covered the top with berry flavoured marshmallows, Ideal cake for young girls birthday.
Now for something plain.
SABLES Little Frenchies thanks again to “Joy of baking”
10 tablespoons (140 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups (260 grams) all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 tablespoon water
Sift in flour, baking powder and salt and beat just until incorporated. Do not over mix the dough.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface, knead the dough a few times to bring it together, and then divide the dough in half. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (at least an hour).
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and place rack in the centre of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Remove one portion of the dough from the refrigerator and place on a lightly floured work surface. Roll out the dough until it is 1/4 inch (1 cm) thick. Using a lightly floured 2 inch (5 cm) round fluted cookie cutter, cut out the cookies, placing them on the prepared sheet. Place the baking sheet of cut out cookies in the refrigerator for about 15 -20 minutes to chill the dough. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the egg with the water for the egg wash. Remove the cookies from the refrigerator and brush the tops with the egg wash. Then, with the tines of a fork (or I like to use the end of a toothpick), make a crisscross pattern on the top of each cookie. Bake cookies in the preheated oven for about 12 - 14 minutes (depending on size of cookie) or until golden brown around the edges.
Cool cookies on wire rack. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
Makes about 3 dozen bisc.
Everybody loves this wicked slice
CHOCOLATE CARAMEL SLICE All recipes
For the shortbread base
· 1 2/3 cups (220g) plain flour
· 165g butter
· 1/3 cup (90g) white sugar
· For the caramel filling
· 1 tin sweetened condensed milk
· 125g butter
· 2 tablespoons golden syrup
· 375g dark chocolate
1.Place first three ingredients - flour, butter and sugar - in a food processor and process until mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
2.Press into a 20cmx20cm tin.
3.Bake at 190 degrees C for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool.
4.Put the condensed milk, butter and golden syrup into a medium sized saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour mixture onto cooled base and refrigerate 3-4 hours.
5.Make chocolate icing and spread over caramel and cool in fridge. When set cut into bars.
Chocolate icing: 2 cups icing sugar, 2 tablespoons butter softened, 2 or 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, mixed together with about 1 tablespoon boiling water.
TAN SQUARE [SLICE] my mother used to make this 50 years ago and it is just as good today
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 can(200g) sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon golden syrup
Beat butter and sugar until pale and creamy, mix in vanilla, flour and baking powder and mix well.
Reserve 1/4 of mixture for topping.
Press mixture into a lined 28 x 18cm slice pan and refrigerate.
Preheat oven to 180 C
Place condensed milk, butter and golden syrup in a
saucepan or microwave and heat until butter is melted. Cool in and then spread
over base. Sprinkle with remaining shortcake mixture and bake for 25 - 30
CHOCOLATE COFFEE MELTING MOMENTS
180 g butter
3 rounded tablespoons icing sugar
160 g flour
20 g cocoa
4 level tablespoons cornflour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Ingredients for Coffee Butter Cream:
1 teaspoon instant coffee dissolved in a scant tablespoon of boiling water
60 g butter, softened
4 tablespoons icing sugar, approx.
Beat softened butter and sugar together well. [I mix it in the blender], Add sifted dry ingredients. Roll small teaspoon mixture into balls and place on greased oven sheet and flatten with a floured fork. Cook at 160° about 15-25 minutes until melting moments are cooked through. when cold sandwich together with butter cream and serve dusted with cocoa.
To make Icing:
Combine dissolved coffee, softened butter and icing sugar together and beat well.
Makes approx. 20 –, 10 once joined depending on the size.
Pictures taken early one morning by my sister when she was visiting, taken from our deck while I was still asleep.