Friday, 18 February 2011

Her results - Heritage Red Velvet Cake

I was excited to finally make a red velvet cake. I was happy to finally make a layer cake, period. He and I are both bike commuters, and transporting big cakes to our friends and co-workers isn't easy so we generally steer clear. But this time, we made an exception.

The batter was easy to make. It was, as mentioned in the recipe, incredibly thick. The red food coloring & cocoa paste looked so pretty as I mixed it into the batter. It reminded me of a de Kooning painting at MFAH.




Pulling my cake out of the oven, my first remark was, "Huh, it didn't rise much." He blamed the leavening method, and I think he's right.


I decided to cut the cake into hearts (probably not the first thing my friends would expect of me), mainly since I wanted to find enough crumbs to coat the finished cake. In the end, this was the smartest move ever: I thought the finished cake was yucky (more on that later), but the edge scraps were delicious! The cake scraps had a light, sweet taste and were particularly delicious dipped in the frosting. I didn't get to eat much, though, because as I expected it took every last tender crumb to finally coat my cake.




My icing turned out just right - much thicker than His. It's one of those little mysteries of the world. Frosting the cake was really easy except at the pointy end, where for some reason the icing wanted to slink down the cake. I had to refrigerate the cake and icing briefly to finally get it to stick on there. Coating the cake with crumbs was easier than I expected. I used strips of parchment paper under the edges of the cake and a small silicone brush to move crumbs across the icing as needed. I still managed to make a huge mess, but that was to be expected.

I had to refrigerate the cake because I wasn't going to share it until the next day at work. Something went horribly wrong; I don't know if it was just the fridge, which we all know can change the texture of a cake, or whether it was the icing plus the fridge, or what, but the cake went totally gross over night! I let the cake come to room temperature before slicing it, and it was only when I cut into the cake that I could see how dense and stodgy the cake had become. The cake was in no way light and fluffy. I took a few bites of my slice and tossed it into the trash. I don't like eating dessert that isn't delicious. I put the cake into the student lounge and ran away. I didn't want anyone to know I made it! It disappeared quickly, so maybe I'm being overly critical, but then again maybe everyone else took a couple of bites and tossed it into the trash, too!

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