Red-Velvet Red-Letter Day!

Its been a very busy week which has meant that I haven’t been able to post anything. This has been annoying because I have been working on a few different projects, all of which I am excited to share with you all. In an attempt to maintain some sort of order and style in my blog, as well as saving something for a rainy day,  I am going to be mean and only share one of my latest activities with you – the rest I will save for another time!

This week was Mr B’s birthday (Mr B is my hubby in case I have not mentioned it!) and he turned the grand old age of 31. Happy birthday lovie! As well as the typical man-gifts like DVD’s and socks Mr B was lucky enough to receive a gift from me which appealed to his inner Doctor-Who-Geek. I got him a brilliant T-shirt in the style of the Doctor’s outfit (The 8th Doctor) and I think he would probably wear it to work if he could! A very excited Mr B!

Aside from the birthday gifts, it has been a tradition since we first met that I bake him a cake and I usually try to find something we have not had before. This year my birthday-cake-experiment was a Red Velvet Cake.

I found the recipe here at Bakerella.com. I have only just discovered this amazing and inspiring website but I think there might be a lot more recipes I have to try out. Head on over if you want to get the full recipe details.

The first stage of the process was to mix the wet ingredients together followed by the dry ingredients together (in seperate bowls). The recipe says to use one 1½ cups of oil but this sounded like a lot to me so I only used 1 but after having tasted the finished cake I think it was a little dryer than it should have been so I would add the whole amount of oil next time.

Once the ingredients were well mixed in their seperate bowls it was time to mix them all together to create the cake batter.

The batter looked great and was a really rich red colour. Unfortunately once it was cooked (you will see later on) it wasn’t nearly as bright and vibrant a colour. I think there were probably a few reasons for this. 1) I didn’t measure the food colouring; I just guessed so I maybe didn’t add enough in the first place. 2) The cake was missing some of the oil so became quite dry. This quite possibly altered the texture and colour. 3) I think I slightly over-cooked the cake, drying it out further, and this impacted on the final colour.

The next step was to pour the batter into the greased cake tins, drop the tins to bring the air bubbles to the surface and pop them in the oven.

Now, I have lived in my house for over a year and have had the same oven that entire time, however I still haven’t quite figured out how to adapt timings of recipes to suit it. For some reason it seems to be very hot and cook things quicker than it should. Its not a major problem (and in fact its great when we’re running late at tea-time!) but it does mean that when I try new recipes I sometimes misjudge the cooking time. This is what seems to have happened with my cakes. They didn’t burn but they did seem to be a little bit dry and a little browner on the outside than I would have liked. (Also, remember what I said about the colour not being particularly vibrant?)

I left the cakes to cool and made up the frosting – a very yummy cream-cheese mix (the recipe for this is also on the Bakerella website)

The final stage was to sandwich the cakes together and then to ice the entire cake. This part was a little bit tricky because my cake was so dry and crumbly. The crumbs kept mixing in with the forsting and got smeared over the cake. It looked quite messy and required a little bit of effort to remove all the crumbs. On the plus-side, I got frosting all over my fingers so just HAD to lick it off when I was done! Yum!!

Mr B’s birthday was 3 days ago and there are only 2 slices of cake left so I guess it was a hit despite the slight over-cooking and the paler-than-desired sponge. I will definitely be trying this recipe again with one or two slight amendments. I think it would also make lovely cupcakes – handy for giving as gifts!

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