The taste of smooth velvet – By Jenny Morris

The taste of smooth velvet – By Jenny Morris
Jenny Morris

Fooding Around with Jenny Morris

I have always found Red Velvet cakes so sexy. It’s really no surprise that they’ve become so popular in recent times.
This is a cake with either a dark red, bright red or red-brown colour. Traditionally it is prepared as a layer cake topped with cream cheese, or cooked roux icing. Sometimes the reddish colour is enhanced by adding beetroot or red food coloring.

It is made from everyday ingredients like buttermilk, butter, cocoa, flour, and of course the aforementioned beetroot or red food colouring to give it its lustre. During World War II when foods were rationed, bakers used boiled beet juices to enhance the colour of their cakes. This has carried on to the present day.
I keep getting drawn to this lovely book written by Sarah Dall. I’ve baked many yummy things from it in the past weeks, and here is another delight I would like to share with you.

So, let’s bake!

Red velvet mini cakes
These attractive mini cakes don’t only look pretty, they taste delicious too. The layers of cake and icing ensure a good moist cake.
Makes 4 small cakes

Ingredients for the cake batter:

  • 125g softened butter
  • 250g castor sugar
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 200g cake flour
  • 30ml cocoa powder
  • 5ml baking powder
  • 60ml red food colouring
  • 125ml buttermilk

Ingredients for the icing:

  • 50ml butter
  • 1 x 250g block cream cheese
  • 250g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 vanilla pod, split and deseeded
  • Preparations:
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line 2 x 25 cm cake pans.

Method for the cakes:
Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until pale and fluffy. In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Mix together the food colouring and buttermilk. Fold the butter mixture and dry ingredients into the buttermilk mixture. Divide the batter between the two cake pans and smooth down the top with a rubber spatula. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a metal skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. If you touch the cakes lightly they should spring back when baked through.

Method for the icing:
Cream together the butter and cream cheese, then add the sifted icing sugar and vanilla seeds. Beat until smooth and thick.

Assembling the cakes:
With a 6 cm circular cutter, press out four rounds from each cake, so you end up with eight rounds. Ice each layer and assemble two rounds on top of each other, so that you have four mini cakes. You can also use a slightly smaller cutter, press out more rounds and stack three rounds on top of each other for even taller mini cakes.

A tip from Sarah: A lovely idea when serving these cakes is to brush rose petals with egg white and dust with castor sugar. Set aside to harden, then place on top of each cake. Or simply decorate with any beautiful edible non-sprayed flowers that you have in your garden.

© Sarah Dall 2014 Published by Struik Lifestyle

Article by Jenny Morris