Experimental Food – My Red Velvet Cake Quest II

Red Velvet Baking Trial II Cake Cut

Red Velvet Baking Trial II Cake Cut

A cake. I wanted to make a whole cake. With the wonderfully sounding ‘Ermine’ icing/frosting/filling. So I did. And it was better than the cupcakes before and that was mostly due to a change in ingredients! This is part II of the quest and again, the ‘final’ recipe will come, once I am happy with texture, colour and all that. The base recipe for the experimental stage is again posted at the end of this post, with more tweaks mentioned in this post just below.

Red Velvet Cupcake Trial II

As I mentioned in the previous post about My Red Velvet Cake Quest I, I got uncertain if I had mixed things up, since I expected the cupcakes with beetroot to be redder than the ones without. However, it appeared the ones with beetroot were less red. I did not yet repeat that trial just yet, since I wanted to get a better idea about the whole picture of the cake. This time, I used brown sugar instead of white sugar, since someone mentioned in ‘ye olde days’ they called this type of sugar ‘red sugar’. We’ll see 😉
I used 2/5 of the recipe down far below to make a small cake in a Bundt and a springform and combined them to an interestingly shaped red-velvet without colouring cake.

Red Velvet Baking Trial II Bundt Cake

Red Velvet Baking Trial II Bundt Cake

Now, the cake tasted better. MUCH better in fact. It had a sort of character. Very caramel-y, due to the dark cane sugar, very distinct and pleasant with a very faint hint of a background chocolate note. I used very little Raw Cacao. Was it red? Well, no – BUT.

Red Velvet Baking Trial II Bundt Cake Close Up

Red Velvet Baking Trial II Bundt Cake Close Up

There were some red speks on the outside of the baked cakes as you can see on the right side of the uncut Bundt cake. These appeared where the still liquid dough was moved to the outside of the cake with the testing skewer. Not sure why that is, though. Also, on the close-up, you can see the reddish tinge.

Red Velvet Baking Trial II Bundt and Spring Cake Close Up Cut

Red Velvet Baking Trial II Bundt and Spring Cake Close Up Cut

There is absolutely no food colouring in these cakes! But brown sugar (a lot – 375 g) – and only 2.5 teaspoons of Raw Cacao in this recipe.
Since I did not use much Raw Cacao, I am not just beaten yet with the red tinge, which I like to be coming from something else than food folouring *hehe

The icing was a little dissapointing. VERY fatty, a hint of warm margarine. Not my thing. I must admit the Roux/Ermine icing was a bit lumpy, since I did not stir the whole time and got lumps in the flour-milk mix while cooking. This MAY have changed the outcome, so I have to make it again. However, while whipping it up I had the idea to add just a little butter – maybe 1/3 – and then add whipped cream for the rest of the weight of butter. May make it less fatty-feeling on the tongue! Also, it was incredibly overwhelmingly SWEET. Definitely LESS sugar in here! Will try 200 g of sugar next.

Red Velvet Baking Trial II Cake

Red Velvet Baking Trial II Cake

All up, however, the cake was actually quite pleasant. It also looked nice, despite lacking the distinct red colour one expects from a red velvet cake. Not bad though! Will continue with the caramel-tasting brown sugar! This has made all the difference in distinguishing it from a lame, 08-15, nothing to offer blant to an interesting, different and actually really nice cake to eat. Also, it has made it very dark brown even without any cacao. Not sure if that helps with the colour 😉

Red Velvet Baking Trial II Cake Cut

Red Velvet Baking Trial II Cake Cut

The current state of the experimental recipe
I use a Rose’s White Velvet Cake base recipe, with a lot of tweaks, since I want to get the without-added-colour ‘red’ velvet tinge going.

Ingredients for the Cake

  • 240 mL buttermilk
  • 1 Tbsp vinegar, white
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract, homemade (vanilla beans and scrapings in vodka)
  • 170 mL oil, sunflower or other low taste
  • 250 g plain flour
  • 50 g potato starch
  • 375 g dark brown cane sugar
  • 6 g baking soda
  • 2.5 tsp of RAW cacao powder, NOT dutch processed
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 5 egg whites

I sifted and mixed all dry ingredients VERY well apart from the salt. Then mixed all the liquid ingredients well apart from the egg whites. Then I have beaten the egg whites with the salt until very stiff. Next, I mixed the dry with the wet ingredients, followed by folding the egg whites into the mix. Baked at 170 °C for about 30 min until a skewer came out clean.

Ermine Icing for the Cake

  • 55 g flour
  • 360 mL milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 340 g butter
  • 300 g sugar

Mix the milk and flour, make sure you whisk it right after you add the flour. Heat the flour-milk mix in a pot while stirring and heat until you get a really thick mixture. Cream the butter and sugar, until a foamy homogenous mass. Then add flour-milk mix with vanilla and mix until combined.

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