14 May 2012

Red Velvet Cake - My Favourite

(As extracted from Shine from Yahoo) Thank you Pn Azwani Hasleem

8 Essentials for Authentic Red Velvet Cake

Although red velvet cake has a mild chocolate flavor, it is not, by definition, a chocolate cake.
Rather, it’s a devil's food cake that's made with cocoa, white vinegar, baking soda,
and buttermilk. The deep red color comes from red food dye, and the cake is
traditionally iced in rich cream cheese frosting. Legend has it that the cake was
actually born in the North, at New York City's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.
But there's no question that regardless of its origins,
it has become a Southern specialty.

Some bakers out there seem to think all they need is red batter and white frosting
to make red velvet cake. Not so, there are eight rules for the truly authentic
red velvet cake:

1. The cake must have some cocoa, but not too much because it is not a chocolate cake.
2. The cake must have red food coloring; beet juice does not add the right kind of red.
3. The cake must have cream cheese frosting.
4. There should be pecans.
5. You must use high-quality ingredients.
6. Precise measurements and meticulous attention to detail are key for this cake;
therefore, it must be made in small, easy-to handle, family-sized batches.
(Mass-produced batter just doesn't cut it. Sorry, large-scale bakeries.)
7. You must use a hand-held electric mixer, not a stand mixer:
Larger machines can over-mix the batter, which sometimes prevents the cake
from rising properly.
8. Red velvet cake batter needs vegetable oil, not butter or shortening.
Oil yields a very moist cake.

This recipe incorporates all eight essentials for the perfect red velvet cake.
Paula Deen’s Red Velvet Cupcakes from Food Network

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers.
In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.
In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar,
and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients
to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.
Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled.
Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through.
Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely
before frosting.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 pound cream cheese, softened
2 sticks butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
Chopped pecans and fresh raspberries or strawberries, for garnish

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth.
Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high
and mix until very light and fluffy.
Garnish with chopped pecans, fresh raspberry or strawberry, or sprinkles.

Red Velvet cake with Raspberry Syrup