Red Velvet Rose Cake, The Finer Cookie.

Red Velvet Rose

January 1, 2015

Red Velvet Cake is all the rage in cupcakes, in wedding cakes, and on every internet site, it seems. It’s referred to with reverence and nostalgia–a cake that my grandmother made with some old-fashioned flour. It seems that there is a lot of anxiety about achieving just the right red color, which begs the two questions: why is this cake red? And, why is it so difficult to make this cake red? I had to laugh because when I cut into this red cake, it somehow smelled like strawberry (which was complete insanity). I ask again, does strawberry have a scent?

Being that this was my very first Red Velvet Cake, I wasn’t expecting much. My first tangy taste of it was the smooth batter. Tasting it baked, it was light, fragrant soft, tangy and delightful. Much better than a Butter Cake, toothier than an Angel Food Cake, fresher than a Shortcake or a Quick Cake. It had an irresistible quality that surprised me. Bottom line: a winner, but next time, I might just ditch the red colouring. Then again, I already feel sentimental about the red, so making a White Red Velvet Cake just wouldn’t be the same.

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Instructions

MIX THE LIQUID INGREDIENTS

  • Not too much to say here either except that I didn’t have any liquid red food colour. Instead, I used a lot of Christmas Red gel to colour the egg whites.
One would think this was enough Christmas Red gel.
One would think this was enough Christmas Red gel.

MAKE THE BATTER

  • All here is normal technique.
The dry ingredients.
The dry ingredients.
Making the batter.
Making the batter.
Not red yet...
Not red yet…
  • Except that in the end, the batter was red. Was it the correct shade of red? Had I used enough gel colouring? Would it be a dark pink instead of dark rich red? I felt anxious! Then I felt anxious about feeling anxious over this superficial point. I refused to post my colouring concerns to our FB page because I simply refused to submit to such anxiety–anxiety that I had been contemptuous about, until now. BTW, I forgot to take a picture of the pink batter. It was all that anxiety, I think.

BAKING THE CAKE

  • Again, it was a normal process baking this cake, except for the fact that the cake was still red.
Red velvet cake out of the oven.
Red velvet cake out of the oven.
  • However, when I unmolded it, the crust was a normal cake colour brown. It wasn’t red anymore. I looked at the picture. I looked at my cake. Nope. It was clearly not red anymore. I was beset by self-doubt.
The baked red cake, red no more.
The baked red cake, red no more.

ADDING THE RASPBERRY GLAZE

  • I made my own with frozen raspberries, a tiny bit of sugar and lemon juice. It’s the puree I learned from The Cake Bible whereby you defrost the frozen raspberries and capture the juice. Then you push the pulp through a fine sieve to remove the seeds. Then add sugar to taste, and reduce it slightly, adding the lemon at the end.
  • The cake came alive as I painted the Raspberry Glaze on it. It turned the prettiest red color, and all my enui disappeared. The glaze was so very tart (was this the strawberry I thought I smelled?), that it was just a perfect highlight to the cake itself.
  • I really loved this experience.
It's still pink inside.
It’s still pink inside.
Red Velvet Rose Cake, The Finer Cookie.
Red Velvet Rose Cake, The Finer Cookie.

WHAT ARE THE ALPHA BAKERS? : Here’s how it works: once a week, for the next two years, 25 Alpha Bakers commit to baking their way through every recipe of Rose Levy Beranbaum’s newly published The Baking Bible. Each week we post our experiences on our blog sites: our successes, our failures, our like and dislikes . The recipes are scheduled in advance so that everyone is baking the same recipe at the same time. No recipes can be shared in my Alpha Bakers The Baking Bible posts due to publishing restrictions enforced by the publisher, but if you love to bake, this is a must-have book. You can see other tutorials for the same recipe at the following link The Baking Bible Alpha Bakers at http://rosesalphabakers.blogspot.ca/.

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