Valentinesday

If you say that the way the way I’ve spelled it out rather than the traditional way it’s usually written, you’ll understand why I’ve put this post up on a WINESDAY! 😉

I spent a lovely and romantic evening with my boyfriend last night that was totally and completely us-takeout sushi, San Sebastian Vintner’s Red wine, loving greeting cards, orchids (my favorite), and red velvet.

And it was perfect. Who needs to spend a ton of money on roses, candy, and dinner out when you can have all this?

Anyway, let’s get to that red velvet. I found the idea of the little mini cake on Pinterest, but since some of my fun pastry and decorating supplies are still locked away in storage, I had to improvise. I baked a full 13″ x 9″ red velvet cake and used the lid of a peanut butter jar to create symmetrical circles in the cake and a paring knife to cut through. Normally, I would’ve used a biscuit cutter…but that’s sitting in a bin, locked away in my very cold storage unit.

The cake recipe comes from Paula Deen, and surprise, surprise, it has no butter. Her signature ingredient is only found in the frosting recipe that accompanies the red velvet, but I decided that 1/2 lb of butter was just a little rich after a full sushi meal. Instead, I used a whipped cream that had a bit of cream cheese whipped into it and a small amount of granulated sugar. It was light enough to make you feel only slightly guilty for indulging, but it was rich enough to enhance the red velvet. To make the frosting, you’ll need to make a fresh whipped cream. If you’re not sure how to do that, check my posting on the technique.

Red Velvet Mini Cakes

Stuff You’ll Need

Makes 11-12 mini cakes

For the Cakes

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  •  2 Tbsp red food coloring (which I don’t recommend) or 1/4 tsp red food coloring gel (which I do recommend)
  • 1 tsp white distilled vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 13″ x 9″ cake pan, parchment paper

For the Frosting

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar

How to Do It

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and lightly grease and line a cake pan with parchment paper.
  2. Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt in a small mixing bowl, and set aside. Whip the eggs, buttermilk, vegetable oil, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer or stand mixer. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the mixture, and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. When the ingredients are blended, pour the batter into the greased cake pan. Bake in the center rack for 25-28 minutes or until a cake tester, toothpick, or fork come out clean when pressed into the center of the cake. Remove from the oven, and let it cool in the pan for 15 minutes before moving to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  4. When the cake is cooled, use a biscuit cutter (or peanut butter jar lid if you don’t have one), and gently press the cutter into the cake to cut symmetrical circles. I only made an impression of the shape when I used the peanut butter jar lid, and then I used a paring knife to gently cut through the cake. I sliced the thick cake in half so that I had two circles for each cut. Place half of the circles on a baking sheet or serving dish.
  5. Make the frosting by creaming the softened cream cheese with the paddle attachment on a stand mixer. When the cream cheese is light and fluffy, switch to the whip attachment and add the heavy cream. You can use an electric hand mixer to whip this as well, but the cream cheese may not reach the same fluffy texture.
  6. Whip the heavy cream at a medium-low speed at first to incorporate the cream cheese, and then increase the speed to medium-high and then high. Add the granulated sugar as the cream is whipping, and continue to whip until it’s become thick and fluffy.
  7. Use a pastry bag fitted with a round tip or a spoon to add approximately 1-2 Tbsp of frosting to the circles on the baking sheet or serving dish. Place the second half of the cake circles on top of the frosting, and refrigerate them for at least two hours.
  8. Remove the cakes from the refrigerator, and top them with additional frosting by using a pastry bag or a spoon. If the frosting has deflated, whip it again at high speed for 1-2 minutes. Serve immediately.

Recipe adapted from Paula Deen.

Tip: I recommend gel coloring rather than liquid food coloring because the liquid can alter the texture of a cake or frosting while the gel doesn’t. However, the gel, especially the red gel, has a slightly funky taste in large amounts so if you need to alter the color of your red velvet, begin by increasing the cocoa powder. Alternate additions of that with additions of red coloring to achieve that fabulous red shade you’re looking for. I’ve heard beet juice can be used also, but…I’m not sure I want beets flavoring my cake.

Comments

  1. laurenmh84 says:

    yum… and they are so cute!!!

  2. Looks great! Yay for a lovely Valentine’s day!

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