Friday, January 23, 2015

RED VELVET PIECE OF MY HEART CAKE




Years ago, I created a cake called the "Because You're Mine Cake."  It ended up gracing the cover of my 2013 book Bake It Like You Mean It.  A few years before that, I put the first version of the on this blog after having worked on the recipe and design ideas since having my pastry shop.





Every iteration of this cake, from its first inception 10 years ago, has been dark chocolate vertical cake stripes against white icing.  It's dramatic.  It's delicious.  It's a showstopper.



But this cake is, at its heart, a Valentine's day cake.  I've been thinking lately, why not make it red? Red velvet, in fact.



So I bring you the updated version of the "Because You're Mine" cake in red velvet.  I've simplified it by taking away the top and bottom layers that I'd originally added to the cake.  So with all these sweet changes,  I think it deserves a name of it's own, don't you?

RED VELVET PIECE OF MY HEART CAKE

For the cake

4 large eggs, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons warm water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons natural cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6-7 drops red gel food coloring

2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.  Line a half sheet pan with parchment and spray with non-stick spray.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the eggs, sugar, warm water and vanilla.  Whisk together.  Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk constantly until the sugar has completely melted and the mixture is warm to the touch.

Transfer the bowl to the stand mixer, add the dye, and whisk on high until the eggs have tripled in volume and ribbon when you raise the whisk attachment.  Adjust the color as you go, adding another drop of dye here and there for a deeper red.


In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.  Sift onto a piece of parchment and then sift back into the bowl.

Sift the flour mixture over the beaten eggs, 1/3 of the flour mixture at a time, and gently fold the flour into the eggs after each addition.

Smooth the batter in an even layer onto the prepared sheet pan and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cake starts to pull from the sides of the pan and springs back when gently poked.

Immediately sprinkle the confectioner's sugar over the top of the cake and spread to make sure the surface is evenly coated.  Using a paring knife, run the knife along the edges of the cake to release it.

Place a piece of parchment over the top of the cake and then place a clean kitchen towel over the parchment and then place another sheet pan over that and flip the cake over. Lift up the sheet pan but leave the parchment attached to the cake.  Roll the cake up, from the short side, to form a roll inside the kitchen towel.  Keep the cake rolled until it has cooled.


For the buttercream

10 egg whites
2 cups sugar
1-2 pounds unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine the egg whites, sugar and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer.  Place the bowl over simmering water and whisk until the sugar has completely melted and the mixture reaches at least 160ºF.

Transfer the bowl to the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk on high until the meringue is white and shiny and the bowl is cool to the touch.

Add the butter, a few tablespoons at a time, and continue whisking all the while until the buttercream thickens and is spreadable.  There's a change that before the transformation takes place, the buttercream will look as if it has curdled.  This is normal.  Add a small hob of butter more and continue whisking!  Keep in mind that you may not need all the butter, so work slowly and watch the progress of the buttercream.

To assemble

1 jar red sprinkles

Roll out the cake and remove the parchment.  Cut the cake into 3 long strips, each strip measuring about 4" wide.  Spread an even layer of the buttercream over the entire cake, using a little less than 1/3 of the buttercream.  Roll one of the strips into a tight roll.  Move the roll over to the next strip, allowing the ends to meet, and continue rolling the cake.  Continue this with the last strip until you have a large roll of cake!



Turn the cake over, with the spiral side down.  Immediately cover the cake in a very light and rough coat of buttercream.  This is your opportunity to even out the sides of the cake, especially where the tail end of the cake sits.  You'll notice that it isn't perfectly round due to this little piece sticking out, so compensate for this with buttercream.  Refrigerate the cake after your rough coat to allow the cake to set.  About 30 minutes.

rough coat of buttercream


Once the first layer of buttercream has set, smooth the remaining buttercream over the cake.

Cut two strips of parchment, about 2" wide, and wrap around the center of the cake.  Cut a large 3" heart from the parchment and adhere to the middle of the top of the cake.  Press the red sprinkles all along the exposed buttercream parts of the cake and then carefully remove the parchment.

Cut a small heart from a larger piece of parchment and place the parchment over the center strip of exposed buttercream.  Press red sprinkles onto the "heart" area and gently remove the parchment to reveal a single red heart.