Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Roll out the red velvet

It's a catch up week for the Alpha Bakers where we get the chance to bake something we've missed or, for the more diligent Alpha, to take a breather. I tried my hand at the Red Velvet Rose since I missed baking it a few weeks ago. You'll notice in the picture that my cake is not a rose. Those baking tins are pretty expensive so I'm waiting for someone to de-guilt their baking stash in my favour. In the meantime I used a more staid but still shapely tin. 

I'm taking this cake to work for my manager's birthday tomorrow so I haven't cut it yet. It feels soft and light so hopefully that augers well for the flavour. I wouldn't say this was the prettiest cake I've made and in one of the photos it looked a lot like I'd spilled tomato sauce on it. I'm sure someone a lot more adept at decorating could make it look spectacular. I'm just going to serve it with lots of cream.

I think I might have said this before but this is one strange way to bake a cake. Almost nothing goes in the order you'd expect (if you're a staid but shapely baker). You do start by creaming the butter and sugar but you also add some oil. This turns the creamed mixture into an eerie white colour. Then you add flour and buttermilk and then finally egg whites with red food colouring.

There is something very enjoyable about making such a strange cake, sort of mad professor-ish. Particularly when some of the ingredients are bright red and gloopy.

Okay, so I chickened out on the full force of the red food colouring. When I started to measure it out, it just seemed like such a LOT of VERY RED colouring that I stopped and topped up the amount with water. I don't know what kind of terrible brainwashing I've been subject to but something was telling me that that virulent red, egg white mixture was not right. That healthy lifestyle messaging is insidious, if you're not careful before you know it, you're cycling to work, munching on a kale leaf (wearing a t-shirt advising the world of your contempt for food additives and E-whatsits).

So I ended up with a deep salmony-pink colour (it was more pink than the photo shows). I thought it was quite pretty although I do realise the cake is not called pink velvet cake.

While the cake was baking I started on the raspberry sauce that goes with it. 

No sieves were harmed in the making of the raspberry sauce although quite a few were used during the cooking process. Plus a mouli. How many seeds do raspberries have? (this is a rhetorical question not an invitation to count them and let me know) I'm mostly not bothered by seeds in berries and in fact didn't even think about it until my younger brother told me, many years ago, that he didn't like strawberries because of the seeds. (What seeds?! Such a fussy eater.) But I went the extra mile with this sauce and de-seeded it. I didn't really follow all the steps of the recipe in the right order but I used the same ingredients and it turned out to be extremely delicious. And a fantastic red colour.

The baked cake turned out to be a pinky brown colour, of course. It took the full 45 minutes to bake and came out of the mould without any problems (at which stage I was congratulating myself on not having that tricky-looking rose mould).

Ta-daah - pinky-brown velvet cake. Until the addition of the raspberry sauce of course. Rose is a genius.

Next week we're baking Perfect Peach Galette.


  1. Your cake looks pretty..even if it is on the pink side. I like pink! :)

  2. I like the pink too… prettier :) and it looks fab with the raspberry sauce "paint". A lovely cake for your managers birthday!

  3. Did your office like the cake? I like the pink tone. When I used the full amount of red dye it really was disturbing.

  4. Mouthwateringly beautiful cake!! I love that raspberry syrup! I didn't catch up this week....Oh well. See you next week for the peach galette!

  5. Mouthwateringly beautiful cake!! I love that raspberry syrup! I didn't catch up this week....Oh well. See you next week for the peach galette!