Monday, March 26, 2007

Daring Bakers March Challenge - Red Velvet Cake

After a year of blogging, I have come to know some really great bakers. One of the very first blogs I read was Cream Puffs in Venice, written by the inimitable Ivonne. When I saw that she was part of a monthly baking challenge I quickly emailed her and asked to join. It looked like fun and I hoped would compel me to make new and interesting treats.

For the March challenge, the group, now named Daring Bakers, decided to tackle Red Velvet Cake. I have never made a Red Velvet cake but have heard about them here and there. It is a pretty simple cake to make requiring a standard creaming method. There was some debate on which recipe to use as some members did not want to use oil. It was decided we would all use our own recipe. I used a recipe initially posted by Peabody which contains oil. I don’t mind using oil and like to make a recipe to the letter when first trying it out before making changes.

When I made my cake, the batter was almost fuchsia. I only have two pans so I measured the batter out evenly; baked two and then the remaining batter when they were finished. Baked, the cakes were darker brown, like a chocolate cake, and I wondered if I put enough food colouring in the batter. Next I made the icing by melting butter and cream cheese. To me, this made no discernable difference than had I creamed them.

After assembling the cake it was time to try it out. I was nervous about this because I had no idea what to expect. After cutting it, the red layers were very noticeable and most people liked it. The cake was moist and the icing was yummy. The cake didn’t have a specific flavour – it just tasted like cake that happened to be red. After putting it in the fridge overnight I found the flavour improved the next day.

The best part of this challenge is not so much the cake, but the great women I’ve met this past month. I would also like to thank Ximena from Lobstersquad for making our fantastic logo. If you’d like to check out the other Daring Bakers’ Red Velvet adventures, just follow the links below.

All Things Edible – Quellia

Alpineberry – Mary

Cream Puffs in Vemice – Ivonne

Culinary Concoctions – Peabody

Feeding My Enthusiasms – Elle

Food Art and Random Thoughts – Morven

Hester in Geneva – Hester

Jumbo Empanadas – Brilynn

La Mia Cucina – Lisa

My Kitchen in Half Cups – Tanna

Tartelette – Helene

The Sour Dough – Breadchick

Trembon in English – Valentina

Veronica’s Test Kitchen – Veronica

Writing at the Kitchen Table - Freya


Anonymous said...

Great 3 layer extravaganza!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Yours turned out fantastic looking. Great pictures!

Helene said...

Look at that baby! Beautiful! So glad you joined our group!

Brilynn said...

I like the challenge and our group better than the actual results too!

Freya said...

Yours looks great! The cake itself looks nice and not too stodgy. Mine was like a brick!!!

Jenny said...

Your cake looks great! And I'm glad you joined out little group!

Anonymous said...


I'm so happy that you've joined us! You are one of my favourite bloggers/bakers and we Canadians need to stick together!!!

I think your cake looks gorgeous and good point about the flavour improving the next day. I found the same thing with the one that I made.

Alpineberry Mary said...

Great job Jen. Even with the nuts in your frosting, you managed to get a nice even coat.

Morven said...

Yet another beautiful and creatively decorated cake. Like you, I'm delighted to be part of this group - isn't it fun!

Peabody said...

Great job of decorating it. So pretty.

Unknown said...

THe pecans are a great addition. How much coloring did you use? All the recipes I've seen call for an entire bottle of red food coloring!!!

Lis said...

Jen - red or brown, your cake is gorgeous! That last picture is pretty enough to be in a magazine!

And the feeling is mutual regarding the best part of this challenge. =)


Elle said...

Your cake looks so beautiful! I love the outdoor want to just sit down and eat a piece. The best part of this challenge has been to meet so amazing bakers like you.

breadchick said...

I second Elle's comment. The best part of the challenge has been meeting all the other wonderful fellow Daring Bakers. Your cake is gorgeous and photography spectacular. Can't wait to bake with you again!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Jen, I wouldn't expect less from you - baking is something you do wonderfully and this cake is superb!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful cake, Jen!

Anuhea said...

I wonder what I could do to make the chocolate flavor stand out more in that cake...anyways, yours looks great!

AKR said...

I have a red velvet cake recipe from a friend in Arkansas which he got from his grandmother. The recipe includes a "bottle of red food coloring" on the ingredient list, so I have not made it yet. Maybe I will try it for a summer barbeque.


nadine said...

Red Velvet Cake was one of the biggest culinary disappointments of my life. I moved to North Carolina several years ago from Canada, and one day for a birthday party at work, a colleague who is known for her great cakes, brought RVC. I had never seen one before, and when she cut it, I thought "this is going to be the best thing I have ever tasted!" I'm not sure what I expected, but the amazing rich colour held promise of something equally rich and amazing tasting. Needless to say, I was more than a little disappointed to find it just tasted like, well, plain white cake. It looks pretty, but the amount of red food dye used is enough to keep me away from Red Velvet Cake for good.