Last night was a sad night for us... Our company is going home tomorrow
BUT... It is hard to be sad when you are making a legendary Red Velvet Cake... And impossible to be sad when decorating with Easter Peeps...
First the cake... Red Velvet Cake is legendary for it's chocolate richness, buttercream icing decadence and the beauty of the red cake contrasted with the white icing. Bobby Flay did one of his Throwdown shows about Red Velvet cake a few years ago. A simple Google search came up with that recipe on the Food Network Website and I stuck to it...
Ingredients For the Cake
- 3 3/4 cups AP Flour
- 3 tablespoons Dutch processed cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cups vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure Vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon red food coloring
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
- The Frosting Recipe Follows
For the cake:
DirectionsPreheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour 2 (9-inch) cake pans and line each pan with a round of parchment paper.Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowlCream the butter, sugar and oil in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl and beat until incorporated. Beat in the vanilla, vinegar and food coloring.Add the flour mixture to the batter in 3 batches alternating with the buttermilk, mixing well after each addition. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool on a baking rack for 15 minutes before removing the cake from the pans. Let cool completely before frosting. Slice each cake into 2 layers and frost.
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
- 7 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups superfine sugarCombine the cream, milk, vanilla bean and seeds in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Remove the vanilla bean and discard. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened to a paste, about 2 minutes. Scrape into a bowl, cover and refrigerate until very cold, at least 2 hours.Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat until the mixture is very fluffy and the sugar is totally dissolved, about 6 minutes. Add the cold paste, a few tablespoons at a time to the butter mixture and whip until light and fluffy.
You have heard already that I do not have a few items that in the past I would have considered essential.
Like my Kitchenaid mixer. Truly Joanie Mitchell was right when she sang "You don't know what you've got till it's gone". BUT, what I did have was my cousin-in-law's daughter who just earned a baseball scholarship to college. So, no kitchenaid, no mixer, but I did have the $14,000 a year arm of a baseball girl to do all the heavy lifting... um mixing involved.
Of course the star of this recipe is the decorating.
And as spectacular as it looks, it is so easy a baseball girl who spends almost no time in the kitchen can do it (sounds like a car insurance commercial).
Line the top with a ring of peeps... I alternated the colors, but if you have a preference, feel free to chose just one color...
line the top with a bed of chocolate chips...
Cut a few peeps in half (oh the peeping screams of terror) and line the base of the cake with the half peeps, again alternating colors...
and finally, add a few single chips between the peeps as accents!
And what better way to celebrate the blessed Easter season than with such complete decadence...
As you would expect from a food network slash Bobby Flay recipe. Perfection! The recipe came out extra chocolaty, extra moist, decadently sweet and rich... And the whimsical touches made it a big hit with everyone.
It was fun to have a sous chef for a day. I got to sit back and bark a few instructions and watch it all come together! The $14,000 a year baseball girl got to learn a new skill (and how else would she be able to catch a baseball boy than with this recipe... certainly not making Brussels sprouts... but I digress)
And the most important thing of all to learn is to be humble...
And to be gracious when you bask in the glory among your family and friends when you have a successful cook session...
Pose for photos...
Live the moment...
One quick note, I was inspired by this decoration idea from a post from the Noble Pig, when she showed how she made a sunflower Cake to honor Kansas!