This month I have been baking five recipes from Rachel Allen’s Bake. This time I have baked red velvet cake for the first time.
Although this is my last Bake Five blog using Rachel Allen’s Bake, I can honestly say that I will go out and buy this book. It’s been a while since I picked up a book and wanted to cook and cook with it but this one ticks that box. I wanted my fifth Bake Five entry to go out with a bang so I picked what she describes as “the Dolly Parton of cakes”, Red Velvet Cake as my last effort (this month at least).
I felt like I’d spent 3 days making this cake. I had some of the ingredients weighed out on Friday when I made the Beef, Stout and Anchovy Pie . It had been my intention that we have the red velvet cake as pudding for our fifth wedding anniversary meal. As it happened, I realised that there were a lot more stages to this cake than I was used to; whisking egg whites twice, once for the cake, again for the frosting so I decided to wait until Sunday when I had more time.
For this recipe I got my hand mixer out for the first time in years. I always approach whisking egg whites with some intrepidation but I had nothing to fear as they whisked up very nicely. The frosting too, was an adventure for me. She says to use a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of boiling water but I have a stainless steel porringer/double boiler which I find much easier and safer. It’s also nice and deep for the hand mixer! It was a variation on American frosting with golden syrup and turns out like melted marshmallows. One problem I had with this cake however was that it was not red enough. Rachel says to use 2 tsp of red food colouring or half tsp of red food colouring paste. She says it should look very red and to add more if you need to. I ended up putting a whole bottle in but still it was browny pink at best. Maybe food colouring paste is more intense? I know it’s more expensive, perhaps that’s why. The frosting worked well but stays sticky on the surface. I covered it with baking parchment beneath foil to keep fresh as I didn’t have a tin big enough for it. This was okay for first 24 hours but then the frosting started to attach itself to the paper. I wonder if this is because I used 3 medium egg whites instead of 2 large ones?
The sponge tastes great. I am not a huge fan of sponges but this feels like there’s a bit more to it than airy fairy cloying sponge. The frosting is very tasty although my husband and I are finding a whole cake’s worth of it quite challenging. Chunks have been sliced up for neighbours!
150g butter, softened
300g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs, separated
250g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 level tbsp cocoa powder
Red food colouring – either 2 tsp liquid colour or half tsp thick red food paste
Pinch of salt
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
For the frosting:
2 large egg whites
250g caster sugar
50g golden syrup
Pinch of salt
quarter tsp cream of tartar
2 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract
You will also need 2 x 9inch diameter sandwich tins each 2inch deep
Find the original recipe on RTE here.
Find out how I have got on making other Rachel Allen recipes or check out Rachel Allen books on Amazon.
Morwenna Ellis-Philips says
Thank you for your comment on my blog 🙂 You are a very lucky thing indeed going to the Nigella signing! What a wonderfully kind gesture, thank you. It certainly would find a very loving home with me, if it would be at all possible and not too much trouble for you? I would gladly pop a cheque in the post to reimburse you. Thank you for such a lovely thought
Ooh by the way we share a major passion…baking! I too am starting a tiny cake business and hope to have a tea rooms one day too! Good luck with your venture and I look forward to reading all about it xx