Monday, 17 March 2014

Red Velvet Layer Cake

I made this cake for my Grandparents’ Ruby Wedding Anniversary at the weekend – it was the obvious choice with it’s deep red colour and it made a great centrepiece on the dessert table. The buttermilk makes for a moist, dense sponge that is perfectly paired with this cream cheese frosting. It’s very rich though, so remember that a little goes a long way when it comes to cutting it into slices!

For the sponge: 
120g unsalted butter
250g caster sugar 
2 large eggs 
1tsp vanilla essence 
250ml buttermilk 
300g self raising flour
2tbsp cocoa powder
2tbsp red food colouring
1 teaspoon cider vinegar 
1 teaspoon baking soda

For the dyed coconut:
1 cup of dessicated coconut
Red food colouring

For the frosting:
120g unsalted butter, softened
480g icing sugar
225g cream cheese

Pre-heat your oven to 180c and line two loose bottomed cake tins with greaseproof paper.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until it’s light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, vanilla essence and buttermilk and give it a good stir, then sifting in the flour and coco powder, and gently fold it into the mixture
Combine the vinegar and baking soda in a separate small bowl and let it fizz for a few seconds, then add it to the cake mix along with the red food colouring and give it one last mix.

Divide the mix equally between the two prepared tins and gently tap them on your work surface to level the mix.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until springy to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Remove from the tins and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

While the sponge is cooking, you can make your dyed coconut. Put the dessicated coconut in a zip-lock bag with a couple of drops of red food colouring. Massage the coconut around the bag so that it soaks up the colour. Add more colouring, a couple of drops at a time, and repeat the process until you reach your desired shade of red.
Spread the dyed coconut out onto a piece of kitchen towel to dry.

Once the cakes are cool, carefully dived each sponge in half so that you have a total of four layers.

To make the cream cheese frosting, careful cream together the butter and icing sugar.
Once it’s well incorporated, add the cream cheese and vanilla essence, and continue to beat well until it’s light and creamy.

Place your first layer of sponge on your serving plate, and spread a thin layer of the cream cheese frosting on top. Add your second sponge layer, with another thin layer of frosting. Repeat with the third layer, then add the last layer of sponge on top.
Using what’s left of the frosting, cover the top and sides of the cake. (If, when you get to this stage, you’ve used too much frosting in the filling and there's not left enough to cover the whole cake, just spread what’s left on the top and leave the sides bare). 

Decorate as you wish with the dyed coconut, and there you have it!  

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