Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Recipe: Dark red velvet rose cake

Red velvet roses cake, as made by EJ
This dark red velvet rose cake is cake #2 from last weekend's triple birthday celebration! Red velvet is a wonderful luxury of the cake world, this version has a decadent four layers of dark red chocolate sponge and three layers of cream cheese icing, topped with piped red roses.

I used two tablespoons of cocoa powder in this sponge, which resulted in a very chocolatey rich dark red velvet sponge, for a brighter colour, try using just one tablespoon of cocoa powder to the same quantity of food colouring.

Make sure you use a food colouring gel for the icing, as liquid food colouring will change the consistency too much.

I chose a broad star nozzle to pipe the roses, if the nozzle you use has too many points, the roses can look a bit naff - mine has six points, I've included a video demo of this technique further down the page.

This recipe makes two shallow 15cm sponges, which you'll slice into thin layers and glue together with cream cheese icing.

For the red velvet sponge:
140g butter
140g sugar
2 eggs
150g self raising flour
2tbs cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2tbs red food colouring
2tbs milk

For the cream cheese icing:
200g cream cheese
500g icing sugar
1/4tsp vanilla extract
40g softened butter
1 1/4 tsp red food colouring gel

To make the red velvet sponge:
Pre-heat the oven to 170C (fan), line and grease two 15cm cake tins

Cream the butter and sugar together. In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Add the eggs, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, vanilla extract, food colouring and milk to the butter and sugar. Stir by hand until roughly combined, then use an electric mixer to create a smooth cake batter.

Divide the cake batter in half between two shallow 15cm round tins. Bake at 170C for 20-25 minutes, until the sponge springs back when gently pressed down.

To make the cream cheese frosting and ice the cake:
Mix the cream cheese, vanilla extract and 400g icing sugar together until smooth and evenly combined. Divide the icing between two bowls, set one aside. Add 100g icing sugar the softened butter to one of the bowls and stir in to evenly combine, then stir through the red food colouring to create a red icing.

Use a cake wire to cut each sponge horizontally in half. Place the base sponge on the cake stand or plate you'll be using. Use a pallet knife to spread the plain, uncoloured icing across the top of this sponge, then top with the next sponge. Repeat this process until all four layers are assembled.

Spoon the red cream cheese icing into a piping bag with a large star nozzle. Starting in the middle of the cake, pipe the roses clockwise from the centre point, spiralling outwards for each rose.

Piping the roses is actually very easy - if you're not used to piping, practice a couple on a sheet of baking paper before starting on the cake. I've made a short video clip demonstrating how to pipe the buttercream roses individually onto cupcakes- the process is the same for a larger cake:


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