Saturday, December 6, 2008

Red velvet yumminess and my continued quest to find the most perfect cream cheese frosting!

So I was super excited about making this cake..... I love red velvet (as you can tell from previous posts). So I actually found a recipe for red velvet that Gale Gand posted on and I figured I would try this recipe b/c I liked the one from More (she was the consulting chef for Patty Rothman when she opened More). So I took the recipe I found here and played with it a bit. First off, I put a bit more cocoa powder (3 tsp) in it than the 1 tsp the recipe called for. The reason being, I like the taste of cocoa in the cake and I didn't think I would get that from only using 1 tsp. I was worried that the color would be darker, but there were no worries, as you can see from the tops that I cut off.
Also, I used butter (1 cup, same as the shortening) instead of veg shortening. I don't really like or use shortening, so I didn't feel like going out and buying it just for this.

When I find a recipe with reviews, I always read the reviews. These reviews were SO mixed!! Some said it was the best and perfect, some said it was tasteless and some said it was dry! I have to say, I wasn't disappointed at all. Now, yes I did play with the recipe... but in all honesty, everyone's baking comes out different every time. I realize that this recipe had cake flour in it and it is pretty hard to over beat w/ cake flour, but if anyone is like my mother and leaves her cakes beating in the mixer for ever, wanting to have it be completely smooth, that affects the outcome. I used 9 inch pans, which caused the very edges to be dry, but it probably wouldn't have happened in the 8 inch pans.
Also, the eighth step of the baking process is carryover baking. Chef always told us that you want to have little crumbly pieces sticking to the toothpick when you take it out. You never want it to come out completely clean! By the time you let to cool down, of course it's going to dry out!!! I took mine out about three minutes before it was done (per the recipe). It was very moist, with the exception of about a 1/8 inch along the edges that was dry, which I cut off when I cut off the top part
that domed.

I did not use the frosing recipe, obviously, since it wasn't cream cheese frosting. I faked it. Honestly, I used a basic cream cheese recipe of Alton Brown's. But the problem was.... I kinda thought my cream cheese was still good, so when I opened the package and saw mold, I had to improvise. I used half a thing of cream cheese that was being used to bagels, not baking and I substituted marshmallow fluff for the rest. Haha, that was funny....
My deal w/ it was that it wasn't cream cheesy enough and it got very sticky. I also realized there wasn't enough so I folded in some cool whip, which also made it easier to smooth onto the cake. (I put a layer of the frosting w/out cool whip in b/w the two layers, but it was so thick and sticky, it was pulling off chunks of the cake).

The result: Everyone LOVED it!! I was shocked. The cake was fantastic! The frosting was not my thing, but no one else really complained about it. My friend Amanda, who doesn't do lots of sweets, loved it so much she came over and said she wanted to just take the cake and run. Which wouldn't have been a good thing since she was the first one to cut into it!!!

So I'm still on my quest to find the BEST cream cheese recipe. Has anyone ever tried using granulated sugar instead of powdered sugar? What happened? I was thinking that it would help cut the chalkiness and the too sweetness, but then would it be grainy from the granulated crystals? I guess if no one else knows, I'll try that next!

I picked up some FRESH cream cheese from the store last night, so I am off to make a carrot cake w/ cream cheese frosting next!

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