Red Velvet Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream
October 8, 2014
Did you really think we were going let our last post get away without sharing one of the recipes from the beautiful flower adorned cakes? The flowers are gorgeous and all, but those cakes? Um, yes please. Not to fret, The Cocoa Cakery is sharing her Red Velvet Cake recipe with us and I couldn't be happier. Huge props to Affairy Events for envisioning this project and to Caprice Design + Purple Tree for making it come to life!
When I began the cocoa cakery I was convinced of two things. They must be beautiful and they must taste amazing. Thus began my search for all my recipes and the trail and error process of adding and subtracting from my list of preferred flavors. I had a little handful of family recipes that have been refined and altered ever so slightly to accommodate the need to uphold decorating and luscious swiss meringue buttercream. One recipe I came across early on that was a sure hitter was the Red velvet from The Joy of Baking. Not only were the instructions full and comprehensive, but the included video added much knowledge to the why's and how's of baking red velvet. One can never be over taught or learn too much about ones field!

------------RED VELVET CAKE------------
from "The Joy of Baking"

2 1/2 cups (250 grams) sifted cake flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons (15 grams) regular or Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk
2 tablespoons liquid red food coloring
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda

(175 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Butter two - 9 inch (23 cm) round cake pans and line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl sift together the flour, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside.

In bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until soft (about 1-2 minutes). Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.

In a measuring cup whisk the buttermilk with the red food coloring. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk to the butter mixture, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour.

In a small cup combine the vinegar and baking soda. Allow the mixture to fizz and then quickly fold into the cake batter.

Working quickly, divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans and smooth the tops with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 25 - 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Place a wire rack on top of the cake pan and invert, lifting off the pan. Once the cakes have completely cooled, wrap in plastic and place the cake layers in the refrigerator for at least an hour (or overnight). (This is done to make filling and frosting the cakes easier.)

------------SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM------------
with chocolate chips

8 ounces (227 grams) egg whites from whole eggs or a carton
16 ounces (454 grams) granulated sugar
16 ounces (454 grams) unsalted butter, softened but not warm
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Combine the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl or the top of a double boiler and set over simmering water, stirring periodically, until the sugar is dissolved and the temperature reaches 160 F (71 C) if using cracked eggs. Remove from heat and cool to a cool room temperature, 60-65 F (16-18 C). This can be done in the freezer, refrigerator, an ice bath, or at room temperature.

Meanwhile, beat the butter in a mixer bowl with the flat paddle attachment on medium-high for about 1 minute until creamy and slightly lightened.

Reduce speed to medium-low and gradually add the cooled sugar syrup to the butter. Scrape down the sides of the mixer bowl and beat on medium-high for 2 minutes.

Reduce speed to low and slowly add vanilla extract. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 1 minute until light and creamy.

**See a full photo tutorial of the buttercream right here!

------------Assembling Your Cake------------

Bake your three 8" rounds of red velvet and cool.

Secure with a dab of buttercream the base cake to the cake board or plate and ice your first layer of cake. Be generous! Continue with your second and third layer and finish with a fluffy layer of buttercream on top.