Red velvet cake tips
Red velvet cake is more of a vanilla buttermilk cake with a hint of chocolate flavour.
* The combination of buttermilk and vinegar is what makes the texture of red velvet cake unique and special.
* Whether you are using homemade or store bought buttermilk you need to add vinegar as well . You can’t substitute buttermilk with regular milk when making red velvet cake.
* When acid and bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) react there are bubbles created . And this reaction creates lots of air which is needed when making red velvet cake.
* I highly recommend using red gel food colouring. Gel food colouring is highly concentrated and adding won’t change the consistency of the batter(mixture) .
* I find that with liquid food colouring you have to use a lot of it in order to achieve the perfect colour . And adding a lot of it also affects the consistency of the batter .
* If possible use unsweetened cocoa powder so that the cake is not overly chocolatey. Don’t substitute cocoa powder with chocolate powder. You will ruin the entire cake .
* Most if not all recipes use bicarbonate of soda instead of baking powder. My recipes included ! Because the acid and soda combination will give you a light , velvety cake texture.
* Oil helps to keep the cake moist. I only use oil in my red velvet cake recipes . But you can also combine both butter and oil or just use oil alone .
* If you are using butter , make sure you cream it very well with sugar until it’s light and fluffy. It should be pale in colour . That means light and fluffy butter with lots of air .
* Mix in the eggs one at a time . Add all the eggs at once collapses air bubbles which you need for this cake .
* All your ingredients should be at room temperature. So take out your ingredients form the fridge at least 2 hours before you start baking .
* I suggest using cake flour because it has a lower protein content than any other type of flour . So cake flour creates a softer and lighter cake . But if you live in a country where cake flour is not popular you can use all purpose flour . Make sure you sift it well .
* Combine all the dry ingredients and sift them all at once instead of sifting each ingredient one at a time . This prevent you from over mixing your batter .
* Sifting all the dry ingredients helps breakdown large lumps and add air . And this will help to keep the cake soft and fluffy.
* Red velvet cake is moist , soft and fluffy. So it can become a challenge when frosting it . So make sure the cake sponges have completed cooled off or wrap them with cling wrap and keep in the freezer.
* You can frost the cake while frozen . This will prevent it from crumbling or falling apart .
* Bake at a low temperature. Baking the cake between 160-170 Degrees Celsius is ideal for me . The cakes won’t have a dome on top and they will rise beautifully as compared to baking at 180 Degrees Celsius.
* As any other cake , do not over mix. Mix the wet and dry ingredients until well combined. Over-mixing will give you a dry and hard cake .
* Add the red food colouring before sifting in the dry ingredients. This will help you to monitor and adjust the colour correctly.
* Bakers use different kinds of food colouring and they all have a different concentration. So if a recipe calls for a certain amount of food colouring and after adding you still have a pinkish mixture , feel free to add a little more .
* If already your batter (mixture) looks pinkish before baking , you will definitely get a pinkish cake at the end . That’s why I emphasize on monitoring the colour using your eyes instead of sticking to what the recipe states .
* Grease your baking pan and line it with parchment paper (baking paper ) . This is to prevent the cake from sticking to the pan .
* If you still don’t have a clue about what buttermilk is and how you can make your own at home please go through my page . I have make a post about 5 ways of making homemade buttermilk .
And I use homemade buttermilk in 98% of my recipes.
* Fun fact : Originally beetroot juice was used to make red velvet cake instead of red food colouring. One day I will share a recipe of red velvet cake using beetroot juice.
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