So it was my dear friend Tacit’s birthday on Saturday and we all went out today for a fancy little banquet in a nearby pub. I spent a while deliberating over what cake to make her because she is a very special person/squirel and deserves the very best. I decided upon this cake because it is said to be the Dolly Parton of cakes and Jenni doesn’t half love a bit of Dolly Parton…
Recipe. From Rachel Allen’s book, ‘Bake’.
Red Velvet Cake
This delicious treat has layers of vampy red cake contrasting with snowy white frosting. The result is quite spectacular, both to look at and to eat. A journalist once wrote in The New York Times that this is the Dolly Parton of cakes - rich and tacky, but much loved all the same!
150g (5oz) butter, softened
300g (11oz) caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs, separated
250g (9oz) plain flour
25g (1oz) cornflour
1 tsp baking powder
2 level tbsp good quality cocoa powder
250ml (9fl oz) buttermilk
Red food colouring (use 2 tbsp liquid colour or ½ tsp thick red food paste) Pinch of salt
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
For the white frosting
2 large egg whites
250g (9oz) caster sugar
50g (2oz) golden syrup
Pinch of salt
¼ tsp cream of tartar
2 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract
You will need two 23cm (9in) diameter sandwich tins, each about 5cm (2in) deep
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), Gas mark 4. Butter and flour the sides of the cake tins and line the bases with parchment paper.
2. Cream the butter in a large bowl or in an electric food mixer until soft. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and the egg yolks, one by one, beating well after each addition.
3. Place the flour, cornflour, baking powder and cocoa powder in a sieve resting on a plate. Measure the buttermilk with the food colouring and mix together. It should be very red, so add more if you need to.
4. Sift one-third of the dry ingredients into the butter and eggs mixture until just combined, then pour in one-third of the buttermilk mixture and mix until just combined.
Continue, combining a third at a time, until both are incorporated.
5. Whisk the egg whites and salt in a large, spotlessly clean bowl until stiffish peaks form. Add one-quarter to the batter and mix. Add the remaining egg whites in three stages, folding them in gently with a large metal spoon until just incorporated, leaving as much air in the egg whites as possible.
6. In a small bowl, mix the vinegar and bicarbonate of soda until it bubbles up, then gently fold this into the batter. Quickly pour the batter into the two prepared tins and smooth the tops. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.