My baking group, The Cake Slice, chose Red Velvet Cake with Mascarpone Cream Cheese Frosting for February. As always, we reveal our cake and our blogs about it on the 20th of the month. That's today!
As the author of our cookbook notes, "'Velvet' cakes started showing up in the late 1800s, the name referring to any cake with an especially fine crumb. Red velvet cake, meanwhile, grew in popularity in the 20th century (perhaps because red food coloring, a key ingredient in the cake, became readily available)."
I was a little disappointed to have to wait until after Valentine's Day to post about red velvet...it's so associated with that special holiday (and with Christmas, of course). But it's a classic, dressy cake that could be enjoyed at any special occasion.
There is some disagreement as to which is the "right" or "traditional" type of frosting to use with a red velvet cake. Some say that a cooked white frosting is what was originally used, but many wouldn't dream of using anything but a cream cheese frosting. It's completely up to you. Ours specified a cream cheese and mascarpone frosting.
This cake was beautiful, moist, and delicious. And as always, I am a huge fan of anything and everything cream cheese.
I made this cake for my younger daughter's birthday. She had a small individual layer cake, and the rest of us had cupcakes.
Red Velvet Cake with Mascarpone Cream Cheese Frosting
2 and 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1/2 cup lightly packed unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup canola oil
2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon red food coloring, either gel or liquid
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 and 3/4 cup sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
2 egg yolks, at room temperature
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
Center oven rack and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9" cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, sift together the dry ingredients, and whisk to mix well. In another small bowl, combine the oil, vanilla, and food coloring.
In your stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Turn mixer to low and drizzle oil mixture into batter until well-combined. Turn back to medium high and beat until fluffy again.
Blend in the eggs and egg yolks one at a time, adding the next one as soon as the previous one disappears.
Turn the mixer to low. Add the flour mixture in three parts, and the buttermilk in two parts, beginning and ending with flour. Scrape the bowl frequently. Do not overbeat.
Divide the batter evenly into the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Rap pans firmly on counter to release any air bubbles. Bake until centers of the cake spring back when lightly touched, 28 to 30 minutes.
Cool on rack for 30 minutes before removing from pan. Continue to let cool, top side up, until completely cool. Leave the parchment paper on until you assemble the cake.
When layers are cool, remove parchment paper and assemble and frost as for a layer cake:
Mascarpone Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
8 ounces mascarpone, cold
1/2 cup heavy cream, cold
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
Using your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the mascarpone, cream, and sugar. Beat on low speed until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl frequently. Mix on high speed for about a minute or until creamy and thick. Turn mixer to low, add the vanilla, and mix just until blended.
Use immediately, or keep in fridge up to 5 days. If refrigerated, blend and soften with a spatula before using.
I had fun decorating these for the birthday party...done in a Valentine's theme since it was so close....here's a tutorial on making the chocolate drizzle hearts: