Today is my daughter’s 20th birthday. Happy Birthday Elia!!!
A few weeks back she told me she saw some cute pink hearts in a chocolaterie, which is not very far away from my house. One day when I was passing from there I bought some for her, as well as bitter chocolate to have it when I would be making her birthday cake. However, when I asked her what kind of cake she wanted this year for her birthday she told me she didn’t want it to be a chocolate cake and she would love something with red fruit.
As there are always strawberries during March, most of the cakes I make for Elia’s birthday have strawberries, I was thinking raspberries this year but unfortunately the supermarket where I can get some are far away.
The past weeks have kept me away from blogging as after I recovered from a cold and back ache, my husband is now having health problems and is still being treated in hospital. It’s hopefully nothing serious but this is keeping me very busy having to go twice a day, plust having all the other responsibilities of cooking, cleaning, shopping, etc. My husband usually does the shopping and he would normally drive me there, as I have stopped driving ever since we moved to Athens, so raspberries were out of the question and it’s stawberries again. Those pink chocolates I bought a few weeks ago inspired me to decide to make a Red Velvet Cake. I made a quick google search and based my recipe one I found at The Joy of Baking.
The final result was amazing although the batter was a little bit runny and I had to add a couple more tablespoons flour. I used around 300 grams as my eggs were big (around 75 grams each).
I started this cake three days ago making the strawberry coulis one day, the cakes the next day, the filling and frosting yesterday and today the syrup and decoration.
Red Velvet Cake
Filling and Frosting
Putting Cake Together
Strawberry Red Velvet Cake, recipe adapted from the Joy of Baking
Serves: 10 – 12 people.
300 grams strawberries
½ cup demerera sugar
1 shot strawberry liqueur
1 heaped tsp honey
Red Velvet Cake:
2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour (or for every cup all purpose flour remove 1 tbsp and substitute with 1 tbsp corn 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 (probably around 65 grams each)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk (or substitute with 1 cup milk with 1 tbsp lemon juice)
2 tablespoons liquid red food coloring
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar (no problem adding red wine vinegar)
1 teaspoon baking soda
Strawberry Cream Cheese Filling:
400 grams cream cheese, room temperature
250 grams heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (115 grams) confectioners’ (icing or powdered) sugar, sifted (reserve 2 tbsps for frosting)
1 cup strawberry coulis
Cream Cheese Frosting:
250 of above cream cheese before adding the strawberry coulis
250 grams heavy cream
2 tbsp icing sugar
6 large strawberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup strawberry liqueur
6 strawberry chocolates
2 strawberries, halved
Stawberry Coulis: Wash and hull the strawberries and place in a non stick frying pan. Add the sugar, strawberry (or other) liqueur and honey and simmer for about ten minutes, stirring from time to time until the syrup is thick. Set aside until it cools.
Puree in a food processor.
Red Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (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.)
Cream Cheese Filling: In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and heavy cream until smooth. Add the vanilla and confectioners sugar and beat until smooth.
Remove about 1/3 of cream cheese for the frosting. In the remaining add the strawberry coulis and mix until incorporated. Remove to a bowl and refrigerate.
Cream Cheese Frosting: In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the heavy cream with 2 tbsp icing sugar until peaks form. Add reserved cream cheese and mix. Refrigerate.
Strawberry Syrup: Cut the strawberries into small pieces. In a small frying pan add all the ingredients and bring to boil. Cook for 5 minutes.
Assemble: With a serrated knife, cut each cake layer in half, horizontally. You will now have four cake layers. Place one of the cake layers, top of the cake facing down, onto your serving platter. Wet all four pieces of cake with strawberry syrup.
Spread the three cakes with a layer of strawberry frosting. Add some of the strawberry pieces from the syrup.
Place the last layer of cake on top and cover with the white frosting on the top and sides of the cake. Reserve some whipped cream and mix in a drop of red colouring to make the pink decoration.
Garnish the cake with strawberries and heart shaped chocolates.
Other birthday Cakes made for Elia
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,