The Red Velvet Rose

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This was the first recipe picture from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s new baking book The Baking Bible that drew me in…LITERALLY

.…The Brilliance of the color, the Memories of ole Southern Charm, the Decadence of a time past….. all flooded my memory as I first gazed upon the back cover photo…..

So needless to say, I was excited about baking this recipe…

……because you don’t really see Red Velvet Cake today as you did when I was a kid in the same light.  

I suppose mainly because the bakery market place and home baking has evolved so much since that time frame and we have so many more creative options.  But upon processing this memory, Red Velvet Cake and cupcakes were, at that time, a cutting edge idea, an event to get excited about and call your neighbor from the huge, black wall phone in the kitchen while looking at your avocado green appliances, and sipping on freshly squeezed lemonade.  But I digress…..

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Each week we as Alpha Bakers, are assigned one of the recipes from Rose’s new baking book and we as a group all over the world bake the same recipe at the same time.  Our objective is to share our successes, where we got stumped, what questions did we have along the way, our joys and in some cases our baking shortcomings.

It all started with the Raspberry Sauce as Rose gave fair warning to plan ahead and make this several hours before baking the cake.

Oblong ceramic bowl as base, topped with colander, filed with frozen raspberries, topped with lemon zest and sugar, enclosed by plastic cover with an elastic band

Oblong ceramic bowl as base, topped with colander, filed with frozen raspberries, topped with lemon zest and sugar, enclosed by plastic cover with an elastic band

I created the above technique when we baked the Strawberry Shortcake Genoise using the plastic bowl cover.  It is breath taking when you unveil the macerated fruit and experience the sweet essence of the gases they release while they release their juices into the container.

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I must admit I was a bit perplexed about creating the puree from raspberries; Strawberries were easy, blueberries of which I have also used this technique are simple, but the seeds from raspberries do pose a problem and require additional time to process.  Rose references the use of a food mill however she gives fair warning that the seeds can still pass through the food mill.  I didn’t get a picture of my solution, however, I used two sieves pushing the pulp through with a firm silicone spatula.  This really still did not truly release all of the juices and I found that a mass of pulp and seeds were left as unpassable.  This issue then relies in balance for future resolution as I plan on using raspberry sauce quite a bit this summer in other desserts I am creating in my chef brain right now…..

Rose states that there should be 1/2 cup of puree released, however, I think I had excess of on tablespoon before I abandoned the idea.

Juice produced from frozen raspberries through maceration

Juice produced from frozen raspberries through maceration

As I would not have the volume indicated in the recipe, I reduced the juice in the microwave until I felt comfortable that the flavors had developed and were concentrated. I allowed the liquid to cool then added lemon juice, lime juice and my favorite French raspberry liquor, DRILLAUD.

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OHHHH if you look really hard, you can see my double sieve in the far left hand corner….

Onto the cake….

So I let the butter temperature rise to room temperature ( 65 to 75 degrees F ) and also the egg whites.

4.2 oz of egg whites

4.2 oz of egg whites

Cake mis en place

Cake mis en place

Wet ingredients were mixed first….

I personally hate drama, but it all began here.....

I personally hate drama, but it all began here…..

The dry ingredients were mixed and whisked in a bowl – no picture

The batter was created by creaming softened butter and sugar

The batter was created by creaming softened butter and sugar

Rose indicated to add the buttermilk and flour in one step, but I just couldn’t do that.  My instincts as a pastry chef told me to migrate the mixtures in threes beginning and ending with flour with the buttermilk addition in between.

Egg mixture added

Egg mixture added

Batter scraped into prepared pan

Batter scraped into prepared pan

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The cake took longer to bake than the recipe indicated.  I kept testing the cake with my paring knife as I do not trust toothpicks as an indicator, and there was dough residue after the 45 to 55 minutes of suggested baking time.  I kept checking at 1.5 intervals until there was no residue however the cake seemed “less moist” than what I had expected.  A delighted baker I am, but not thrilled at the texture outcome.

I let the cake cool for 10 minutes before inverting to a lightly spayed grate.

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As you can see, the cake has just begun to pull away from the edges of the sides of the pan as Rose indicated it would.

To move the cake to the cake stand, I used the bottom of my tart pan which worked wonderfully well.

To move the cake to the cake stand, I used the bottom of my tart pan which worked wonderfully well

I placed wax paper under the edges of the cake so the raspberry sauce would not effect the final plating design.

And VOILA…… I give you my final out come below:

 

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© Tony Bridges and One Crumb at a Thyme, 2014

2 thoughts on “The Red Velvet Rose

  1. pretty red cake you got ! i am wondering why your cake took longer to bake cause mine took 40 minutes? is your oven was hot enough?…

    • Orin, Thank you for your comment! Yes my oven was set at 350 degrees F per the recipe, I had the oven preheated more than the recommended 20 minutes and my oven is new so it wasn’t my oven temperature. I also have a oven thermometer, so….. I did notice in looking at the other Alpha Bakers photos that when they filled their bundt pans, the volume was only half way full. If you look back at my bundt cake photo prior to baking and the picture of the cake in the oven, my batter volume filled closer to the top; perhaps an inch or so…My theory is that the volume of batter added the additional baking time to have occurred. Again, thank you so much for your comment!

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