I figured that since I was able to somehow concoct an actual edible entity last week, that I’d perhaps start posting about my results in a new section.
I’m a firm believer of clean eating, healthy eating etc but I also die for cheat days and this dessert is a cheat day must-inhale.
Yes, I followed a recipe (from Anna Olson to be specific) because, no, I am not a culinary genius, nor do I care to be. This post outlines what I made, what I used, and how I did it.
What I Used
⅔ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 large large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup regular cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups buttermilk, at room temperature
1 ½ tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon red food coloring
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ½ packages (12-oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
4 cups icing sugar, sifted
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
How I Did It
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease two 8-inch square pans and line the pans with parchment so that it comes up the sides as well.
2. Using electric beaters or in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth, then add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beating well after each addition, beat in the vanilla.
3. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add this alternately with the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour. Stir the white vinegar and food color together and add this to the cake batter on low speed, but mixing until blended in. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans and spread to level.
4. Bake the cakes for about 35 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their pans for 20 minutes, then turn them out to cool completely.
1. For the frosting, beat the butter until fluffy, then beat in the cream cheese until well blended and smooth. Add the icing sugar in 2 additions, beating first on low speed and then increasing. Beat in the vanilla.
2. To assemble the cake, place the first layer of cake on your platter or plate and spread a generous amount of frosting on the top. Top this with the second cake layer and frost the top and then the sides. Use your spatula to create any swirls or patterns you wish, then chill for at least 2 hours before slicing to serve. The cake will keep, refrigerated, for up to 3 days.
*For an alternative made without food coloring, replace ¼ cup of the buttermilk with 1/3 cup of finely grated raw beets. Stir the beets in with the buttermilk and follow the recipe as above. (I used the food coloring option since it’s readily available in my house).
Honestly, it was so delectable. I mean, I’d like to think it rivals the Red Velvet at The Cheesecake Factory. Really. I know its gutsy, but I say this with full conviction. I think next year (yes next year – I’ve been running every day for the past week trying to work this cake off) I’ll try it with the beets. If anyone attempts this please don’t hesitate to invite me over for an opinion. I simply cannot give you one just by looking at a picture or reading about it. That’s preposterous. It will not do.