My red velvet heartbreaker – TAKE ONE
This cake broke my heart a little – yes, it’s that dramatic. But then this is a dramatic sort of cake. From its intense red colour, to the rich chocolate taste and silky smooth cream cheese frosting – what a character. Think of the feisty, vivacious and stunning Scarlett O’Hara – wasn’t she a little heartbreaker?
This cake, the red velvet, is definitely a Scarlett.
The recipe is from Bea Vo’s cookbook Tea with Bea. Bea is the chef proprietor of Bea’s of Bloomsbury where I’ve had, hands down the best red velvet cake this side of the Atlantic Ocean. I’ve also been for afternoon tea a couple of times and even a baking class – yes I love the cakes there that much.
Flipping through the pages of this beautiful cookbook, I am already head over heels in love with the recipes. As Bea writes, the book is meant to serve two purposes: one, to provide a more thorough understanding of basic pastry techniques, and two, to allow readers to replicate their famous afternoon tea style for ourselves.
Whilst the cake had all the characteristics of a Scarlett, I must confess I failed to do justice to Bea’s recipe. You will see from the photos that I ended up with only two layers of cake instead of the three in the recipe. Despite checking to make sure my cake was cooked and putting it back into the oven for a further 10 minutes when it wasn’t, the very middle bit was still just a little undercooked. The result of this is a cake that collapsed in the middle after cooling.
However, it tasted absolutely delicious and the icing truly is the ultimate cream cheese frosting. Plus, there was very little food colouring used for the cake – I’m not a big fan of food colouring and am generally put off when recipes call for 40ml or more of the stuff.
Having chatted to Bea over Twitter, she reckons I took the cake out of the oven a tad too early. She’s also given me a few extra tips. I want to get this cake perfect in every way and will readjust mixing and baking times, and make it again. This post will be updated with Bea’s recipe, my learning points, and hopefully a perfect cake soon, because unlike Rhett Butler, I DO give a damn.