Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Love is Red

Because I feel as heavy as that band after a month of cooking and gorging glorious food. How'd all your holidays went? Mine was fantastic (and still ongoing). My Christmas this year was extra special because I get to bake for the first time. You see, my Ma was a fantastic baker back in the day before work consumed all her time and I was too young to help. When I got old enough though, I developed a deeper interest in the stove than the oven so I never really got around to baking a cake. The most baking I did was macaroni.

A couple of months back I asked for an oven. What Ma did, she got our old gas oven fixed for half the price of a new electric oven which was alright with me. I spent weeks reveling at baking sites and pastry blogs, licking my lips, breathing heavy, (you get the picture) but not because I craved to eat it all. Instead, I craved to create. 

I was never a sweet tooth, that is true, and I guess I never will be. My palate prefers salty over sweet. I may have shared this fact in some of my old posts. I get light migraines when I consume too much sugar and instead of becoming all giddy and hyper with sugar rush, the opposite happens to me - I doze off - so it's no fun. 

But looking at these...

or this photo...

or this...

turns me into some sort of freak woman who wants to throw a mixing bowl up in the air sometimes and say 'ayooo'. For real, it can get outta hand! I think I'm going to blame it on that little inhibited artist in my brain just dying to create something so pretty like a cake!

So upon careful self-deliberation and asking my little sister what to bake, I decided to make a red velvet cake. It's not as simple as a brownie or as complicated as a cheesecake but it's so red and pretty and that's what I wanted so much to make: a pretty piece of sweet.

Red Velvet Squares 


4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 Tablespoons red food coloring
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk (from scratch 1/2 cup fresh milk + 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice)
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar


1. Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 175 degrees C (or 350 degrees F).

2. In the bowl, cream the butter and sugar using an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about three minutes.

3. Turn mixer to high and add  the egg.  Scrape down the bowl and beat until well incorporated.

4. In a separate bowl, mix together cocoa, salt, vanilla and red food coloring to make a thick paste.  Add to the batter, mixing thoroughly until completely combined.  You may need to stop the mixer to scrape the bottom of the bowl, making sure that all the batter gets color.

5. Turn mixer to low and slowly add half of the buttermilk.  Add half of the flour and mix until combined.  Scrape the bowl and repeat the process with the remaining milk and flour.  Beat on high until smooth.

6. Turn mixer to low and add baking soda and white vinegar.  Turn to high and beat a few more minutes.

7. Spoon batter into a paper lined baking pan and bake at 160 degrees C for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

8. Let rest in the pan for 10 minutes, then place them of a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting. Cut into squares/rectangles. Mine turned out like this:

It came out a bit dry. I may have miscalculated my gas oven's heating capacity but I'm just so happy it didn't turn into a biscuit and it was delicious! :)

And of course, I frosted it!

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting


1/2 block Cream Cheese
2 tbsp Butter
3/4 cup sifted Powdered Sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened Cocoa Powder


1. Mix cream cheese and butter with electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
2. Mix in sugar.
3. Mix in cocoa powder.

Really! Not bad for a first time baker. Expect a sweeter 2011 with me! ♥

Trying to be versatile,
Chef Shak ^_^

(P.S. The very pretty food pictures before the jump are from weheartit)

1 comment:

  1. I like that the really red cake complements the pale skin. Looks like someone's really hungry. Also, please don't visit my site . No, seriously, I don't want you to. I REALLY3x don't want you to.


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