Yes it’s red…very very red!

February 13, 2009

Happy Valentines foodie-lovers!

I don’t typically celebrate (or like) Valentines – I just think it’s such a manipulative ‘holiday’. Anyway I digress. This year Mr S. and I decided to break our convention and rejoin the throes of society. I loved that this day of shmaltz in Australia was preceded by Friday the 13th! Mr S. certainly didn’t know what was coming when I presented him with an early gift of a Valentines cake on this dark and superstitious day!

But the look of panic on his face was priceless…

”Er, is it Saturday already?!”

Inspired by Bakerella, this cake was supposed to resemble a ‘box of chocolates’ but instead it ended up looking like an avant garde wedding cake! Oh well at least the cake was red!

Yes, you heard right…bright…crimson…red!

It was a gorgeously scarlet Red Velvet Cake. As I mentioned in a previous post, I just adore anything Southern!

There’s fair bit of steps involved in putting it together so I’ll refer you to Bakerella who can explain it much better than I. You can see her instructions on how to make the Valentines Day cake box and the ‘chocolate truffle’ cake balls on her blog. What I can offer you is the recipe for the Red Velvet Cake.

As hard as I tried I couldn’t find any ready-made red fondant. Rather than laboriously mixing half a dozen bottles of red food colouring into white fondant (and that still wouldn’t give you the shade you want!), I stuck with white fondant. Which is a good thing on my end because the sight of the bright crimson cake against the white fondant was a sight to behold! But of course this just added to the wedding cake theme.

For the chocolate covered cake balls, I used good quality dark chocolate with a minimum of 70% cocoa but you could always substitute it with milk chocolate or white chocolate (again with the dazzling colour combination!).


This Red Velvet cake comes courtesy of my Southern belle (the same friend who provided me with the Mississippi Mud Cake). I can’t get over how crimson red the cake was! It was deliciously scarlet! As you can tell my chocolate coating skills needed a brush up. Also needing improvement was my fondant skills. I can happily make shapes, teddy bears, flowers and other fondant goodies but when it comes to rolling it out evenly and smoothly covering cakes, I get lost!

This was a bit of a tough job with my beginner cake decorating skills but it was a ball of fun to make and even more rewarding to see the look of Mr S.’s face when he saw the bright red cake inside! At least my gift is over and done with. Now I wait with baited breath to see what he has planned for me.

What are the chances that I’ll wake up to see a 1967 Ford Mustang with a big bow on my driveway tomorrow morning?

…well I can still dream…

Red Velvet Cake

(makes two 9” or 22.5cm tins)


2 ½ C sifted plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 Tbl unsweetened cocoa powder
120gm butter at room temperature
1 ½ C caster sugar
2 eggs at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
60ml red food colouring
1 C buttermilk at room temperature
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp baking soda


Preheat oven to 180°C. Butter and flour two 22-23 cm round cake pans.

Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder together in a medium bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy with an electric mixer.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the vanilla and red food colouring, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go.

Add one half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat well. Add in half of the buttermilk and mix well. Repeat with the other halves of the flour mixture and buttermilk.

Have the greased cake tins at the ready. In a small bowl, mix the vinegar and baking soda and enjoy watching it fizz up momentarily.

Add to the cake batter and mix well and combine. Quickly divide the batter evenly between the two cake tins and place them in the oven.

Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cake is ready when the skewer comes out of the cake cleanly and the tops of the cake spring back when touched.

Cool the cake in the tin for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack and allow to completely cool.