“Laaaaand of Ho-ope annnnnd Gloooooooooooory…”
The sounds of jubilee songs permeated the air over HRH. Would you believe that our place of work has the initials ‘HRH’? You couldn’t make this stuff up…
What fun we had – everyone convinced that Queen Elizabeth would more than likely visit us because of our obviously Royal name…
S – “Moo, is that the Queen?”
Me – “Where?”
S – “In there…” (points to a vehicle turning down the drive)
Me – “I’m not sure she’d be in a meat delivery van, S.”
F – “Moo, is that the Queen?”
Me – “Where?”
F – “In there…” (points to a white vehicle passing by)
Me – “I don’t know if she really likes collecting fridges and old iron on the backs of trucks, F.”
K – “MOO, THERE’S THE QUEEN! I SAW HER!”
Me – “Where?”
K – “In THERE!”
A bendy bus rumbles by.
Me – “On the number 26? Maybe, K, maybe. I suppose she must have a driver’s licence…”
It was so fitting that we, at HRH, held spectacular jubilee celebrations. I was on the cake committee… :) What a chore… NOT!
So, two days before the jubilee, I made three tray bakes to sell. A chocolate tray bake, a carrot cake and a red velvet cake.
For the chocolate tray bake I used my usual recipe and just jazzed up the decorations. See here:
Chocolate Tray Bake Cake
Here’s how it looked:
But what I really wanted was a really good Red Velvet recipe.
Why is it practically impossible to find cake recipes that deliver a unanimous verdict on whether a cake tastes good or not? EVERY recipe seemed to give conflicting reviews. Bah humbug.
Eventually I settled on this recipe from ‘Joy of Baking‘.
Sadly, my cake did not turn out even half as red as this, but it still tasted good. Next time, I’ll double up the food colouring to get the WOW factor. Hyperactivity? Who cares as long as that cake tastes good. You’ll run off the calories, won’t you? Screaming round the house on a frenzy of e-numbers and food colouring…
So, to make that US Red Velvet cake nice and British, I topped it with lashings of pillowy buttercream, two English roses and a sprinkling of pink petals.
Red Velvet Cake with English Roses
250g (2 1/2 cups) sifted self-raising (cake) flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons (15g) regular or Dutch-processed cocoa powder
113g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
300g (1 1/2 cups) caster sugar (granulated white sugar)
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
240ml (1 cup) buttermilk (I tend to reduce this by 20ml – you all know my dislike of ‘wet’ cakes!)
2 tablespoons liquid red food coloring
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda
500g (5 cups) icing sugar (confectioners sugar)
125g Trex (Or use 250g of butter plus add some super-white food colouring)
* Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter the tray-bake tin (original recipe gives quantities for two – 9 inch (23 cm) round cake pans) and line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
* In a mixing bowl sift together the flour, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside.
* In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until soft and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.
* Whisk the buttermilk with the red food coloring. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk to the butter mixture, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour.
* Mix together the vinegar and baking soda. Allow the mixture to fizz and then quickly fold into the cake batter.
* Divide the batter evenly between the tray bake tin (or the two prepared tins) and smooth the top with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 25 -30 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle of the cakes comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely. Once the cakes have completely cooled, wrap in plastic and place the cake layers in the refrigerator for at least an hour (or overnight). (This makes icing the cake easier.)
* Beat the butter until smooth.
* Beat in the icing sugar until smooth.
* Whip the living daylights out of the mixture!!
* Smooth onto the cake. Pipe on two roses, add ribbon and decorations.