Friday, January 27, 2012

Mr. Hawthorne Bakes A Birthday Cake For Rosie.

Every year, Mr. Hawthorne makes a cake for me
for my birthday. I always let him pick out whatever cake he wants, although I have "hinted" at a few cakes I've seen, most notably, Ruth Levy Berenbaum's Notre Dame cake.
I mean, who doesn't love a cake with stained glass windows and flying buttresses?
Apparently, this project was a tad too ambitious for Mr. Hawthorne. He suggested a red velvet cake. Now here's where Rosie gets picky. Rosie doesn't want a red velvet cake. The red comes from several ounces of red food coloring. Rosie doesn't like food coloring. Rosie hates the taste of food coloring. Even when she was a little girl, she wouldn't eat the cupcakes served at school parties because of the icing. Food coloring is a deal breaker for me.
So I suggested some natural food coloring - cherries. Mr. Hawthorne pitted the cherries, then ...
... ran them through the Magic Bullet.
Here's Mr. Hawthorne's mise en place, which I put together for him, since he's not all that into the mise. He came into the kitchen and saw everything laid out for him and asked me, "You measured everything, too?!" Well, duh. Else we'd still be sitting here waiting for cake. Ingredients for Non Red Velvet Cake 2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp salt 2 TB cocoa powder 2 oz. red food coloring NOT I used 2 ounces of cherry puree. 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature 1 1/2 cups sugar 2 eggs, room temperature 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature 1 tsp white vinegar 1 tsp baking soda Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and cocoa two 9-inch cake pans. Most recipes tell you to butter and flour the cake pans. Since this cake has cocoa in it, I'm using cocoa instead of the flour. Sift together the sifted cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl. In a small bowl, mix cherry puree and cocoa powder. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla and cherry/cocoa paste. Add 1/3 of the flour, beating well, then beat in half the buttermilk. Beat in another third of flour mixture, then second half of buttermilk. End with last third of flour mixture, beating until well combined. Make sure the cake pans have been buttered and cocoa'd and are nearby. In a small bowl, mix vinegar and baking soda. Add to cake batter and stir well to combine. Working quickly, divide the batter evenly between the cake pans and place in a 350 degree oven. Bake about 20 - 25 minutes. Check with a toothpick. Should come out clean. Cool cakes in pans for 10 minutes, then remove and allow to cool completely on racks. Cream Cheese Frosting 2 8-oz. packages cream cheese, softened 1 stick unsalted butter, softened 2 tsp vanilla extract 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted 2 TB pure maple syrup 1 cup chopped pecans Mix butter and cream cheese until smooth. Turn mixer to low and blend in powdered sugar, extract, syrup, and nuts. Frost cake, being sure to use a generous amount of frosting over the first layer.
Butter and cocoa your cake pans.
Swirl around and remove any excess.
Sift cake flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
Mix the cherry puree with the cocoa until smooth and set aside.
Beat butter until smooth, then gradually beat in sugar.
Beat until light and fluffy.
Add in eggs, one at a time.
Beat until smooth.
Add in vanilla.
Add in cocoa and cherry puree mixture.
I had to restrain Mr. Hawthorne from pouring in red food coloring.
Add flour mixture in thirds.
Add buttermilk in halves. Beat until batter is smooth.
Mix vinegar and baking soda.
Add vinegar mixture to batter.
Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.
These were ready in 20 minutes.
No. The cakes aren't burned. That's the cocoa on the bottom which makes it look burned.
Mix together the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
Beat in powdered sugar on low speed.
I added 2 TB of pure maple syrup.
Cup of crushed pecans.
Level off the cakes.
Always be generous with the icing filling.
Ta daa!!!! Rosie has Non-Red Velvet Cake.
And it is delicious. Thank you, Mr. Hawthorne.


SweetPhyl said...

while it doesn't have that traditional Red Velvet color, I daresay it was delicious...almost a Black Forest thingy going on flavor wise, I wonder? How do you think sweetened beet juice would work? I may have to try that out sometime, although I don't find food coloring nearly as offensive as you do. Hope you had a lovely birthday Rosie!

Rosie Hawthorne said...

I was thinking about beet juice, but had no beets on hand.

And I did have a lovely birthday, SweetPhyl.

Anonymous said...

That is a very good looking cake and I'll bet it was delicious. I agree with you, red velvet cake just tastes like food coloring. Yuck! vera charles

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Hi Vera, welcome. I was beginning to think I was the only one who could taste that horrid stuff.

I remember you from TWOP, although I haven't been there for some time.