Friday 17 February 2012

Red velvet celebration cake

As you may be able to guess from its appearance, I made this cake for Valentine's day, but I see no reason why red velvet cake can't be eaten on any given day of the year. Having never made red velvet before I just followed a recipe from a book, and, although the overall taste was nice, I wasn't blown away by the cake. There are plenty of recipes online though which you may wish to try out, I found one on the BBC Food website, and I used the recipe for icing from this site:

The only addition I made was to add a layer of sliced strawberries and raspberries in the middle, which I think worked quite nicely with the recipe I used, but then I don't know how red velvet usually tastes...

Rather than plagiarise someone else's recipe, I thought this post could be more about the decoration than the recipe itself. I'd never made roses from icing before, so I don't claim to be an expert, but I was pretty pleased with how they turned out. First I rolled out a reasonably small slab of red icing, and using a knife, cut a thin strip. I then rolled this into a loose coil, working downward, creating a more prominent middle. I then cut patches of icing, and using a nifty tool I picked up in Hobbycraft
(essentially a stick with a small ball on the end), attempted to make it look more petal-like (basically rolling the ball around on the icing to make it curl up somewhat). I then wrapped a few of these around my initial coil of icing (the additional layers were not wide enough to encircle the entire coil, try and not make them more than about half the width). It took a while to make enough, there were lots of rejected scraps, but if you keep at it you should get a fair few made with relative ease (and if not maybe just have a centre-piece with however many went successfully). I found I ended up with quite a long 'stem' of red icing which can easily be snipped off.

To complete the cake I thought a few leaves would be a nice addition. Simply done; roll out some green icing (a bit thicker than the red icing, as it doesn't need quite so much shaping), cut out roughly leaf shaped sections with a knife, and using a slightly thicker knife, or a pointy tool that you might get in a set for cake decorators, mark a central partition, and scrape in vein lines, to the edge of the leaf, which should make a nice, slightly jagged edge.  Arrange in a pretty fashion, and you have an attractive cake to give to a loved one. 

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