Red Velvet Cake – gourmet cake makin’ with Nikki

Red Velvet Cake with Caramel Pastry Cream and Frangelico Ganache

So Nikki’s roommate’s birthday was coming up and she needed a secret kitchen to make a delicious cake! I made dinner while she made the yummy cake. I didn’t really help except for making the Frangelico Ganache with was AMAZING…but this cake was pretty labor and time intensive. She used beets in the cake (probably for the red coloring traditionally) which I thought would be weird but was actually quite amazing. The cake came out more chocolately than red, but it was a great first attempt and it tasted AMAZING!

Tasting the Caramel Pastry Cream….yummy!

Cream went inside the cake…

A close up look at the tasty creation.

I didn’t get a slice but from licking the bowl, spoons, and cake crumbs, it was GREAT. You can recreate this by following these recipes:

Red Velvet Cake with Beets
(yields one 9″ round layer)

3/4 c. pureed beets
1/2 c. oil
1/4 c. milk
1 tsp. plain yogurt
1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
2 eggs
3/4 c. flour
2/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. dutch cocoa
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c lemon juice

– Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together all the dry ingredients and set aside. Blend the wet ingredients until uniform.
– Add the dry ingredients tot he wet mixture and stir until combined.
– Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Cool before icing.

Caramel Pastry Cream
(makes about 2.5 cups)
6 oz. sugar (why they measure in ounces i have no idea)
1/4 cup water
2 cups milk
1 1/4 ounce of cornstarch (again, not sure what’s up with the measurements)
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
1/2 ounce unsalted butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine 5 oz. of the sugar and the water in a small, heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, brush down the sides of the pan with water, and boil for 8 – 10 minutes, or until caramelized. The sugar will be fragrant and a deep amber color when it is caramelized. Remove the pan from the heat and dip the bottom into a an ice water bath for a second or two (Nikki did this for longer and the whole thing crystalized it was hilarious) Return the pan to a low heat and stir until smooth. Increase the heat to medium and heat to a simmer.

Meanwhile, whisk together the cornstarch and remaining sugar in a medium bowl. Whisk in the egg and yolks. Continue
whisking while adding the hot caramel mixture in a thin stream. Transfer the mixture back to the saucepan and cook, whisking constantly, over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or until it thickens and just comes to a boil. Immediately strain through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl and stir in the butter and vanilla. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface and refrigerate.

Frangelico Ganache

16 oz. high-quality semi-sweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
6 Tbsp. Frangelico hazelnut liqueur

In a small saucepan, bring heavy cream to a boil and immediately turn off heat. Add chocolate to the cream, stirring constantly until chcolate ganache is smooth. Add Frangelico liqueur and allow ganache to cool.

Hope you enjoy!

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