Welcome back friends! This week we’ll be baking up the red velvet cake Ichabod Crane stuffs into his mouth in Disney’s The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad.
This cake is featured during the Halloween party thrown by Baltus Van Tassel, Katrina Van Tassel’s father. Ichabod’s stomach is never satisfied so he snatches a piece of this cake up while dancing with Katrina, and pops it in his mouth without even skipping a step.
Similar to Mrs. Frankenstein’s Dutch Apple Cake, the first cake recipe I posted, this recipe was a lesson in trial and error. I knew I wanted to go more natural and traditional, using beets as the red component in the red velvet and ermine icing (or flour buttercream) instead of cream cheese frosting. The first attempt was delicious, but I only used the beet juice and it came out more cocoa brown than red. This time I used the physical beets and it resulted in a red I am very happy with.
RED VELVET CAKE
- 3 medium beets
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- Juice of 1 large lemon
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 3 tablespoons non-dutched cocoa powder
- 2 cups cake flour (sift before measuring)
- 1 ⅛ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup butter, plus more for greasing pan
- 1 ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Wash the beets and wrap each one in aluminum foil.
- Bake the beets until the tip of a knife slides easily into the largest beet (about 1 hour 15 minutes), then remove them from the oven and allow to cool until they can be handled.
- Peel the beets and place them into a food processor, then chop them until they’re about the size of finely diced onions.
- Measure 1 cup of the finely chopped beets and set aside. Remove the remaining beets from the food processor and reserve them for another purpose.
- Return the cup of beets to the food processor and purée with the buttermilk, lemon juice, vanilla and vinegar until smooth.
- In a medium size bowl, sift together the cocoa, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter until soft.
- Slowly add the sugar and beat until fluffy, then beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
- Alternate adding dry ingredient mixture and the beet mixture to butter mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat for 10 seconds after each addition and scrape down the bowl after each addition of the beet mixture.
- Grease two 9-inch cake pans, then line the bottoms of the pans with parchment and grease again.
- Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans and smooth the tops.
- Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean (about 20 to 25 minutes), then remove the pans from the oven and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack.
- To assemble, peel away the parchment of one cake and place the flat side down on a serving platter. Place about 1 cup of icing (see below) onto cake and, using a flat spatula, spread evenly over top. Remove the parchment from the second cake and place the flat side down on top of first layer. Use the remaining frosting to cover the top and sides of cake.
- 10 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 pinches salt
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature (do not microwave)
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- In a small saucepan, whisk together flour, milk, and salt.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly, and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes until mixture is very thick. If small lumps develop, whisk vigorously until smooth.
- Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract.
- Transfer to a small bow and press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the mixture’s surface to prevent a skin from forming, then set aside to cool completely.
- In a medium to large bowl, cream butter and sugar for about 3 minutes then stop and scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl. Cream butter and sugar for another 3 minutes until very smooth, light, and fluffy (insufficient creaming of the butter/sugar will result in a gritty frosting).
- Gradually beat the cooled flour mixture into the creamed mixture a few tablespoons at a time and the icing will begin to lighten. The mixture might look curdled when the flour paste is first added, but additional whipping will smooth it out.
- Gently scrape bowl and beat until mixture is fluffy and resembles whipped cream.
- Ermine Icing will break down above 70 degrees F. It’s best when freshly-whipped, but cakes and cupcakes should be completely cooled before frosting.