Mmmm… Velvet…

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This cake doesn’t need any introduction.

I had expectations for this cake. I needed it to be a certain way to make me happy.

I wanted this cake to be dense, but moist, perfectly balanced between red and brown, easy to cut and just downright irresistible. In other words, I wanted this cake to be perfect. Perfect in the ways I wanted it to be perfect. As if I didn’t know that things never work that way… As if I hadn’t learned anything in the past twenty-some years… oh well!

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Nothing is perfect. No, correction. Things can be perfect if imagined in your head. Real life… the real stuff is never as perfect as it is in your head. But… Sometimes, the imperfections are what become the most perfect part of life.

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I have gone through many Red Velvet Cake recipe but I’ve finally found my favorite. It comes with a fluffy cream cheese frosting and topped with shredded coconut.  The recipe has a good dose of cocoa powder and buttermilk, making the cake both flavorful and moist.  This beauty makes for a super lovely party cake.  It’s impressive.

Red Velvet Cake

2 1/2 cups (250 gr.) whole wheat pastry flour, sifted

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup (250 ml.) buttermilk

2 tablespoon organic red food color

1/2 (113 gr.) cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup (200 gr.) beet sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon organic white vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Butter 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 bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until soft (about 1-2 minutes). Add the beet sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). 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.

In a measuring cup 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.

In a small cup combine the vinegar and baking soda. Allow the mixture to fizz and then quickly fold into the cake batter.

Working quickly, divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans and smooth the tops with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 25 -30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Place a wire rack on top of the cake pan and invert, lifting off the pan. Once the cakes have completely cooled, divide in two layers, wrap in plastic and place the cake layers in the refrigerator for at least an hour (or overnight), before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

2 8 oz. cream cheese bars

2/3 cups (134 gr.) coconut palm sugar

1 cup (250 ml.) heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Bowl and whisk attachments chilled in freezer previously for 30 minutes

In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla and sugar and beat until smooth. Gradually add the heavy cream and half cup of shredded coconut and whip until the frosting is thick enough to spread. Add more sugar or cream as needed to get the right consistency. Use other half of coconut to decorate on top.

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