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Monday, May 31, 2010

RHC: Red Velvet Cake

I am always confused on free choice week. So many cakes to choose from and I can't decide. Sometimes I think I ended up not making cakes, and using the free choice week as an excuse to make pastry :).

The opportunity presented itself when Marie and Rose posted the gorgeous Red Velvet Cake with lacquer glaze that was created for Sarah's wedding. I opened RHC and read the paragraphs that Rose wrote about the cake. To quote Rose: "I long resisted the charms of this cake, believing it to be merely a layer cake tinted red with a bottle of food coloring. But when several people on my blog sang its praises, I decided to investigate it more thoroughly. It turns out that there is more to this cake than its shocking color." These 3 sentences, along with the beautiful story that Marie and Rose wrote about the wedding cake, convinced me.

Not a fan of red food coloring, I set forth to make my own from beet juice. Rose's instruction is to roast the beets in the skin, along with the root and stem. I've roasted beets before and usually peel them off. But okay, I thought, Rose is very specific so there's gotta be a reason why she said to roast with skin. I followed her instruction and an hour later, when the beets seem done, took them out of the oven and opened the foil container. Disaster. No juice. See, I even took a picture so I have some proof.

The foil is very dry. Not a drop of juice. Crap! What to do now. I suppose I can forgo the juice and call it a white velvet cake. But but but... I really want to try the beet juice method.

I switched gears and prepping all my ingredients, all the while thinking of what to do.

I glanced at those beets again. Took a knife, quartered one of them, and peer into it. Hm.. looks pretty juicy. Next thing I know I'm squeezing the quarter with both hands. It's still a little hot at this point too, so ouch. I continued...

15 minutes later, I'm on the 2nd of the beets, squeezing them over a bowl. By this point I got a pretty good size of red puddle. And yes it did occurred to me that I can probably use something other than both my hands, which at this point are completely red. But I figured I'm halfway there so why bother. After squeezing 2 beets, I stopped. Weigh the liquid and I got about 50 grams worth. WOHOO.

The rest of the recipe was uneventful. It's one of those easy recipes I think and everything went well. One surprise is how pink the batter looks like.

By the way, the container behind the batter is the white chocolate frosting.

This is the batter in the heart shaped pan, ready for the oven.

Both components done, I retired for the day, leaving the decorating for the next day. I went back and forth about how to decorate the cake. I want to do something different and pretty. So I decided that this is a good opportunity to practice piping roses.

A slice of the cake. The slice is gone now, we ate it quickly after it's photographed :).

Tasting impressions: this cake is really good. I can't really describe the taste as there's no single component ingredients that stands out. I do taste a hint of cocoa. And the white chocolate frosting does complement it nicely. This frosting is usually too much for me but in this cake it's perfect.


  1. Hi Jenn - What an incredible presentation - love your roses [soon I will muster the nerve]. The picture of the batter is so pretty and pink. It appears to have been a great success.

  2. Wow, you did the beets! I'm very impressed, and the results look fabulous. How long did your hands stay red? [g]

  3. Thanks Joan and Nancy!

    Joan, the roses aren't that difficult. Try it on a parchment first if you're worried. And hey, if it doesn't look good you can always scrape them off and do something else. It's really fun to make, you should give it a shot.

    Nancy, I washed my hands with soap and the redness goes away immediately.

  4. Wow! I love how you did red velvet with beet juice! the color is beautiful too! I tried it with strawberry juice before and didn't really like the red. But seeing your beet juice method looks awesome! The red is beautiful! I gotta try the beet juice method someday too. :D and i love how you piped the roses!

  5. ב''ה

    Well done, looks great!

    I'll have to try the beet juice method. Is there some way to replace the sugar with beets?

  6. oh i wanted to try the beet juice but my beets came out dry like yours! i didn't think to squeeze them, but i did wish i had a juicer. i like the cake with beets, thanks for doing it!

  7. Beautiful! I like Red Velvet Cake but not the red food coloring so will definitely try the beet method after seeing how lovely your cake turned out. Very pretty roses.

  8. Jenn, lovley job, both on the beets and the roses! I'm so happy to see a version of this with the beet coloring, if I ever try it this will be my version, too.

    Although it sounds like more work than your "squeezing" method, I've also heard that you can grate the beets and squeeze the juice out of the grated pieces.

  9. Very resourceful of you, finding a way to get the juice after all! The red color and white roses are so striking. Well done.

  10. I was looking around for this Red Velvet cake recipe. I stopped here to get a good morning chuckle.
    I would have probably steamed the beets...then purée in a blender and passed it through a cheesecloth before ever squeezing it by hand. manicure would not have loved the Red beet accompaniment. LOL

    Thanks for sharing you experience ;o)

    Lovely blog and I'm sure to be back.

    Flavourful wishes,


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