Valentine’s Day tends to associate itself in my subconscious with some kind of red velvet goodness. It is a classic and it is a cliché I suppose, but frankly once you taste it you will forget all about being original and will indulge in this red velvet cliche over and over again. I first made this cake for my daughter’s birthday two years ago and it is becoming a family tradition with her requesting it for her special day for the third time this year. So the occasion for this post is February, 14 but really any excuse is good enough. Enjoy!
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 Tbs cocoa
1 tbs baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup + 1 Tbs plain yogurt
2 tsp crimson red food coloring
1/2 tsp white wine vinegar (or lemon juice)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
4 Tbs canola oil (or sunflower oil)
1 box of strawberries
1 box of raspberries
For the mascarpone frosting:
300g mascarpone (or cream cheese)
300g whipping cream
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 170C/350F.
Brush with oil and dust with flour 2 8 inch heart shaped cake pans.
Make the batter: In a medium bowl sift together the first 4 ingredients, the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. By sifting them you will make sure there are no lumps of undissolved cocoa or baking powder.
In a small bowl combine the next 4 ingredients, the yogurt, red food coloring, vinegar or lemon juice and vanilla and mix.
In a large bowl combine the last 3 ingredients, the eggs, sugar and oil and beat with an electrical mixer for 3 minutes.
Add slowly the dry and the wet ingredients to the egg mixture 1/3 at a time, starting and finishing with the dry ingredients. Beat until just combined, do not over-beat the batter.
Bake: Divide the batter equally between the two cake pans and bake in the medal of the oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out almost clean, with a few crumbs on it. Place them on a rack and let cool completely.
Make the mascarpone frosting: Place the mascarpone in a medium bowl. Add the vanilla and confectioners sugar and beat until smooth, about 1 minute. Do not substitute the confectioner’ sugar for granulated sugar as this could make the frosting thin and runny. Add the cold cream and beat until stiff peaks. Transfer the cream to a pastry bag with a simple round tip. This will help you frost the cake evenly. Keep the frosting in the fridge while the cake is cooling.
Assemble the cake: Gently pass a sharp knife around the walls of the cake pans to facilitate the unmoulding, then place a plate or a cake stand over the first cake pan and invert it. Untold the second cake pan over a plat dish and set aside. Pipe about 1/3 of the mascarpone cream over the first layer and even it with a spatula. Gently lift the second layer of cake and place it on top. Pipe the remaining cream to cover the cake from all sides and smooth it with a spatula.
Decorate the cake by lining raspberries around it and top it with strawberries carved as roses and silver dragee or simply arrange the berries over the cake to your liking.
Make it ahead: You can make the red velvet cake layers up to 2 days earlier, refrigerate them tightly wrapped without unmoulding. Assemble and decorate the cake on the day you are serving it.
Wine suggestion: Serve with Rosé.