I am slowly but surely working my way through all the recipes in Joy the Baker's delightful cookbook (available for purchase at Chapters Indigo and Amazon.ca) and I have had my eye on this one for a while.....but since I always like to have a reason to bake a big beautiful delicious cake...I waited for my in-laws birthday celebration to test this one out.
Get out all your mismatched mixing bowls and measuring spoons for this one - you will need 'em all. You essentially have to make two cake batters - which should come as no real surprise to anyone, but since this was my first try at both red velvet cake and a marble cake - I brought my A game.
In all honesty, the chocolate cake part was perfect - light, moist, and chocolate-ty. I don't know what I did wrong, but my red velvet cake part was dry.... I also didn't quite marble the cake enough, which didn't help. Don't get me wrong, it was delicious and every last crumb is gone.
Red Velvet Marble Cake - from Joy the Baker
1 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup coffee
1/3 cup +1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup +2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
Let's start with the Chocolate cake. Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, mix together the cocoa and coffee (its easier if the coffee is still hot). In yet another bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Add eggs one at a time (I always add them at the same time.... : ) and continue to beat for another couple of minutes. Add in the coffee-cocoa mixture and vanilla and mix well.
Add in the flour mixture and the buttermilk (if you don't have buttermilk on hand, add a dollop of white vinegar to milk and let sit for a couple of minutes - ta-da!).
Red Velvet Cake
1 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons red food colouring
1/4 cup softened butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp white vinegar
Next up - the red velvet cake. Similar to the chocolate cake batter, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl, mix together the cocoa and red food colouring. They didn't actually mix very well when I tried it (ratio of dry to wet was a little off), but not to worry, it will all work out in the end.
Cream together butter and sugar. Add in egg. Add in cocoa mixture. Beat until well mixed. Add in flour mixture and half of the buttermilk, mix well, then add in the rest. Finally, add in the vinegar and finish mixing with a spatula.
Now for the marble part. I was nervous for this, silly but it's true. I didn't say I was logical : )
Divide the red velvet cake batter between 2 round 9x9 greased and floured cake pans. My red velvet batter was thicker than the chocolate, and it didn't quite cover the bottom of either pan. Top it off with the chocolate cake batter. Using a butter knife, make a few swirls in each pan. I was too cautious in my swirling, so I didn't end up with a really great marble effect.
The recipe calls for using two oven racks, one in the middle and one in the top third, and to bake the cakes for 15 minutes at 350 degrees F and then switch and bake for another 15-20 minutes. My oven was wide enough to bake both in the middle, so I just baked for 35 minutes and they came out perfectly well done.
Let cool in pans for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
I had a hard time deciding between cream cheese frosting and chocolate buttercream, and in the end I went with the buttercream. I adapted Joy's recipe (also from the book) by using milk instead of heavy cream, and omitted ovaltine. It whipped up like a dream....