Tuesday, June 19, 2012

It's A Red Kind Of Day

Did you know that red velvet cake gets its color from the chemical reaction between highly-acidic ingredients (like vinegar and buttermilk) with cocoa that causes the red pigments to be revealed?
That was people opt for the easy-to-use red food coloring!
Red velvet was the project of the week, to celebrate a friend's 26th birthday. I've made red velvet once or twice before in small batches for nobody in particular, but this had to be good! I tried Cake Boss's recipe and didn't like it too much..maybe I rushed through it too quickly but it turned out to be a culinary disappointment. So instead I went with America's Test Kitchen recipe. Like the receipe states, I added the cocoa powder to the red food coloring and made a paste..which looked like mashed beets. I was reluctant to use so much food coloring because surely back in the day, they didn't work with coloring but instead really did count on that chemical reaction to create the deep red color. Nonetheless, it mixed really well with the rest of the batter and I got a nice red color. Unfortunately, the cocoa separated from the rest of the ingredients in the oven and stayed at the bottom of the cupcake! I'll have to perfect this recipe in the future to avoid that, perhaps by using less cocoa.

I wanted to make about 20 mini red velvets to spell out "Happy Birthday". I cut out rolled red fondant circles using the end of the 1M Wilton tip, then cut out the letters using Wilton's metal letter cutters. This is what it looked like put together with some gumpaste glue. 


The tricky part to this order was making the requested automaker logos, BMW and Audi. Usually I would turn to fondant as I did with the above letters, but the birthday boy follows Islamic practices and if the fondant contained gelatin, that would go against his beliefs. I wasn't sure if the fondant had gelatin so to be on the safe side, I decided to look for other ways.
I came upon a technique a few months ago called "Frozen Buttercream Transfer" or FBCT for short which essentially means you place wax paper on top of a horizontally flipped image, and outline the image with black decorating icing. You can see below how I started filling in the BMW logo.

I then filled in the rest of it in using colored buttercream icing. It was a bit tricky to get the icing into all the corners and making sure it was packed in nicely. You don't want any spaces or bubbles to show when you're done! After this step, I covered the entire pattern in white buttercream icing and placed it in the freezer for about two hours.

While waiting for the transfers to freeze, I put together the mini cupcakes. They are topped with a dollop of cream cheese icing (Buddy Valastro's recipe, although any cream cheese icing recipe will do). They stacked up pretty nicely and were a sweet bite-sized hit!

And now time for the great reveal! After the BMW & Audi logos were fully frozen, I cut the wax paper and carefully flipped the logo onto each cupcake. Then I slowly peeled back the wax paper and voila! A flat, colored-in buttercream logo! I brushed a but of silver pearl dust onto certain areas to make it look more like the real thing. As they come to room temperature, the logos soften and take the shape of the cupcake without falling apart. Here are what the BMW and Audi logos looked like up close.

Red velvet cupcakes topped with cream cheese icing, ready to go!

And thats the story of how red velvet, the hottest cake flavour out there, was brought to my kitchen!!

1 comment:

  1. Blessings....
    No! I thought it was food coloring! Duh, what do I know.

    Lovely cakes.
    Stay blessed.
    Rhapsody (drop on by and like my page)