This is a leftover from February’s Chocolate Challenge. Someone had asked that I come up with plant-based recipe for Red Velvet Cake. Quite honestly, I’ve only had this southern treat about twice and I’ve never made one myself. I thought it might be fun to give it a whirl and here’s what I came up with. However, it comes with one caveat; I’m not well-versed in the making or eating of Red Velvet Cake. I thought it interesting that at first glance, Red Velvet looks like a chocolate cake, but the traditional recipes I looked at did not have much chocolate in them at all. I think what is unique about the cake is the light and fluffy Ermine icing. The icing is made by cooking milk and flour, then whipping it with butter and sugar. Since the icing contains more fat that I care to use in a recipe, I wanted the cake to be virtually fat free. I usually use pumpkin puree to impart a tenderness that is attributed to butter in conventional cake recipes. I decided to replace some of the pumpkin with pureed beets to give the cake a reddish hue. (I was going for a subtler color, so I might change the ratio of beets to pumpkin the next time I make it.) Anyway, the cake came out with a nice texture and unless you’re a super-taster I doubt that you’d detect the presence of beets. Considering that there’s a cup of non-dairy butter in the icing, it came out surprisingly light, fluffy and not greasy. For me, it was an overall success. I got to do some culinary research and kitchen experimentation that resulted in a tasty treat for me and my family. Does it taste like the real thing? Since I’m no expert in the nuances of Red Velvet I can’t say for sure, so I’ll let you be the judge. Thanks for being Vegi-curious.
Red Velvet Cake
2 cups cashew, almond or soy milk
1 tablespoon vinegar
1-1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup cooked beets
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 to 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
½ teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
Ermine icing (see recipe), or other fluffy white icing
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two8-inch cake pans by coating lightly with non-stick spray or coconut oil. Line bottoms with parchment paper.
Place cashew milk and vinegar in blender container and let sit about 5 minutes. Add sugar, beets, pumpkin and vanilla and process until no pieces of beets remain.
Sift together remaining dry ingredients. Add liquid ingredients and mix until well blended. Divide batter evenly between pans and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool on a rack completely.
To assemble, place one layer with flat side up on cake platter. Spread some icing on top, then position second layer on top of the first. Use remaining icing on the top and sides of the cake. (The icing will be thin, so you might want to ice just the tops of the layers and allow the icing to drip down the sides of the cake.)
If making cupcakes, line muffin tins with liners and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Makes about 18 cupcakes.
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup cashew milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 cup non-dairy butter (ex. Earth Balance)
1 cup granulated sugar
Over medium heat, whisk flour and milk in a small saucepan and heat to a simmer, stirring frequently until it thickens into a pudding. Remove from heat, whisk in vanilla and salt. Pour into a bowl to allow it to cool completely. Put plastic wrap on the surface to keep a skin from forming.
Use a mixer to cream together non-dairy butter and sugar until light and fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add the cooled pudding and continue to beat until the mixture until well blended. Refrigerate until to use.
25 Mar 2017