Sunday, 9 March 2014

Red velvet cake

Yesterday was a very sad day. The little bunny you might have seen in my previous post, took up residence in our garden but was clearly very, very sick. When we got home on Saturday afternoon he was pretty much in the same position he was in when we left in the morning, and he didn't move anywhere when we got closer to him to inspect how he was doing. We tried calling the RSPCA but only got an unhelpful answering machine message saying they don't deal with small wild animals. After some online research we were quite sure the poor bunny was infected with myxomatosis which is a horrible bunny virus and there is no cure. We didn't quite know what to do, but in the end my lovely Culinary Consultant thought we can't let the poor bunny just die alone out there in the cold, so he made a little snuggly nest in a basket out of a blanket and lifted the poor little soul in there. He really was looking like he was suffering, breathing very shallow and quick and I looked up a 24 hour vet surgery in the area and called them. The nice lady there said they would of course have a look and also if it really was myxomatosis as we thought, they would help end the suffering of the poor little thing. 

When we got to the vet surgery last night we were greeted by a really helpful and friendly vet who examined little Bunny, and said it was certain that it was myxomatosis and also that there was nothing that could be done. So poor little Bunny went to heaven last night. Although it was incredibly sad, I'm very happy he didn't suffer any longer, and the vet also said that he was so weak it was unlikely he would have made it through the night. So I want to thank the wonderful vet who was on call at the Cromwell Vet Surgery in Huntingdon for her friendly help and support. It is always so hard to see animals suffer, and although I realise it probably didn't make any difference to the bunny at all whether he would have passed in our garden, or in the surgery, our tendency to anthropomorphise animals makes me believe he was better off spending his last hours in a warm and safe little blanket nest instead of being eaten by a fox. Funnily enough ZsaZsa, our little Boa, could clearly smell little bunny as he was huddled up in the basket in the corner of our kitchen, she was raising her head up and smelling the unfamiliar smell which probably smelled like food to her. Funny creatures, those snakes.

Rest in peace sweet little Bunny.
So my heart cake is dedicated to the memory of the little soul who went to bunny heaven last night.  Obviously, this was a cake I made for Valentine's day and haven't gotten around to publishing before now. And there is no reason why this wouldn't make a great cake for some other occasion such as a birthday.

I wanted to make this cake in my heart shaped cake pan, and was struggling as most recipes were for a full size two layer cake. So I ended up using this recipe which alledgedly is the Hummingbird red velvet cupcake recipe. 

I used a red paste colour as I don't think the liquid food colourings are very good. The pastes have much more pigment in them, but they don't allow you to make the paste with the cocoa powder. So I added 40 ml of water where the recipe suggests 40 ml red food colouring, and then added a few drops of the colour paste.

Small red velvet cake (or 12 cupcakes):
60 g unsalted butter
150 g caster sugar
1 egg
20 g cocoa powder
40 ml red food colouring (I used 40 ml water with a few drops of red paste colour)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
120 ml buttermilk
150 g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 tsp white vinegar

50 g butter
300 g icing sugar
125 g cream cheese

The howto:
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and butter your cake tin or prepare 12 muffin cases. Cream together butter and sugar, and when white and fluffy, add in egg and whisk until the batter increases in volume significantly. In a small bowl, mix the cocoa powder, food colouring and vanilla extract to a thick paste. Mix the paste with the butter-sugar-egg mixture until well mixed. Add half of the buttermilk, mix, add half of the flour, mix and then add the other half of buttermilk and flour. Mix until smooth. Mix the soda with the vinegar and mix with the batter. Pour into the cake tin or muffin cases. Bake muffins for 20-25 minutes and the cake for 45-50 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. 

While the cake is cooling, prepare the frosting. The original recipe says to cream together butter and icing sugar, but I just couldn't get it to cream, the icing sugar just kept flying around the room, so I also added the cream cheese immediately, and then kept creaming until smooth. The icing turned out really great.

The verdict:
The main reason to make this cake is definitely the icing. Don't you dare to decrease the amount of icing in the recipe. The cake is nice, but to me, nothing too special, it's a slightly chocolate-y cake. The buttermilk added a nice moistness to the cake, but next time I would definitely add more cocoa powder. But the icing. Oh my oh my. I loved the thick coat of icing on top of the cake, and I know the Culinary Consultant is a big fan of icing as well, this was a perfect cake for us. 

No comments:

Post a Comment