Thursday, April 10, 2014

The True Red Velvet Cake with Goat Cheese Frosting



No cake is more overrated than the Red Velvet Cake. Red is color and won't taste like anything no matter how much you love this classic. 
I battled a lot with myself before I decided to make this episode for you because even though I've always knew I'd create a tastier healthier version of it for you I still thought that maybe the world didn't need another recipe on how to make a red cake. But guess what? The world didn't need another red cake recipe but it desperately needed an updated version of it! 

After perfecting a technique that I've always enjoyed (using veggies as dyes) i thought this would be the perfect opportunity for me to create this episode with an all natural batter and a twist on a classic frosting: Goat Cheese instead of Cream Cheese. 

My technique used here to reduce the beet juice leaves almost no taste at all in the cake batter. The juice brings an unusual (but very pleasant) sweetness to the cake and a very good texture as well. It's beautiful to see how betanin (natural pigment from the beets) are powerful and fabulous to play with.

My idea to use goat cheese in the frosting was very simple: people love cream cheese frostings because of its tanginess and no cheese knows better about tanginess than goat cheese. Chèvre when mixed with sugar and extract is unrecognizable, all that there's left is a rich piquant flavor, lovely! 


Regarding the traditional method for making the Red Velvet Cake I can't say much otherwise I'll maybe hurt your feelings. I believe we always need to know what we are putting into our bodies and if a recipe gives more importance to the aesthetic created by an ingredient than for the ingredient itself this recipe is mediocre. That said has a lot to do with what a red velvet cake represents, a regular cake famous for being brightly red using chemicals to make the appearance of it appealing.  

The red color found in the traditional red velvet cake comes from an artificial food dye made in a lab with chemicals derived from petroleum. Sometimes a single recipe calls for an entire bottle of it. Independent studies have shown how each artificial color harms your body and the red color (specifically) can trigger hyperactive behavior, is highly allergenic and has shown to contribute to cancer , including brain , testicular tumors and colon cancer. I'd suggest you to read more about this matter and then maybe you will conclude that this recipe I made goes a little beyond the challenge of creating a bright color with only natural ingredients, it's a cake revolution! ;)


Ingredients:
cake: 
1 1/2 cup unbleached flour (it has to be unbleached)
pinch of salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp natural cocoa powder (don't use dutch processed)
3/4 cup reduced beet juice (made from approximately 6 beets). Don't use beets from a can or industrialized beet juice because it doesn't contain enough betanin to color your cake.  
1 tsp rice vinegar (you can use other vinegars)
1 tbsp lemon juice
100g unsalted butter at room temperature (8 tablespoons)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk 
frosting:
All ingredients must be at room temperature. 
110g cream cheese (4oz)
110 grams goat cheese (chèvre- 4oz)
5 tbsp unsalted butter
2 cups confectioner's sugar 
1 tsp vanilla extract 
Mixed red fruits to decorate such as raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. (optional)

Directions: 
1- Preheat oven at 350F. 
2- Juice the beets in a juicer and pour it in a small saucepan. You can also use a food processor instead and puree it with 2 cups of water and sift it. Over medium heat reduce the beet juice to 3/4 of a cup. Let it cool and add vinegar and lemon. 
3- In a bowl add flour, salt, baking powder and cocoa powder. Reserve.
4- In a mixer or using a whisk cream the butter with sugar until pale yellow. Add eggs (one at a time), vanilla and buttermilk. As soon as the buttermilk goes on stop whisking it. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and stir well. 
5- Add the beet juice with the acids and stir it to combine.
6- Butter and flour a 9" baking pan or three 5" mini pans. 
7- Pour batter over it and bake it for approximately 35 minutes in the middle rack or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle of the cake. 
8- To make the frosting add all the ingredients together and whisk it for 5 minutes until very fluffy and combined (in a mixer or by hand).
9- Let the cake cool completely before frosting otherwise the cheeses will melt. Serve it with red fruits on top! 

Enjoy the tasty redness and don't forget your 3D glasses !