It was the national day holiday on the 9th of August. I was feeling restless and felt like making something that was challenging, fun and yummy all at the same time. After browsing too many chocolate cake recipes, I had an epiphany and decided to work on a red velvet since the cake was red and white.
Shopping at Phoon Huat was exceptionally nice since there was 15% off for the national day celebrations. Stocked up on cake bases, linings and a angled spatula. Also, under the pretext of moving out next year, I got myself a new 9 inch pan.
I recall wincing at the amount of sugar I had to put into the cake and I’m still trying to get comfortable adding food coloring (artifical colors in food make me shudder). To take out the baking stress, I also split the process over two days. I prepped the cake layers and frosting the day before and kept assembly for the next day.
Icing is such a skill! The crumb coat aside, there are two parts to this – the icing in between layers and icing all around the cake. One needs to balance out spreading out icing evenly vs not scraping off too much icing. The icing was a little softer than I had expected and I couldn’t get a clean spread and sharp edges. According to google, it was probably because I reduced the amount of icing sugar (I simply couldn’t bear to pour in 450g of sugar!)
Taking a leaf out of Christina Tosi’s recipes, she adds a crunch layer and a cake soak.
- I contemplated between a coffee soak and a milk soak – I had initially picked coffee but I couldn’t find my dad’s decaf grinds, so a milk soak it was.
- For the crunch element, couldn’t get my hands on fellutine in time, I wasn’t sure if cornflakes would turn soggy in the icing. So I opted for a box of almond wafers – my grand plan was to incorporate this into the icing layer in the middle. But I chickened out and instead crushed and dusted around the cake base fringe.
The thrilling part about a two layer cake is that you don’t quite know what you’re getting until the very first cut. Will the cake come out cleanly? Is the icing evenly distributed? Then the taste test. Thankfully, at our national day party, the cake sliced out cleanly, icing was a little heavy at the top and thin around the sides, the cake texture was a little denser than I would have liked but for a first two-layered cake, I think it was a good shot. The taste was nicely balanced and yummy.
Lance, who usually dislikes cream cheese frosting, had two fat slices. I’m not sure if he was trying to be supportive and polite especially since my birthday’s around the corner. But regardless, I’m pleased with how it turned out, it was fun and exactly what my restless hands needed to make.
Now I’m almost tempted to buy a turntable and re-bake the cake just to get another go at the icing…
Recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction