Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

>> Friday, 16 April 2010

Maybe you are like me...I have a tendency to start doing things late at night. Not because I've procrastinated doing them (although that is often the case), but usually because I get these grandious ideas late at night. So when most people are debating what time to set their alarms for the next morning or flossing, I am scouring the cupboards for the makings of...whatever I might be able to make. 

Company was coming to visit in the form of relatives the following day and my mom had requested that I might  'make something'. Ever since I ate red velvet cupcakes in London from the Hummingbird Bakery and consequently bought the cookbook this past winter, I knew more of these were in my some form, any form!

 Which is why when I was asked to 'make something', I knew what I needed/wanted to do and I set about making this around midnight.  The crumb of the cake is deliciously moist and the cake is not sweet at all (the icing is a bit sweet, but suits the cake perfectly)  I made the cakes the night before and made the icing the following morning.  It all came together rather well and I would definitely suggest taking this cake to any sort of party.  Very impressive and not all that hard to make!
Red Velvet Cake 
(Adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook)

  • 8 tbsp of unsalted, room temperature butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 tbsp red food colouring (yep, it'll take about 2 bottles!)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups (plus 4 tbsp) of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp of white vinegar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  1. Preheat oven to 325deg F
  2. In one bowl, mix the food colouring, vanilla and cocoa powder in a bowl to make a thick paste.
  3. In a bigger bowl (you can use an electric mixer..although I didn't and it turned out fine) mix the butter and sugar together until fluffy.  Add the eggs and beat until well blended.
  4. Add the coloured paste to the butter mixture and combine..taking care to scrape the sides of the bowl so it mixes evenly.
  5. Slowly pour in half the amount of buttermilk and half the amount of flour.  Beat until well blended and then repeat the same process of adding the rest of the buttermilk and the flour and beat.
  6. Batter should be smooth and even...the add the salt, baking soda and vinegar.
  7. Beat again to combine.
  8. Meanwhile, grease and flour 3 8-inch pans
  9. Pour the batter into the 3 pans (1/2 way up the side of the pan) and bake for approximately 25 minutes (checking to see if a knife inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean)
  10. Let cakes cool and make the icing.
Cream Cheese Icing
  • 4 2/3rd cups of icing sugar (confectioner's sugar)
  • 6 tbsps of room temperature, unsalted butter
  • 8 oz (1 block) of cold cream cheese
  1. This time I did use a freehand mixer!  Beat the icing sugar and the butter together until it is well mixed.
  2. Add the cold cream cheese (I cut in cubes to make it faster and easier to mix) and beat until it is all mixed in,well blended and the icing is light and fluffy.
  3. Taking care not to overbeat as the icing will melt slightly with too much work.
11.  Ice between each layer and stack the layers.
12.  Then finish icing the sides of the cake.
13.  If you are making cupcakes, this recipe will make 24...otherwise, divide all ingredients (including icing) by half for 12 cupcakes.
Serve to family and know that when you sneak into the kitchen later that night to cut a tiny slice to have with will have already been devoured by someone else with the exact same idea.  :(


South St. Burger Company

>> Thursday, 8 April 2010

I occassionally do reviews of items for my most recent assignment was to check out the South St. Burger company.

Now I know this franchise has been around for a while, but I've never actually been in! Crazy, I know. I don't know what preconceived notions I had or maybe it's because I was always under the impression that it was pretty expensive...but there is a great reason for that which I am about to explain.

BzzAgent sent me a bunch of buy one, get one free coupons which I dispersed among the families that come into my workplace which is great because there is a South St. Burget Company just down the street from my job.

They also sent me a $10 coupon so I could try it myself first hand.

I never knew before, but what puts South St. Burger apart from the other burger joints is that the patties are made fresh and contain absolutely no hormones, antibiotics, filler or preservatives from cows that are raised on small co-op farms that practice natural and conscientious farming.

Seriously, for someone who is trying to eat better (or at least more consciously) and really pay attention to businesses who are trying at least to save/protect the environment, South St. Burger is really doing a great job as they use local ingredients & support local farms, use LED bulbs in their stores, environmentally friendly cleaning products and recycled paper products and 100% Bullfrog power(green electricity). Pretty impressive.

Not only that...but they have 25 different types of toppings! Everything from wasabi mayo to guacamole. Not to mention that they are partnered up with New York Fries. Delicious!

All the great environmental friendliness aside, I really did enjoy the burger. Sure it was a little more expensive than the local burger place...but the quality definitely was of primary importance.

Simply put..I would certainly recommend South St. Burger for the healthier burger choice!


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