February 25, 2011

Rolling Out the Red Velvet

Valentine's Day brings out all things pink and red, including everyone's lust for that indelible favorite, red velvet cake. I'm not sure what it is about it that everyone loves (with anywhere from only 2 tablespoons to maybe 1/3 of a cup of unsweetened cocoa, it's not really chocolate, but then it's not really just vanilla with red food color either), but secretly, I think it's the color plus the cream cheese frosting.

Everyone loves cream cheese frosting! It goes well with carrot cake, devil's food, lemon, and of course, red velvet. With wedding cakes, I encourage brides to go with a white chocolate or cream cheese filling so that guests can still get a little "alternative flavor" kick along with the standard wedding vanilla buttercream.

But at this time of year, you might even want to go for an alternative item on the red velvet spectrum. How about red velvet doughnuts? I pulled a recipe off Gourmet Live recently, but after some rather interesting results at home, I revamped it a bit to come up with the one below. The first few attempts were too airy and fluffy--much like a cupcake in a circle, if anything else. A good cake doughnut should be soft and melt-in-your-mouth tasty, like a good cupcake, but it also needs to be dense, buttery, and eat like a meal, like a hearty doughnut should! I played around with the egg and butter ratios, replaced the flour with cake flour for tenderness, and added a cream cheese glaze, and voila! Here's a little something you can roll out the next time you have overnight company. (But they may not want to leave, so beware the extended stay!)

Baked Red Velvet Donuts
2 cups sifted cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon red food coloring

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a doughnut pan with cooking spray with flour in it, or butter it with pastry brush and flour it.

In a large bowl, sift together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.

In the microwave in a small heat-proof bowl, heat butter and chocolate together on 50% power in 1-minute intervals until melted. DO NOT ALLOW TO BURN. Stir until smooth. Set aside to cool.

In another bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs. Add the melted butter/chocolate mixture to the egg/sugar mixture. In a glass measuring cup, whisk buttermilk, extract, and food color until combined. Add to egg/sugar mixture and stir well.

Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture in three intervals, mixing with a spatula each time just until combined. Using two spoons or a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch wide tip, fill the doughnut pan with the batter, filling each cavity about two-thirds full. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes.

Cream Cheese Glaze

1/2 package cream cheese (4 ounces), room temperature
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk, room temperature

In small bowl, using electric mixer, blend cream cheese and butter until combined. Add
powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla extract and mix well until no lumps. Add milk and mix until smooth and a little drippy. Add more milk if you like a thinner glaze. Spread on doughnuts while warm and let glaze drip over sides. Makes about 1 dozen.


MJHerbst said...

Holy cow these do eat like a meal, I can assure you!

Lisa said...

Those look so neat! Sounds like a delicious and different way to enjoy red velvet. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog until tomorrow night and I’d like to invite you to stop by and link your doughnuts up. http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com/2011/02/sweets-for-saturday-6.html

Lisa said...

Thanks for linking this up to Sweets for a Saturday.