Natural Red Velvet

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Who doesn’t know red velvet cake. It’s been a hit for ages. We think red velvet is the best classic cake ever. Back then, red velvet is always baked with natural food colouring, until in around 1940 a new product was invented and the food colouring has been replacing the natural food colouring since then.

If you have been following our stories, we are always searching for improvements. Though we do love red velvet, we keep trying to refine our recipes and replacing the food colouring with the natural one. We’ve tried once with our Valentine’s Whoopie Pies. Though the result came out well, we could still taste a lot of beetroot in it.

So it is quiet a new challenge for us to refine the recipe and create a much less beetroot after taste in the cake. This is what we understood:

To create the true red color in red velvet, you need to have a high amount of acid in your batter. This can be done by adding a buttermilk, vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda or cream of tartar.

Furthermore, you need to use the raw beetroot instead of the cooked one. The cooked beetroot will be oxidised during the baking process and will reduce the level of red color. Plus we also found out that you need to use a raw cacao powder instead of Dutch processed cacao. The original taste of chocolate is actually sour. In the raw cacao powder you will have high concentration of acid, which will help the red velvet batter to maintain its color. A raw cacao powder also has a lighter color. A dutch processed cacao is a cacao that has been processed to remove the cacao butter. Because the cacao has been processed, the powder consists of a PH natural. So it won’t work with any recipes that are using baking soda as part of the ingredients.

Ok, now we got the idea. So we gave it a try 🙂

First of, we chopped the raw beetroot in small cubes and pureed it with a mixer.

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Then in the food processor, we mixed the beetroot puree with all the acid “helper”: buttermilk, lemon juice, and vinegar. Then we added the vanilla into this wet batter. In a separate bowl, we sifted the flour, baking soda and cacao powder. As you could see, here we made a mistake. We learned after that the Dutch processed cacao was not a good idea. Well, it’s our small mistake, which will help you to create a better one 🙂

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In a mixer stand, we mixed the oil, sugar and eggs until it’s combined. Now it’s a matter of mixing all 3 batters together. Once the batter is well mixed, we put them in two cake pans and baked it in the oven for about 30 mins. You can see, the batter is rather chocolaty now because of the wrong cacao powder.

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Despite of that mistake, the result came out well. The beetroot after taste is really slight and you could barely taste it. For next time, we just have to try it once again using the right cacao powder. We will keep you updated 😉

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See you on the next blog!


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