Red Velvet Cake INGREDIENTS
1 ¼ cups vegetable shortening 2 cups granulated sugar 1 tbsp cocoa powder 4 ½ tsp (2 tubes) red food-colouring gel 3 cups cake flour, plus more for dusting the cake pans 1 ¼ tsp fine sea salt 1 ¼ tsp pure vanilla extract 1 ¼ tsp baking soda 1 ¼ tsp distilled white vinegar 3 extra-large eggs 1 ¼ cups buttermilk Unsalted butter, for greasing 2 cake pans (about 2 tbsp); non-stick cooking spray or vegetable oil may be substituted
INSTRUCTIONS Position the rack in the centre of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Put the shortening, sugar, cocoa powder, food colouring, cake flour, salt, vanilla, baking soda, and vinegar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Paddle, starting at low speed, then raise the speed to low-medium and mix for about 1 minute. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, mixing for 1 minute after each is absorbed into the mixture. Add the buttermilk in two portions, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl between additions. Grease two 9" cake pans (2 " high) with the butter, and flour them. Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans, using a rubber spatula to scrape down the bowl and get as much batter as possible out. Bake until the cake beings to pull away from the sides of the pan and is springy to the touch, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour. The cake should be at room temperature before you remove it from the pan. Put a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet, top with sugar, dump onto parchment; the sugar will keep it from sticking. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to decorate.
RECIPES AND PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY: Cake Boss: Stories and Recipes from Mia Famiglia. Copyright 2010 by Discovery Communications. Published by Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. OCTOBER 2014