Before we talk about cake, let's talk about...
...the beautiful roses my boyfriend gave me for Valentine's Day! I honestly wasn't expecting anything. We had talked about staying in, having a nice dinner, and not making a big deal out of the day. But then our doorbell mysteriously rang around noon today, and my boyfriend ran out to answer and returned with a gorgeous vase of fragrant red roses for me. He's the best, really. And that's not just because of the flowers. I'm waiting for the bacon smell from breakfast to fade, so the roses can perfume the whole place instead.
And from the puppy in my life...
...a box of dark chocolates. For someone who isn't allowed to have any chocolate, he sure does know my favorites!
Okay, now let's talk cake. I had never made red velvet cake before last night but had always wanted to give the seemingly coveted dessert a try. I relied on Rose Levy Berenbaum's Rose Red Velvet Cake recipe, which you can find here and in Rose's Heavenly Cakes.
What makes this recipe different from most other red velvet cake recipes is the absence of vinegar. Rose suggests just using buttermilk and baking powder, which enhances the acidity of the buttermilk, making the vinegar unnecessary. The recipe also calls for only 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder, "a mere suspicion," according to Rose, which enables the cake to be such a vivid red.
The frosting is a simple white chocolate cream cheese frosting that pairs perfectly with the mildly sweet cake.
And while Rose points out the alluring contrast of the white frosting against the red cake, I couldn't leave it unadorned. So I tossed on a few red and white sprinkles and some hearts.
This cake came out incredibly moist, which to me was its best attribute. I liked the top portion, pairing a small bit of cake with lots of frosting, whereas my boyfriend loved the cake and thought the frosting a tad too sweet. But he tends to like cakes like this, and I tend to like richer, more decadent cakes, especially those layered with ganache or at least with a stronger chocolate flavor.
All in all, it was the perfect cake for the occasion, and we both enjoyed it. Plus it gave me an excuse to use my heart-shaped pan again!
Wishing you all a happy Valentine's Day once again... or just a happy day if you aren't celebrating! I'll post about our incredible dinner soon... and don't worry, it's not festive at all so you can make it any time.