Natural Red Velvet Cake
Preparation time: 45 min
Cooking time: 20 min (does not include decorations)
Serves: 12 (2 two layered 10 cm minicakes)
200 g raw beet (1 beet, or 1 cup beet puree)
juice of one lemon
2 tbs white vinegar
125 g crème fraîche (sour cream, 1/2 cup).
125 g butter, room temperature
200 g sugar (aprox. 1 cup)
1 tbs vanilla extract
250 g flour (2 cups aprox)
1 tbs natural cocoa powder (not Dutch proccess)
2 tsp baking powder
125 g butter, room temperature (1 stick)
250 g cream cheese (9 oz aprox)
200 g confectioners’ sugar (aprox 1 cup)
80 g shredded coconut
1 egg white, room temperature
50 g sugar
pinch of salt
25 g dark chocolate (1 oz)
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
First, we are going to prepare beet cakes. Preheat oven to 150 ºC (302 ºF)
Prepare four 10 cm cake pans (butter and flour the bottom and the sides of the pans)
Grate raw beet and then add lemon juice and vinegar, and puree it in food processor to as fine a texture as possible. Add sour cream, and beat until smooth in texture
In a large bowl, place butter and sugar, and mix well. Add eggs one by one
Add beet puree and vanilla extract, and whisk until combined
Add flour, unsweetened cocoa powder and baking powder, and stir until combined
Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans and bake for 20-25 minutes
Leave the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then turn out to cool. Gently turn cakes back up, so the tops are up
When cold trim any doming or top crust from cake layers using a very sharp serrated knife. Reserve whilst preparing the cream cheese frosting
Combine all ingredients for the cheese frosting in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Switch to the whisk attachment, and mix until smooth and slightly fluffy
Now it is time to decorate our mini cakes.Line a serving plate with pieces of paper parchment (so that they can be easily removed when you have finished with decoration). Place the bottom cake layer on top of your serving plate
Place 1 dollop frosting on top of the cake layer, and spread evenly with a small offset palette knife. Gently place second cake layer, face up, on top. Put a generous scoop of frosting on top, spreading evenly with a small offset palette knife and working your way down the sides until you have a thick layer of frosting over the entire cake. Freeze until set, about 15 minutes, and repeat the process with the other minicake. You do not need a perfect finish on your cakes, since they will be covered with shredded coconut
To finish decoration, take small handfuls of shredded coconut and press them onto the sides and top of the cake. Keep in the fridge until consumption
To prepare the meringue mushrooms, preheat oven to 90 º C (200 º F)
In bowl of electric mixer, beat the room temperature egg white, sugar and salt, until you get a meringue very stiff and glossy.
Spoon meringue into a large pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip. Pipe meringue onto prepared baking sheet to form domes and stems (please check this video if you want to see a step by step on preparing the meringue and piping caps and stems for the mushrooms).
Bake until dry, about 1 hour. Allow to cool
To assemble mushrooms, melt chocolate in a double boiler or in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Trim off points from tops of stems. With a small offset spatula, spread chocolate on underside of a cap and place trimmed end of stem into center of cap. Repeat with remaining mushrooms; refrigerate until set.
Sprinkle cocoa powder lightly over meringues.
Place the meringue mushrooms on top of cakes, and serve
The meringue mushrooms might be prepared beforehand, and stored in an airtight container until ready to use.
If you do not like shredded coconut, you might omit it, or use shredded white chocolate instead
Please take care that the cocoa you are using is natural and not dark or dutch processed