Friday, December 17, 2010

Chocolate Chip Red Velvet Cake

Upon arriving home in Atlanta, returning from Miami, I was greeted with below-freezing temperatures, below-zero wind chills, and snow flurries, all typically unheard of this early in the season. I was also reminded of my fellow vehicular travelers - dozens and dozens of cars rushing by at ferocious speeds, even at 7:30 on a Sunday evening. Even just a few days away, and I quickly became unaccustomed to Atlanta's legendary traffic.

Despite the rather jarring last few miles of my journey home, the moment of arriving home is always blissful, especially when one returns in time to celebrate one of our most special days of the year - Zach's Birthday! Despite the chill temperatures, the house was soon warm with the scents of baking... and there is something so magical about creating a red velvet cake.

Creaming the butter and sugar... (more accurately, creaming the SmartBalance Light and the Turbinado sugar, but that just doesn't have quite the same jaunty ring to it... :-)

Now some frothy, egg-y goodness...

Prepping a perfect little scoop of cocoa powder...

Abracadabra, the batter is red!

Love the contrast between the pristine scoops of flour and the scarlet color already in the mixing bowl...

More magic as the colors begin to blend...

Almost just the right shade of burgundy...

Ah, perfection.

Luxurious batter in the baking pan...

and just when you thought it wasn't possible, it becomes even more vibrantly purple-red after it's risen and baked!

Chocolate frosting, and a Z for my Zach, in his favorite color, of course... :-)

Happy Birthday to my love!

Chocolate Chip Red Velvet Cake

1 T lemon juice
3/4 cup vanilla almond milk
6 T SmartBalance Light or butter
1 rounded cup turbinado sugar
1 whole egg
1 egg white
2 T red food coloring
2 T Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

~ Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat an 8x8" or 9" round baking pan with cooking spray, then dust with flour.
~ Pour the lemon juice into the almond milk, and set aside.
~ Beat together the SmartBalance Light and turbinado sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, and beat until well incorporated.
~ Whisk together the food coloring, cocoa powder, and vanilla to make a crumbly paste.
~ Whisk the cocoa powder mixture into the egg mixture until well combined.
~ Stir the salt into the almond milk mixture, then add the almond milk alternately with the flour in 3 parts, stirring until the ingredients are well incorporated but not over mixed after each addition.
~ Stir together the cider vinegar and baking soda, and fold into the batter mixture.
~ Fold in the chocolate chips.
~ Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes.
~ Allow the cake to cool in the baking pan, then invert onto a serving plate to remove the cake. Prepare your frosting as described below. Using dental floss, slice the cake horizontally into 2 layers. Frost the cake between the two layers, on top, and on the sides, and decorate as you fancy!

Chocolate Frosting
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
~ Melt the butter, and stir in the cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amounts of additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla, and frost away!

Zach in his newly grown beard, relaxing on his birthday with an oatmeal stout...

Zach and I celebrating his birthday dinner at our favorite Greek restaurant... :-)
Happy Birthday, Darlin'! I love you!


Gina; The Candid RD said...

YUM! I love red velevet cake. Zach's a lucky guy. Hapy Birthday Zach!

Oh, and great beer choice ;) I think on your birthday that HAS to count as a whole grain, hehe

Gina; The Candid RD said...

And no, I do not think happy is spelled with one "p".

tasteofbeirut said...

Red Velvet cake is my kids favorite and I am still not sure I would want to bake it (I would be the one eating most of it!); I think I will wait for a birthday like you did. Happy Birthday to your hubby!

Johanna GGG said...

lovely cake - that green z looks like a superhero insignia - happy birthday to zach

Gina; The Candid RD said...

Just read your comment, I'm so excited!! I can't wait to hear more details (I won't mention it on the blog...) Have a great weekend!

MelindaRD said...

Happy birthday Zach! That cake looks awesome. So nice of you to bake him a cake, although I know you would never pass up a chance to bake.

Ricki said...

Happy birthday, Zach! The cake looks wonderful--glad you made it home and warmed up! :)

Kerstin said...

Happy Birthday Zach! What a perfect cake to celebrate - yum!