Ginny’s Red Velvet Christmas | Inquirer Lifestyle

Ginny’s Red Velvet Christmas

3 c all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

1 tbsp cocoa powder

1½ c butter

1½ c sugar

2 eggs

4 egg yolks

1½ c evaporated milk

2 tbsp McCormick  red food color

1 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line two 9-inch round baking pans with wax or baking paper.

2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder.

3. In a bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer until light and creamy. Add the sugar gradually and continue to beat until light and fluffy, around 10 minutes. Add the eggs and egg yolk one at a time, while continuing to beat until well-mixed.

4. Combine the evaporated milk, red food color and vanilla in a bowl. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture and milk alternately to the butter mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure the batter is thoroughly mixed.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for about 40 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting

2 c cream cheese

½ c butter

2½ c confectioners’ sugar

Combine the cream cheese and butter in a bowl and cream until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and continue to beat until spreadable.

Assembly

1. Remove the cooled cakes from their pans. With a serrated-blade knife, carefully slice off the rounded tops of the cakes to make a level surface. Set aside the excess cake for later, covered with plastic wrap to keep it from drying out.

2. Carefully slice each cake layer into two layers with your serrated-blade knife. You will have a total of four layers; set aside one layer with the excess cake reserved earlier.

3. Set one cake layer on a stand and cover with frosting. Repeat until you have three layers. Cover the top and sides of the cake with a thin coat of frosting and refrigerate to set, about 30 minutes.

4. Spread the rest of the frosting over the cake, putting more on top and making swirly designs with the back of a spoon or a spatula. Break up the reserved excess cake with your fingers and crumble into fine crumbs. Carefully and as evenly as you can, cover the sides of the cake with the red cake crumbs. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

LEMON TORTE WITH WHITE CHOCOLATE CURLS

Lemon curd [A]

grated rind and juice of 1 lemon [B]

¼ c plus

1 tbsp sugar

3 egg yolks

¼ c butter, cut in 1-inch pieces

pinch of salt

[A] If you have spare egg yolks on hand, you can double the batch easily. Lemon curd is delicious, too, spread on butter cookies.

[B] Lemons are much easier to grate when cold, yet room-temperature lemons provide more juice. Grate lemons just before using as the zest will lose moisture if it sits too long.

1. Toss the grated lemon rind and sugar in a small bowl and mix with your fingers. This releases the aromatic oils from the lemon peel to infuse the sugar. Taking the time to do this little step will make a difference in the flavor of the curd.

2. Whisk the egg yolks in a small saucepan until they are light in color. Add the sugar-and-lemon-rind mixture and the lemon juice. Cook over low heat, stirring continuously. When it starts to thicken, add the butter a few pieces at a time. The curd will thicken further. Continue cooking until the curd comes to a boil, then immediately remove from the heat. Let cool, then refrigerate.

Candied lemons

1 lemon, washed and thinly sliced

¼ c sugar

1 c water

1. Put the lemon slices in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook gently for 15 minutes. Drain and cool off quickly under running water.

2. Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer until syrupy. Add the lemon slices and cook over low heat for another 15-20 minutes, until the lemon slices are tender. Drain and carefully lay the slices out flat on a cooling rack. Leave to dry in a low oven, around 200ºF, for about an hour till dry. Keep in airtight container.

Assembly

1 c whipping cream

1 tbsp sugar

1 recipe lemon curd

200 g good-quality white chocolate

1 recipe candied lemons

1. In a bowl, beat together the cream and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light, and soft peaks form.

2. Put a dab of cream on a cake board or platter and top with a meringue wafer. This will keep the torte from sliding around. Spread half the lemon curd evenly over, then top with a second wafer. Spread the rest of the lemon curd over that and set the third wafer on top. Cover the top and sides with the whipped cream.

3. Using a vegetable peeler, shave white chocolate over the top of the torte. Decorate with the candied lemon slices. Keep the torte in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to serve.