If you are a fan of Pomegranate Days on Facebook, you may remember that some months back I shared the link to this cake made by the extremely talented Sydney, over on her blog the Crepes of Wrath.
At the time, I had been looking for a really fun cake idea for Pretty Girl’s upcoming birthday. Turning ten and going on fifteen demands a cake that is NOT a novelty or theme cake *insert choirs of hallelujah here*.
But, I still wanted to make her something a little bit more special than your everyday cake, something not too fancy but which still showed a bit of the fun factor for the actual 10 year old in her.
I decided on a triple layer chocolate cake which I made using this recipe and then I used this recipe for marshmallow fluff icing, which covered the whole cake. Just talking about this cake reminds me that I actually completely forgot to post a pic of it on Instagram. The horror. Because I want you to have a look at it, I have done it now and you can have a little squizz at it here. See how happy that girl of mine looks? Well she was. Literally face to face with a sticky, gooey and messy cake, Pretty girl was pretty much in her element. As for me, I was sort of Meh! about it actually.
It was not nearly as heroic looking as Sydney’s cake; although I will admit that the lighting in the rock climbing gym does it no favours, but still, Meh! The proportion of the cake to the cake stand was a little off too. I suspect I was having a bad day as it refers to all things cake.
In hindsight, what I did really love about the cake was the idea. The idea of that gorgeous twirly toasted meringue/marshmallow topping over a cake plagued me. It gnawed at me. I could not let it go. I had to give it another try. Thus I give you today’s recipe for this Red Velvet Meringue Cake, the result of that persistent nag.
It is possible that I love this second cake more because I was really restrained with the meringue this time, declining the temptation to gloop twirls and whirls of it all over the entire cake. I love how the coppery red colour of the red velvet sponge bears itself up against the snow white meringue. I also think I love the meringue more than I did the marshmallow fluff, which was insanely sticky. As you may know, the sponge of a Red Velvet Cake is not in itself exceptionally sweet, and it seems to almost give itself over to that burst of arrogant sweetness provided by the meringue.
If you think I just had a strong cake game on when making this second cake, well I suspect that may be true to some degree too. I admit that during the baking of this Red Velvet Meringue Cake my nerves were appreciatively unrattled and my thoughts freely unencumbered by the imminent arrival of more than a handful of tweens.
Whatever the reason I can say without hesitation that now when I look at this cake, I think it rather gorgeous and I really want to eat it. Therein lies the only reason that should ever matter to a cake.
Arriving the very week that we celebrate its decidedly talented photographer, Kate, we must not overlook the fact that this cake also has rather impeccable timing.
Kate, our friendship continues to be one of my most well-guarded treasures.
- 330 g cake flour
- Pinch of salt
- 30 ml (2 T) cocoa powder
- 5 ml (1 t) bicarbonate of soda
- 5 ml (1 t) vanilla essence
- 250 ml (1 C) buttermilk
- 10 ml (2 t) white vinegar
- 180 g butter, softened
- 375 g white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 30 ml (2 T or 1 bottle) crimson (red) food colouring
- 4 egg whites
- 225 g caster sugar
- Pinch of salt
- In a large mixing bowl sieve together the flour, salt, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda.
- Mix together the vanilla, buttermilk and vinegar.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and light.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well to incorporate.
- Add the sifted flour mix and the buttermilk mix alternately to the eggs.
- Add the food colouring and beat well until the batter is deep pink and very well blended.
- Spoon the batter into two cake pans that have been sprayed with non-stick spray and lined with baking paper.
- Bake the cakes in an oven that has been preheated to 180˚C for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
- To make the Italian Meringue, place the egg whites and the castor sugar in the top of a double boiler.
- Cook over medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved in the egg whites and the mixture is warm to the touch.
- Transfer the meringue mixture to an electric mixer.
- Beat using the whisk attachment for 5 – 10 minutes or until the meringue is glossy, white and stiff.
- Sandwich the two cake halves together with the Italian Meringue.
- Decorate the top of the cake with the meringue (and the sides too if desired).
- Use a kitchen blow torch to caramelize the meringue.