It is that time of the year when red colour predominates and red roses as well as boxes of Ferrero Rocher get sold out faster than anything else. Restaurants are booked well in advance and cheesy poem contests are held online to celebrate romance in the form of Valentine’s Day. As I keep saying it every year, there is nothing that can impress your loved one than your own efforts; plan an elaborate 3-course meal at home and finish in style with a detectable dessert – the classic yet sensational Dark Chocolate Mousse, the Quick & Easy Microwave Chocolate Cake or achieve perfection with these Chocolate Chip Cookies or these Double Chocolate Brownies. This time I decided to forego the chocolate and went all red with this no-fail Red Velvet Cake with heavenly Mascarpone & Cream Cheese Frosting, adapted from Australian Women’s Weekly.

RED VELVET CAKE

Ingredients:

For the Cake Batter

125 g butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups (330g) caster sugar

2 eggs, room temperature

1 1/2 cups (225g) plain flour

2 tablespoons cornflour

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 cup (250ml) buttermilk

1 teaspoon red food coloring

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 cup (50g) flaked coconut

For the Frosting

250g cream cheese, softened

1 cup (160g) icing sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

250g mascarpone cheese

1 1/4 cups (300ml) thickened cream

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Grease two deep 22cm round cake pans; line bases and sides with baking paper.

  • Beat butter, extract, sugar and eggs in a small bowl with an electric mixer till light and fluffy. Transfer mixture to a large bowl.

  • Stir in sifted flours, cocoa and the combined buttermilk and food coloring, in two batches. Combine vinegar and soda in a cup.

  • Allow to fizz, then fold into cake mixture. Divide mixture between pans. Bake for about 25 minutes. Stand for 10 minutes in pan.

  • Turn the cakes top-side up onto a wire rack to cool. Wrap cakes in plastic; freezing for 40 minutes makes splitting cakes easier.

  • For the frosting, beat cream cheese, mascarpone, sugar and extract in a small bowl with electric mixer until smooth and creamy.

  • On medium speed, beat in mascarpone until just combined, then beat in cream until smooth and spreadable. Split cakes in half.

  • Place one layer on serving plate, cut-side up; spread with 2/3 cup frosting. Repeat layering, finishing with remaining frosting.

With lots of love