Red Velvet Sheet Cake

argh christmas is in two days and argh so much still to bake but argh i'm so excited and argh it's gonna be so hot on christmas day and argh!!!!! i fought my way through melbourne central and onto a train today and nearly struggled to breathe in the christmas crowds this afternoon, but my mood lifted when i saw people running around wearing santa hats and reindeer antlers wishing everybody happy holidays! merry christmas! happy new year! enjoy hanukkah! thanks antler people <3

in other news, i finally filled the pots i've been storing in boxes on a bookshelf since we moved into there invited house with plants!! one's called clive, the other is patricia. patricia is my new kitchen and blog assistant and i think her pink colour makes her extra sassy, whilst clive sits on my desk and helps me make good decisions when writing and editing my essays. i also recently was gifted a gorgeous pine tree scented candle (thanks belle!!) and i think clive and patricia might be getting jealous (they don't really smell of anything you see) but it's ok, i think they'll get over it. 

speaking of plants, our garden has paving!! i'm so excited to play with a skipping rope on it and draw hopscotch games. do you remember those songs that we used to sing when playing jump rope? there was one about a teddy bear turning around, one was with the alphabet to guess the names of your future spouses and children.....ah grade 3 was cute. my ultimate favourite skipping game though was double dutch. i could not for the life of me be the person on the end twisting the ropes (the hand-eye coordination of eight year old jess was sadly, sub-par) but i got really good at the jumping bit!! it's funny the things you remember from being little hey? 

notes: here's a red velvet sheet cake inspired by this recipe here from molly (the ultimate bae). by adding more cacao powder and swapping the buttermilk out for almond milk, i made it a bit more fudgie. it's lying on the territory between a cake and a brownie and is a great base for flavoured frostings and fruity toppings with it's subtle chocolate flavour and dense, yet light, texture. i think a sheet cake is a really american thing to do, but i'm totally sold on the whole idea. it's super easy to share with the masses and decorate quickly. cake with friends that looks pretty with minimal effort, who doesn't love that???? 


Red Velvet Sheet Cake 

{makes 12 squares}

ingredients

1 1/4 c plain flour, sifted

3/4 tsp baking powder, sifted

1/2 tsp sea salt

3 tb cacao powder, sifted

1/2 c coconut oil 

1 c caster sugar

1 egg

1 tb red food colouring (paste or gel works best)

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp white vinegar

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

fresh fruit (optional), to serve

 

or the buttercream

330g vegan butter

750g icing (confectioner's) sugar

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

method

preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and prepare a rectangular brownie tin (either with baking parchment or butter and flour). 

in a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cacao powder. set aside. 

in the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the coconut oil and sugar on high for 4-5 minutes or until pale, creamy and voluminous. add the egg and beat again for another 2 minutes. add the food colouring, vanilla and vinegar before mixing for a final 3 minutes on high, or until the colour has been evenly distribute throughout the mixture (scrape the bowl down with a spatula to check that the base of the mixture is evenly coloured). 

add the dry mix to the bowl of the electric mixer in three parts, mixing on the lowest setting. watch out for flour storms. add the almond milk and gradually increase the speed of the mixer to high. mix until well combined. 

pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 35 minutes. start checking for doneness at 25 minutes using a skewer - if the skewer comes out clean, the cake is ready. 

set the cake aside to cool in the tin. once cooled, remove from the tin and frost with the buttercream icing. top with in season fruit (i used passionfruit and cherries - the chocolaty sweetness of the cake and frosting worked really well with the sharp and tangy flavours of the fruit) or sprinkles!!! 

cut the cakes into small squares to serve.the cakes will keep for 5 days stored at room temperature in a sealed container, although is best eaten within the first 3. 

to make the buttercream

in the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the vegan butter and the icing sugar starting on a low speed, before creaming on high for 5 minutes. add the vanilla and beat again for another 5 minutes on high.

refrigerate the frosting for at least 15 minutes before spreading on the cake with a raised palette knife. 


- jess 

p.s. merry chrimbo!!! i hope santa comes!!