I just mentioned in another thread that I’ve been contemplating doing some experimentation with a red velvet cake, but I’m not sure where to start with things. There are a few things I’d like to modify from most of the traditional recipes I’ve seen out there.
First off, every red velvet cake I’ve seen out there is an oil cake, but I’d like to try a butter cake instead if that’s possible.
Second thing I’d like do is use cake flour instead of AP. I’ve seen a few recipes that call for cake flour, but most call for AP.
Third, I’d like to incorporate more cocoa powder into the cake. Typically what I have seen is the recipe calling for around 2-3 Tbsp of cocoa powder. I’d like to try to at least double that, maybe more. The other thing I’d like to do is apply Rose’s method of adding the cocoa powder to boiling water and then adding it to the batter after it has cooled rather than just adding it in with the rest of the dry ingredients. The issue with this is figuring out how to adjust the rest of the recipe based on the extra water being added by doing this. The math is fairly straight forward. All I have to do is know the mass and/or volume of water being used and then reduce the amount of either the buttermilk or vinegar (or a combination of both) to compensate for the extra water being added. My concern with doing this is how it will affect the overall chemistry of the cake and how well it bakes. The buttermilk and vinegar are acidic, but the cocoa powder is an alkali substance, and the baking soda is amphoteric (it can behave as an acid or a base, depending on the conditions). So, as soon as you adjust one of these components you will inevitably have to change the others in order to maintain the proper balance between all of them. However, if I’m adjusting the buttermilk and/or vinegar based on the volume of water in it, I’m not sure the proper acid/base balance can still be maintained.
There are so many factors to consider I’m not sure where to begin. If anyone has any suggestions on how to approach this I’d love to hear them. Thanks.