Smoky hills and Red Velvet

Red velvet cake is another baking essential that I have remarkably just attempted for the first time. I have always thought that red velvet cakes are beautiful and they symbolise for me the brightness and loveliness of cupcakes. A  Red Velvet was one of my choices when we visited the Hummingbird Bakery in London a few years ago and it lived up to my expectations. A few bad experiences lately with food colouring made me a little hesitant about attempting this, but I followed some advice from on – line and got the gel paste colouring which requires a lot less in quantity to get the deep red effect. I used Nigella’s version and it was fairly straightforward.

This is the batter just about to go in the oven. I think it looks amazing! Mixing it with the blender is such a joy as well as you can see all the colour blending in.

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I was happy with this bake and I sandwiched it together with the butter/cream cheese frosting:

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I then went wild with the smearing of the icing and as usual Scott was happy to take on the role of chief sprinkler:

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He also insisted upon some quality assurance:

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Scott told me the pig was to blame for this little accident with the Rice Crispies:

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Weather today has been horrendous so when we looked out the window at 6.30 this morning and saw the rain pelting down Scott knew the score: “Are we going to go to the Big Softplay?.” I decided to opt instead for the Waterfront swimming pool since we were at the softplay last Saturday. Scott loves the “park area” of the swimming pool with the slide and the fountains. Trouble is, the swimming pool doesn’t open till 10. This meant several hours of, “Can we go now? Is the swimming pool open?” Billy and I both know not to tell Scott we are going anywhere until the last minute as he will keep on and on! However, he is getting a bit smarter now and had figured out what our options would be. This week he got wind of his nursery trip to Kelburn and he has been going on about it pretty constantly since. All the fine details of the travel arrangements and companions have all been thrashed out with him. Every time Billy has phoned us in the morning from his work Scott has mentioned going to Kelburn. He became quite upset when Billy tried to tell him he wasn’t going till next week!

After stalling Scott for a few hours it was finally time to get ready:Image

On the way to the pool, Scott noticed the mist over the hills and pointed out that the hills were “smoky”! We had lots of fun in the water and Scott crashed for over two hours when we got back. When we returned from the swimming pool, someone had made a start on the cake:Image

I have had a brief reprieve as my exam papers were supposed to arrive today but didn’t appear. Next week onwards will be busy. Probably no baked goods for a while. 😦

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