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Red Velvet Cake

A wonderful showstopper at any time of the year. The beautiful red makes it a perfect festive centre piece for any tea table.
180g unsalted butter, softened
250g caster sugar
4 eggs
250g self-raising flour
40g cocoa powder
125ml buttermilk
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp red gel food colouring
75g melted dark chocolate

For the filling
100g dark chocolate
100ml double cream

For the frosting
180g butter, softened
400g icing sugar
180g full-fat cream cheese

You will also need 6 inch sandwich tins, lightly greased and lined with baking parchment

Preheat the oven to 170ºC

In the bowl of a free-standing machine, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. 

Add the eggs one at a time, beating in between each addition. 

Sieve the flour and cocoa powder into a bowl and fold together. 

Mix together the buttermilk, vinegar and food gel, and fold into the cake batter, finally fold in the melted chocolate. 

Spoon the batter into the prepared sandwich tins and spread level with a palette knife. 

Cook on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake. 

Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before carefully turning out on to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Heat the cream until boiling point, put to one side for 5 minutes, then add the chocolate chips into the pan, stir until smooth and glossy.

Cream together the butter and icing sugar in the bowl of a free-standing machine or with a hand-held electric whisk, until light and fluffy. Beat in the cream cheese until the mix is smooth and creamy.

Slice the cold cakes through the middle, so you now have four layers. Place one of the layers onto your serving plate, spoon the frosting into a piping bag and pipe a circle around the edge. Next spread some of the ganache into the centre, add the next layer and repeat, and then the third and fourth. Use the remaining frosting to cover the cake and pipe on some detail if desired. 

*When slicing the cakes it’s good to shave a very thin layer from one of the layers and whizz in a food processor to make a crumb to use in the decoration.