A marvellous red cake, with a little help from Martha and Betty

“You are making a cake, right?”

Those are the only words I need to hear. And so it began.

Inspired by the last birthday cake I had, I turned to Martha Stewart for recipe inspiration. And what a recipe I found! Red just makes cake marvellous.

The colour I could cope with, but the recipe was different from the standard cake recipe: whisking rather than sieving the dry ingredients; oil instead of butter; and vinegar added the the baking powder (?!). But I’m always up for a new recipe, so I forged ahead.

The idea was to have a glorious red cake, iced with chocolate icing, and topped with Smarties: bright, cheerful and eye-catching. That part worked well (and more on that later)! However, I think I need to temperature test my our oven, because, despite testing as cooked, I don’t think the cake was fully done in the middle. Still tasted good!

More on how Betty Crocker helped later…

Ingredients
Unsalted butter, for cake pans
2 1/2 cups cake flour, not self-raising
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups canola oil (I used vegetable oil)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup red food coloring
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk (available from Sainsbury’s and other mainstream supermarkets)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons white vinegar 

Method
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter two 9-by-2-inch round cake  pans. Sprinkle with flour, and tap out the excess; set aside. In a medium bowl,  whisk cake flour, salt, and cocoa; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment,  combine the sugar and oil, and beat on medium speed until well combined. Add  eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add food coloring and  vanilla, and beat until well combined. Add flour mixture, alternating with  buttermilk, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as  needed.

In a small bowl, mix baking soda and vinegar until combined. Add to  batter, and beat for 10 seconds. Evenly divide batter between the prepared  pans.

Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center of each cake comes out  clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool in the pans for 5  minutes. Remove from the pans, and return to the rack to cool completely.

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