On my week off list of things to accomplish is to bake a dairy free red velvet cake. I looked up some recipes, and bastardised one to make it my own, in a big way, since I have a basic cake recipe I stick to religiously, then add stuff; but I knew I needed help as not cooked anything with beets in it before now. It turned out quite lovely and I have eaten three slices since last night (oink!) Even Masha has eaten two slices, and he is not nearly as mad about cake as I am.
2.5 cups self raising flour (I love McDougall's in the UK; when baking in the USA I used unbleached self rising flour I bought in bulk from Whole Foods)
pinch of salt
1.5 cups sugar (I was taught by master baker my Nan, to use just as much sugar as flour in a cake unless you are adding fruit, this cake has beets, so I cut back on sugar)
1/2 cup Dutch cocoa (not the instant stuff, pure cocoa powder)
mix together in a big bowl
meanwhile, mix three free range eggs, 3/4 cup veg oil (I use rapeseed, which is a British seed oil much like sunflower oil), and 3/4 cup coconut milk (the fake milk kind, not the thick stuff you use in Thai cooking; you can use almond milk or real milk if you prefer), then dump in the big bowl with the dry ingredients
You may be needing more coconut milk to add after adding beets, but as the beets have water in them, I waited to add more to see how moist they made the batter first.
mash up (I used a pastry cutter; we do have a food processor but I hate washing the bloody thing) three to four cooked beets (not in vinegar, plain ones), include the juice, and mix in with a big spoon
should be the consistency of custard (aka pudding in the USA, or if you don't know what either of those would be, Pond's Cold Cream, heh heh, I can't think of anything else), if too runny, add a bit more flour; if too thick, add more coconut milk
Bake in cake tins, you will need three or four if the British wimpy ones, or two if USA nice bigger deeper ones, the tins should be oiled and floured, 350 degrees F for 25-30 mins until done (20 mins with British cake tins)
Let cool and remove from pans, and then frosting:
six tblesp dairy free butter spread, just melted (microwave for 30 to 40 seconds)
a shedload of icing sugar (powdered sugar)
a very small pinch of salt
1 tspn vanilla
Mix together until the right consistency, I never measure the sugar, sorry, I just dump it in until I get it right.
If you want to make it vegan, leave out the eggs, use 1/2 cup less coconut milk, and add 1/2 cup apple juice.
I have a friend who is a fabulous cook and she always adds a pinch of black pepper to anything she makes with dark choc or cocoa. I left it out - I have hay fever right now and black pepper seems to exascerbate it. (did I spell that word right? it's a hard one!)
Do not make the icing on the cake super thick, or it will be disgusting. I spread it just enough to hide the cake itself. I didn't put on the sides. This cake is rich and moist, and too much icing can make it a bit over the top.