Is it one of the most Googled recipes? At last check, there were 563,000 sites for Red Velvet Cake, with it’s dramatic, deep burgundy layers of chocolate decadence. That’s a lot of places to search for the signature sweet that originated in the 1920’s at America’s grand hotel of luxury and elegance, the Waldorf-Astoria in New York.
But you can quit clicking, because we have the original right here.
It’s not the version that’s loaded with tons of red food coloring and very little flavor (you’ll find plenty of those in your search). This is the authentic and luscious Red Velvet Cake right from the Waldorf-Astoria Cookbook, given to us by the hotel’s executive chef, John Doherty (who is, by the way, the youngest chef ever to head the hotel’s three restaurants and exquisite room service, long known as the Waldorf-Astoria’s crown jewels).
But Chef Doherty has been at the helm for more than 20 years now, and has said that despite the attempts around the globe to improve this classic recipe (with little success, red velvet cake aficionados tell him), the hotel continues to serve it in it’s pure form. Chef, we love this cake. Here’s to the next 100 years of Rescuing Red Velvet!
- 3 oz unsweetened chocolate (chopped)
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 ½ cups vegetable oil
- 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 36 oz canned beets (drained and pureed)
- 1 tsp red food coloring
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 12 oz cream cheese (room temperature)
- 12 oz mascarpone cheese
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar (sifted)
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Melt the chocolate in a metal bowl and set over a saucepan of boiling water or in the top of a double boiler (or melt in a microwave for 20-30 seconds). Meanwhile, place the sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla in a bowl and mix for about one minute on low speed. In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and continue to mix on low speed until well incorporated. Add the melted chocolate and mix on low speed, then add the pureed beets and food coloring. Continue to mix on low speed until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Divide the batter evenly between 3 greased and floured pans, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cake springs back when touched, or when a toothpick comes up clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pans, then turn the layers out onto a rack to cool completely.
- Pour the heavy cream into a small bowl and whip to soft peaks. Refrigerate. Place the cream cheese in a bowl and mix on low speed until soft and smooth. Add mascarpone and mix until combined. Add ½ of the vanilla and powdered sugar and mix well. Fold in the whipped cream by hand with a spatula. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.