Ah, I love spending time with family...
My sister came down to visit from up North. Even though she doesn't live across the country or even in a different state, it's still hard for us to find time to visit. Family, work and life usually seems to create some sort of barrier. When the time is found it's so relaxing to eat great food, drink wonderful wine and catch-up on over-due chit chat.
I have never been wine tasting in Sonoma or Napa (which I would love to do) but I do adore our quaint Santa Ynez Valley Wine Country (wine tasting post to come.) We spent a day visiting a few wineries, enjoying the scenery and chatting with all the friendly people.
I just love neighborly people!! It's so refreshing and invigorating to meet genuine, sweet individuals. Unfortunately, it seems this has been lost over the years.
While in the Santa Ynez Valley we, of course, stopped by the wonderful Mattei's Tavern (see my last post) and indulged in delicious breads and foods. We, unfortunately, over-stuffed ourselves to revel in dessert glory and I've had dessert on the mind ever since.
I do like rich desserts but am more of a light dessert indulger.
Fresh fruit makes desserts so much more delectable, at least to me. I love fresh made whipped cream with fruit, fruit tarts, fruit tulips, fruit compote, fruit fruit fruit!!
This light red velvet cake was a perfect dessert to pair with fresh raspberries and blueberries. Cake...light??? It really is! It's extremely moist, fluffy with a light cream cheese frosting. I did make a few changes to the recipe i.e. more buttermilk, 1 more tablespoon cocoa powder, added yogurt and added another stick butter and I thought it came out perfect!
After only a mere 6 hours, after baking, there's only 1/3 cake left!
Raspberry and Blueberry Red Velvet Cake
Recipe Adapted from Bon Appetit
2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour (sifted then measured)
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon red food coloring
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons fage yogurt (thick greek yogurt)
2-8 ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 1/2 pints fresh raspberries
1 1/2 pints fresh blueberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 9-inch cake pans with 1 1/2 inch high sides. Sift sifted flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder into a medium bowl. Whisk buttermilk, food coloring, vinegar and, vanilla in a small bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat sugar, fage yogurt and butter in a large bowl until well blended. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Beat in dry ingredients in 4 additions alternately with buttermilk mixture in 3 additions.
Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto racks, cool completely.
Beat cream cheese and butter in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Add powdered sugar, slowly, and beat until smooth.
Place 1 layer, flat side up, on platter. Spread 1 cup frosting over the top of the cake. Arrange 1 basket raspberries and 1/2 basket blueberries atop frosting, pressing lightly to adhere. Top with second cake layer, flat side down. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake ( i prefer the messy cake look or smooth the frosting out.) Arrange blueberries and raspberries decoratively over the top.