I was feeling a bit festive for Halloween this year and decided to make this red velvet brain cake. The cake itself is so delicious. You will also have extra buttercream that can be stored in the freezer for up to a month. This recipe can also be found at gardengirlrecipes.com.
1 tablespoon + ½ cup (113g) + 2 cups (454g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons (22 grams) cocoa powder, divided
1½ cups (300g) + 1 cup (225g) + 1 3/4 cups (400g) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
8 large egg whites
3 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
2 tablespoons (30ml) red food coloring
1 teaspoon (6g) salt
1 teaspoon (5g) baking soda
2½ cups (320g) all purpose flour, sifted
1 cup (236ml) whole buttermilk
1 tablespoon (15ml) white vinegar
1½ cup water
3½ pounds Satin Ice Buttercream Rolled Fondant
Wilton Burgundy Icing Colour
Wilton Golden Yellow Icing Colour
Wilton Black Icing Colour
Strawberry or Raspberry jam
Step 1: Prepare Cake Pans
Preheat the oven to 350F and grease 2 9-inch cake pans with the 1 tablespoon butter. Then sprinkle with 1 tablespoon (7g) of sifted cocoa powder, tapping the pans to coat.
Step 2: Combine Butter and Sugar
Combine ½ cup (113g) butter and 1½ cups (300g) sugar.
Add the eggs and vanilla. Mix to incorporate.
Step 4: Combine Cocoa and Food Coloring
In a separate bowl, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder and the red food coloring.
Step 5: Blend Color Mixture With Butter Mixture
Then blend into the butter mixture.
Step 6: Combine Dry Ingredients
Combine the salt, baking soda, and flour.
Step 7: Add Dry Ingredients and Buttermilk With Butter Mixture
Add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the butter mixture. Mix to incorporate.
Step 8: Add Vinegar
Add the vinegar to the butter mixture. Mix until blended.
Step 9: Bake Cake
Divide batter between the 2 baking pans and bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool and store in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
Step 10: Shape Cake
Stack the 2 cakes and shape into a brain.
Step 11: Make Simple Syrup
To make the simple syrup by boiling 1 cup (225g) sugar with 1 cup water in a saucepan until the sugar is completely dissolved. Allow the syrup to cool completely.
Step 12: Separate Egg Whites
To make the buttercream, separate the egg whites and place them in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment.
Step 13: Boil Sugar and Water
Boil 1 3/4 cups (400g) sugar and 1/2 cup water in a saucepan over medium heat. When the sugar reaches 230F on a thermometer, start whipping the egg whites on medium high speed.
Step 14: Beat Eggs, Add Sugar Mixture, and Add Butter
Do no over beat the egg whites. Once the sugar reaches 240F, turn the heat off and add the sugar mixture to the egg whites with the mixer running. Beat until no heat remains in the bowl. The bowl shouldn't feel warm. With the mixer still running, gradually add the butter until spreadable. Then add the vanilla extract.
Step 15: Apply Simple Syrup
Remove the cake from the refrigerator and apply simple syrup over the cake.
Step 16: Apply Buttercream
Apply a layer buttercream and refrigerate.
Step 17: Color Fondant
Color the fondant by mixing it with the Wilton icing colors. Mix 1 pound fondant with the Burgundy, 1 pound fondant with the Black, and 1½ pounds fondant with the Golden Yellow.
Step 18: Combine Colored Fondants
Then combine the colored fondants together to get a pale color.
Step 19: Make Tubes
Take a small piece of the colored fondant and roll it into one centimeter diameter tubes to create the wavy pattern of the human brain.
Step 20: Lay Tubes
Lay the tubes onto the iced brain cake in free flowing patterns avoiding symmetry. Make sure to leave definition between the two hemispheres of your brain.
Step 21: Coat Bottom of Cake
Flip the cake over, coat the bottom with some buttercream and layer with the fondant.
Step 22: Make Cerebellum
Use the remaining fondant to sculpt the cerebellum.
Step 23: Assemble
Lay the cerebellum pieces and add to the brain cake on top.
Step 24: Coat With Jam
Heat some jam and the gloss the cake with it.