Less than a week separates February 8th and February 14th, but those days are jam-packed with all sorts of life happenings in my little world. Almost all good life happenings, with a side of bittersweetness thrown in…
February 8th is my Chief Culinary Consultant’s birthday (yay for presents and celebrating and birthdaycakes!).
February 10th is my grandma’s birthday. She would have been 94 this year; I miss that lady like crazy.
February 11th is BEB’s birthday! Tomorrow will be SEVEN years since I started this little ol’ blog of mine. (Stay tuned for a big giveaway tomorrow to celebrate!)
And of course, February 14th is Valentine’s Day. While my Chief Culinary Consultant and I never go nuts over the holiday, it’s always fun to try a new restaurant and splurge on some good eats. The week surrounding Valentine’s Day also makes me want to inhale everything that is red, pink or chocolate. Or a combination of all three, preferably… including red velvet (which may or may not have as much to do with cream cheese frosting as it does with red velvet itself).
I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with red velvet – if a recipe isn’t spectacular, it usually goes the route of specatularly bad. Dry, crumbly cake that’s only redeeming quality is a pile of cream cheese frosting piled on top.
However, when you get a knock-out red velvet recipe, it can be the stuff of dreams. A moist, fluffy cake with just a hint of cocoa, and then that pile of cream cheese frosting becomes, literally and figuratively, the icing on the cake.
I had to go a few iterations deep to get to a great red velvet roll cake recipe, but it was certainly worth the time and experimentation.
I opted to switch up the filling and go for a combination white chocolate/cream cheese frosting, which turned out phenomenal.
The white chocolate adds a little more sweetness to the filling, cutting some of the tang from the cream cheese. You could certainly go the all cream cheese route, if you’d prefer, and it would be just as amazing.
Whether you want to celebrate love with your significant other… or love with your mom, dad, brother or sister… or friendship love with your BFF… or a special birthday… or you just want to have coffee with your grandma, this would be a fabulous cake for simply saying…
I love you, you’re important to me, and I’m so happy you’re in my life.
I think everyone could use more of that in their life!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 10x15-inch jelly roll pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, grease the parchment, then flour the pan, tapping out excess flour.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
In a measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk, vanilla extract and vinegar; set aside.
Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat to incorporate. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Add the red food coloring and mix until the color is evenly distributed throughout the batter, scraping the sides of the bowl and mixing as needed.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread to the edges of the pan, smoothing the top. Bake until the cake is set and the top springs back when lightly touched with a finger, about 18 to 25 minutes. While the cake is in the oven, place a piece of parchment paper (or a clean kitchen towel that is not terry cloth) on the counter and sprinkle liberally with powdered sugar.
When the cake comes out of the oven, immediately run a knife around the sides of the pan to loosen the cake. Turn the cake out onto the prepared piece of parchment paper. Carefully peel off the parchment paper from the top of the cake and discard. Starting with a short end, carefully roll up the cake with the parchment paper. Place the rolled cake on a wire rack seam-side down and allow to cool to room temperature.
Make the White Chocolate-Cream Cheese Filling: Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the melted white chocolate and continue to beat until the chocolate is completely incorporated into the cream cheese mixture, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl at least once. Add the softened butter and beat until the butter is completely incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and beat until the mixture is smooth and fluffy.
Assemble the Cake: Carefully unroll the cake. Spread the filling evenly over the surface of the cake. Re-roll the cake, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. When ready to serve, place the cake roll on a serving platter and dust with powdered sugar. Leftovers should be wrapped in plastic wrap or placed in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 4 days.