I actually made this cake to celebrate the birthday of my co-worker, Alex. She said she likes red velvet, so whomp, there it is. Traditionally, red velvet is served with a cream cheese frosting. However, I did not have cream cheese in my pantry, nor was I in the position to go out and buy some, mostly due to me being sick and therefore, not wanting to leave my house if it was not absolutely necessary. So I rummaged through my kitchen and found heavy cream, gelatin, and white chocolate. So I figured that I would just go ahead and make a white chocolate mousse instead of a cream cheese frosting, because I’m not Southern anyways, so I wouldn’t be offending my ancestors by breaking tradition, just other people’s.
What made me a bit apprehensive at first with using the white chocolate was that it is a. way too sweet, and b. tricky to in a frosting-type of situation. From my experiences with white chocolate ganache, which is honestly a mega biatch to set, I learned a couple tricks to help me bypass those issues that I had with previous applications of white chocolate. The first is using gelatin to help with the setting. The second is using fat, in this case, coconut oil, to help the chocolate stabilize. The last is using cornstarch to thicken the base, since if it is already thick when warm, it will be very firm and stable when chilled down – think about how water can go from gas when it’s hot to ice when it’s cold. The laws of physics. Magic.
For the cake:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons red gel food coloring
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons malt vinegar
Combine ingredients. Spread onto a sheet tray and bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes. Cool completely before cutting three 6 inch rings out. One of those rings can be jumbled together from scraps. Take the leftover cake and rebake at 350 degrees F for another 15 minutes and crumble into smaller cake crumbs.
For the mousse:
1 cup white chocolate chips
2/3 cups heavy cream; whipped stiff
1 tablespoon cornstarch + 3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon gelatin powder + 1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons coconut oil
a pinch of salt
Melt gelatin, milk, oil, and salt together. Once melted, add in the chips, off heat, and whisk until the chips are fully melted into the mixture. Whisk in the cornstarch mixture and continue whisking until the mixture is at the consistently of pudding. Pass through a strainer and cool completely. Fold in the whipped cream and transfer to a piping bag.
Pipe the mousse between layers. Garnish with crumbs.