Beetroot red velvet with yuzu cream cheese frosting

So this was actually a cake order for a friend’s boyfriend’s birthday. He wanted a red velvet cake, and I did not want to use red food dye, so I opted for using beetroot powder. My initial batch turned out brown, as beet root powder does not like being baked, and I had to do a lot of research on the science of it. Luckily, I did find this article that helped a ton, from Naturally Sweet Kitchen! In her recipe post, Amanda mentioned how high acidity and not using traditional leaveners such as baking soda and powder were key in maintaining that recipe color. Her recipe went with using egg whites as a leavener, which is basically just a chiffon cake at that point! So I went with that route instead, and I found that the results were much more favorable – the red color was more prominent when I used that technique instead of just an American-style cake batter. But I promise that this recipe is my own, as I just borrowed her technique but did my own ratios.

For the cake itself, we have the beet red velvet cake, a yuzu infused cream cheese frosting, a yuzu-buttermilk soak, and yogurt-red velvet crumbs, made by mixing the cake crumbs with melted white chocolate and yogurt powder(you can just use 1/2 cup of yogurt chips as well) for texture and garnish. This cake is tangy, light, and airier than your traditional red velvet cake, but that’s all the more reason why I prefer it – I feel less of a food coma eating an entire layer cake of this as opposed to an entire layer cake of traditional red velvet!

For the cake:
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 cup canola oil
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp beet powder
1 tspn cocoa powder
1 tbsp cider vinegar
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
a pinch of salt
1 tspn vanilla extract

Mix the buttermilk, canola oil, egg yolks, beet powder, cocoa powder, and cider vinegar together. Sift the flour into another bowl. Whip the egg whites with sugar, salt, and vanilla to stiff peaks. Fold the three mixtures together and pour into a lined sheet tray, spreading into an even layer of batter. Bake at 325 degrees F for 25 minutes. Allow the cake to fully cool before attempting to cut out two 6-inch rounds and fabricating the third round out of the scraps. Reserve the crumbs for the garnish.

For the frosting:
16oz cream cheese
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp water
3 tbsp yuzu juice
a pinch of salt
1 tspn vanilla extract

Cream the cream cheese until soft. Reduce the sugar with water, yuzu juice, and salt until it forms a thickened syrup. Pour the hot syrup into the cream cheese while slowly whisking until combined. Finish with the vanilla.

For the soak:
1 cup buttermilk
1 tspn yuzu juice
a pinch of salt

Puree together and then strain out the lumps.

For the cake crumbs:
1 cup reserved cake crumbs
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup yogurt powder
a pinch of salt

Bake the cake crumbs at 350 degrees F for 5 minutes. Melt the other ingredients together and toss the crumbs through the chocolate-yogurt mixture. Break into smaller clumps and freeze for at least 10 minutes.

For assembly:
Line a 6-inch ring mold with either parchment or acetate. Place the scrap layer down first and soak with 1/3 of the buttermilk soak. Spread on 1/3 of the frosting, then the crumbs. Repeat with the next two layers. Freeze solid, about 2-4 hours, and unmold. Let the cake come up to room temperature before serving!

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