What’s For Dinner?
Grandma's Red Velvet Cake - from Chops
(First star is lowest, fourth star is highest)
FROM THE MENU OF . . . CHOPS
70 W. Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta
Q: My family and I love Chops. We enjoy the chocolate red velvet cake and would love the details on that scrumptious dessert. Do you think the Buckhead Life Group would dare part with the secrets to this signature dish? If so, I know family members in north Gwinnett who would be eternally grateful.
-- Taffy Jo Mayers, Chicago
A: Sean McLendon, executive chef at Chops, was happy to share this recipe, which he says has been in his family for generations. To give this Southern confection added flair, he adds a bit of a regional favorite: Coca-Cola. You will have leftover ganache and frosting, so use them for decorating holiday cookies or cupcakes.
Hands on time: 30 minutes Total time: 1 hour Serves: 12
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon Coca-Cola
1 teaspoon coffee
2 (1-ounce) bottles red food coloring
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
4 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 tablespoon cognac or brandy (optional)
4 tablespoons ( 1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 (1-pound) box confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup chocolate ganache
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
To make the frosting: With an electric mixer, cream To make the cake: In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt and stir to blend. Set aside.
In another bowl, beat eggs and oil. Add Coca-Cola, coffee, food coloring and vanilla and mix to combine. Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Divide equally into pans. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool 10 minutes and remove from pans and cool completely on a rack.
To make the ganache: Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl. In a saucepan, heat cream and butter just to boiling. Pour over chocolate and allow it to stand for 2 minutes. Add cognac and whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool.
butter and cream cheese. On low speed, gradually add sugar. Scrape down beater and sides of bowl and stir to incorporate. Increase speed and beat well to combine. Add salt, ganache and vanilla and beat until incorporated.
Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Top with frosting. Add second layer and frost top and sides of cake