Sunday, 7 April 2013

My latest challenge...

A year or so ago, following a trip to the Hummingbird Bakery in London, I attempted to make red velvet cake.

To make a long story short: it went horrifically wrong.
However hard I tried I could not create that stunning scarlet colour, and the flavour was one of musty stodgy chocolate, not the light, fluffy sponge of the Hummingbird Bakery version.

Not being one to take defeat well, obviously I resolved never to attempt to make it again.

Until, that is, a recent 'Auction of Promises' at college - for which I promised a homemade cake of the highest bidders choice to be delivered in the first day of Trinity Term.

And, woe and behold; the winner chose red velvet cake.

So, my Easter Vac has been spent trying to perfect this challenging recipe, the results of which have been encouraging!

I've been experimenting with different recipes; the one photographed above was Rachel Allen's with a cream cheese frosting. It was successful, however nothing can beat the Hummingbird's recipe itself. The cake is due to be delivered in 0th Week (Oxford language for "the week before term starts"), so i'll dedicate a post to the results soon!

UPDATE: The final recipe can be found HERE!


  1. Hiya, just found your blog...very cool I lOVE the name! I know what you mean about failing with a bake...i just stuff it in to a corner of brain and forget about it!!
    That cake looks lovely...but us bakers can be really picky so I hope you find your perfect recipe.
    My Cupcake Habit :)

    1. Thank you so much :)

      Yes, we are such perfectionists! I made some Viennese swirls the other day which went disastrously wrong and I binned them before anyone could see them! Everyone messes up sometimes!


  2. Hi,

    I had exactly the same problem when I tried the Hummingbird recipe. Tried a boxed mix after that, still wasn't impressed.

    Perfectionist is definitely what we are...I was taking pictures of my dessert last night while my poor quests were made to wait!!

    Really like you blog bTW! Will be a regular reader.

    xx Kat xx

    1. Hi Kat!

      I have since solved the Hummingbird problem: the food colouring they use in their recipe is no longer available in supermarkets, and the "Natural" food colouring that is available doesn't give the same effect.

      You'll see my solution in a post coming soon! :)

      Leah x x

  3. AH HA!! I knew it wasn't me!!

    I'll be looking out for it :-)

    xx Kat xx

    1. Here's the new recipe :)