Rich fudgy red velvet chocolate cake, naturally flourless. Where most red velvet cakes have just a touch of cocoa, this one doubles down on the chocolate and is still 'red' thanks to a light batter made with whipped egg whites. The cake has a crispy meringue lid with a dense chocolatey center. It is topped with a cream cheese vanilla bean whipped cream for that perfect 'red velvet' slice.
Meet the Chef: Buttermilk By Sam
Sam is the recipe developer and food photographer behind buttermilk, a blog for innovative desserts. She bakes twists on trendy favorites and childhood nostalgic sweets. She is known for getting creative with chocolate babka and for baking in rainbows.
For the Flourless Cake:
- 8 oz Semi-sweet chocolate, chopped 8 oz Semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- ½ cup Unsalted butter, cubed ½ cup Unsalted butter, cubed
- 6 Eggs 6 Eggs
- Florida Crystals® Liquid Organic Raw Cane Sugar 1 cup 1 cup Florida Crystals® Liquid Organic Raw Cane Sugar
- 1 tablespoon Dutch process cocoa 1 tablespoon Dutch process cocoa
- 2 teaspoons Pure vanilla extract 2 teaspoons Pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon Fine sea salt ½ teaspoon Fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon Natural red gel food coloring 1 tablespoon Natural red gel food coloring
For the Frosted Cranberries:
- Florida Crystals® Organic Raw Cane Sugar ½ cup plus more ½ cup plus more Florida Crystals® Organic Raw Cane Sugar
- ½ cup Water ½ cup Water
- 6 oz Fresh cranberries 6 oz Fresh cranberries
For the Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Whipped Cream
- 4 oz Cream cheese, softened 4 oz Cream cheese, softened
- 1 Vanilla bean 1 Vanilla bean
- 1 cup Heavy whipping cream 1 cup Heavy whipping cream
- pinch Fine sea salt pinch Fine sea salt
- Florida Crystals® Organic Raw Cane Sugar 2 tablespoons 2 tablespoons Florida Crystals® Organic Raw Cane Sugar
To Make the Cake
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Use cooking spray to give an 8” cake pan (3” deep, this will rise) a thin coating of oil. Press a sheet of parchment paper into it and use metal clips to hold the paper in place. It doesn’t have to look perfect, the creases in the paper will give a pretty, rustic look to the cake.
Set a glass bowl over a pot of gently simmering water (don’t let the water touch the bottom of the bowl) and add the chocolate. Stir it as it melts and once it’s almost fully melted add the butter. Stir until you have a smooth ‘ganache’.
To one bowl add 4 yolks and 2 eggs, then add ½ cup Florida Crystals® Organic Raw Cane Sugar, vanilla, salt and cocoa and whisk to combine. Add the red food coloring and set aside.
Using a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the four remaining egg whites until they are frothy. With the mixer on, slowly pour in the remaining Florida Crystals® Organic Raw Cane Sugar one tablespoon at a time, stopping to incorporate before continuing pouring more. Continue whipping until you have medium peaks - the ‘meringue’ will be smooth and white but not quite hold shape.
Using a rubber spatula, very gently fold a large spoonful of the meringue into the chocolate mixture until it’s mostly - but not fully - combined. Repeat with another spoonful. (This is a good point to evaluate how red you want the cake - if it’s not quite there, add some more gel food coloring). Then, carefully add the rest to and fold it in until the batter is almost fully blended.
Gently pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake the cake for 35-40 minutes. It will rise and crack in the oven. When you remove it it will be quite puffy and as it cools it will fall with large cracks.
Once the cake is completely cool, use the parchment to lift it out of the pan. To move the cake to a plate, slide a wide offset spatula underneath and lift it.
To Make the Frosted Cranberries:
Prepare a cookie sheet with a cooling rack. Add the cranberries to a large bowl (you could also use a cake pan here).
In a pot, boil together ½ cup Florida Crystals® Organic Raw Cane Sugar with ½ cup water until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Pour the syrup over the cranberries and toss to cover them with the syrup, let them sit in the syrup for 5 minutes or so so that the syrup can seep in.
With a slotted spoon, remove them and set them on the cooling rack (the cookie sheet will catch the drips) for about 1 hour.
Toss them in the extra sugar and set them on a plate to dry.
To Make the Cream Cheese Whipped Cream
Beat the cream cheese until it’s smooth.
Slice open a vanilla bean with a paring knife and scrape the seeds into the cream cheese.
Add the sugar and heavy cream and either with a whisk or using a hand mixer, beat until you have firm-ish peaks (don’t go beyond this point or you risk breaking it).
Dollop the whipped cream into the center of the cooled cake.
Top with cranberries and shards of chocolate, if desired.
The cake can be made a day ahead of time and cranberries can be made a day ahead of time. The day of serving, make the whipped cream.
Natural cocoa can be substituted for dutch process.
If you do not have a vanilla bean you can substitute with 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or with 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract.
To make ‘chocolate shards’ use a vegetable peeler to slice off bits of a milk chocolate bar.