The Hummingbird Bakery on Portobello Road.
Here’s the recipe I used, after the jump. It does make two cakes, in case you’re not the sharing kind :)
Red velvet tiered heart cake
Adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery's 'Red Velvet Cupcake' recipe, featured in 'Cake Days' by Tarek Malouf and The Hummingbird Bakers, 2011, Collins Publishers.
Makes 2 cakes, or 8 small cupcakes
60g of butter, softened + extra for greasing (beurre doux)
150 of caster sugar (sucre en poudre)
150g of flour + extra for greasing (farine pâtisserie #45)
1 egg (oeuf)
10g cocoa powder (poudre de cacao)
Approx 20ml red food colouring (I used 'Vahine' available in nearly every Parisian supermarket with a little of red ‘Wilton’ paste) (couleur alimentaire)
1/2 tsp of vanilla essence (essence de vanille)
1/2 tsp of salt (sel)
125g of natural yoghurt (yaourt nature)
20ml of milk (lait) } the milk and yoghurt were substituted for buttermilk (lait ribot) which is not so available in Parisian supermarkets
1/2 tbsp of vinegar (vinaigre)
1/2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda (bicarbonate de soude)
For the icing
100g of butter, softened (beurre doux)
470g of icing sugar (the original amount is 600g, I prefer the icing not too sweet) (sucre glace)
250g of Philidelphia cheese spread (Philly cheese is Philly cheese here, too!)
About 4 squares of Lindt 90% cocoa dark chocolate, shaved, to garnish (chocolat noir)
4 or 8 small heart-shaped cake moulds (I used ones similar to these, avoid using filly-edged ones, it would make icing a nightmare!)
1. Prepare your moulds; rub softened butter all over the inside and shake over with flour, then tap out the excess and leave aside. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
2. Put the softened butter and sugar in a bowl and combine with hand-held beaters until light and fluffy. If you find this difficult with just the 60g of butter use a fork to combine then beat with a hand whisk. Add the egg and mix properly until well combined.
3. In a separate, not-too-small bowl mix the cocoa powder, food colouring and vanilla essence to make a paste. This step is super messy! Add the paste to the batter and mix with a spatula/ wooden spoon, making sure everything is well combined.
4. In another bowl mix the yoghurt and milk to make the yoghurt more runny. Add the flour and yoghurt to the batter in small, alternate batches, ensuring to sift the flour as it is added, and each batch is well combined using a spatula/ wooden spoon before adding the next. Add the salt with the last batch of flour.
5. Finally, in a small bowl add the bicarbonate of soda with the vinegar - fizzy! - and mix well before adding to the batter and combining properly.
6. Spoon the batter into the prepared heart cases, filling 2/3 way full and bake for 18 - 20 mins. When done allow to cool in the cases before releasing on a wire rack to cool properly.
7. Prepare the frosting… Place the softened butter and about a third of the icing sugar, sifted, in a bowl and beat until combined and the butter is starting to be lighter in colour. In batches sift in the rest of the icing sugar and beat to combine. Once well combined add the cream cheese and beat until nice and fluffy.
8. Prepare the cakes… Using a serrated knife cut the tops of the individual cakes so the tops are very flat. Using a palate knife spread some of the mixture on to the top of one cake and “sandwich“ with the top of another cake, so the two tops are touching. Then spread some icing on what will be the bottom of the second cake and “sandwich“ with the bottom of the third cake. Finally spread some icing on the top of the third cake and “sandwich“ with the top of the fourth cake. You should be left looking at the bottom of the fourth cake. Ice the cake right around with the “crumb“ layer - a very thin coat of icing that will prepare your cake for the proper coat of icing. Stick your cake in the fridge for about an hour. In the meantime grate the chocolate. After the icing on the cake has set, coat the cake again and use the palate knife to create some nice swirls or pattern in the icing. Once happy with the coverage dust over with the chocolate.