Red Velvet Rose Pavlova

Red Velvet Rose PavlovaAs much as I love flowers, I’ve learned over the years that I have a black thumb. No matter how hard I try or how “low-maintenance” the plant is, I manage to kill it. I’ve even killed a cactus. Don’t ask me how I did it. But one day it started to shrivel up and before I knew it, it was dead.  These days, I run away from plants like the plague. The cute DIY terrariums that everyone talks about? Nope. Growing my own herbs? No way. So instead of growing my own plants, I prefer already cut plants because (not to sound morbid) they’re already dying. It gives me a little less stress.
Red Velvet Rose Pavlova 2In the food world, I think Valentine’s Day can be renamed as Red Velvet Everything Day. Is it just me or when February rolls around, everything is red velvet flavored? They come in forms of cake, brownies, whoopie pies, cupcakes and cookies. It is not their fault. There aren’t that many red cakes out there and that deep red hue is kind of perfect for the season.
Red Velvet Rose PavlovaRed Velvet Rose Pavlova Instead of doing the usual red velvet cake, I decided to make a red velvet pavlova. I dyed the layers of pavolva red (or as red as I could get them) and flavored them with a hint of cocoa. Then I made a cream cheese whipped cream (because how would you have anything red velvet without cream cheese) and flavored it with some rose water for a floral note. I finally decorated it with some tiny rose meringues and actual tiny roses. If you are using fresh flowers, make sure they’re pesticide-free and if you want to eat them, make sure they’re edible.
Red Velvet Rose PavlovaThis may be the most romantic cake I’ve made. (Followed closely by this one.)

Red Velvet Rose Pavlova
Makes one 4-layered mini cake

Ingredients
300 g. superfine sugar
150 g. egg whites, room temperature
1 pinch cream of tartar
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
red gel food color
1 batch of cream cheese rose whipped cream (recipe below)
mini red roses, organic pesticide-free (for decoration)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400˚F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Spread sugar in an even layer over parchment.
  3. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the egg whites and the cream of tartar.
  4. Place sugar into the oven and bake until the edges of the sugar begins to melt but not brown, about 5 minutes.
  5. Once the sugar begins to melt, turn the mixer onto high.
  6. Remove baking sheet from the oven and the eggs whites should be foamy.
  7. Turn the mixer to medium high and slowly pour the hot sugar from the parchment paper into egg whites.
  8. Once all the sugar is added, turn the mixer onto high and mix until stiff, shiny peaks form.
  9. Reserve ¼ c. of white meringue batter in a different bowl.
  10. Add cocoa powder and red gel food color to the rest of the batter and mix until desired color is reached.
  11. Reserve ¼ c. of red meringue batter in a separate bowl.
  12. Reduce oven to lowest setting 140˚F.
  13. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  14. On one baking sheet, spoon 4 five-inch circles of the red meringue.
  15. Fit a medium closed star piping tip into a piping bag and add ¼ c. each of reserved white and red meringue batter.
  16. On the second baking sheet, form small roses by making small circles with the piping tip.
  17. Bake the baking sheet with the five-inch circles for 1- 2 hours until they are crisp and hollow.
  18. Bake the baking sheet with the mini roses for 30 minutes to 1 hour until they are crisp and hollow.
  19. Turn off oven and let it dry out for about 30 minutes to an hour.
  20. When meringues are completely cool and dry, alternate a layer of the meringue with the layer of the whipped cream.
  21. Decorate the top with the mini meringue roses and mini roses.

Cream Cheese Rose Whipped Cream

Ingredients:

1 ½ c. heavy whipping cream, cold
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
½ c. powdered sugar
½ – 1 tsp. rose water (be careful with the rose water, too much of it will make the frosting taste like soap)

Instructions:

  1. In a bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form.
  2. Set aside the whipped cream mixture into a different bowl.
  3. In the same bowl, add the cream cheese and powdered sugar and mix until light, fluffy and fully incorporated.
  4. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.
  5. Add ½ tsp. rose water and taste. If you feel like it needs more, add ¼ tsp. at a time until desired flavor is reached.

Rose Cake

rose cake 2This weekend was crazy busy for the Park family.  We had a graduation, Mother’s Day and my dad’s birthday lined up 3 days in a row.  We ended up celebrating Mother’s day and my dad’s birthday in one go, and I tried to think of a birthday cake that would serve both occasions.  I suppose the mauve color of the cake was a little too feminine for a man’s birthday, but my mom didn’t get any flowers for Mother’s day so I hope this made up for it a bit.
Rose cake 1Like many celebration cakes, this cake takes a long time to decorate but isn’t necessarily challenging.  What takes the most time is rolling out the petals and chilling the petals in between steps.  I wanted to use 100% modeling chocolate for the cake, but something went wrong during the process and I had to add about 30% fondant to make it useable.  Do not fight the weather, as soon as your modeling chocolate/fondant starts to lose its shape, stop and chill it in the freezer.  This will save you a lot of frustration and heartache down the line.
rose cake 3It does have a certain eye opening charm and it’s very flexible in terms of the variation of celebrations and colors.  An all-around crowd pleaser.
rose cake 4Rose Cake
You Will Need:
14 oz of modeling chocolate or a mixture of fondant and modeling chocolate
1 batch of vanilla buttercream
1 8” cake, layered and filled
a set of round cookie cutters 
round ended fondant tool

Instructions:

  1. Frost your cake with vanilla frosting into a dome shape.*  (Pic 1)
  2. Mold a 1½ in. cone with modeling chocolate and place in center of the cake. (Pic 2)
  3. From this point on, the modeling chocolate will be rolled out to 1/8-1/16 in. thickness.
  4. With your 1.75 in. round cutter, cut out 2 pieces of modeling chocolate and mold it to a petal shape using a round ended fondant tool.
  5. Wrap the cone with the 2 petals with some buttercream, overlapping each other to form a bud. (Pic 3 and 4)
  6. With your 1.75 in. round cutter, cut out 3 pieces of modeling chocolate and mold it to a petal shape using a round ended fondant tool.
  7. Wrap the bud with the 3 petals with some buttercream, overlapping each other at the edges. (Pic 5 and 6)
  8. With your 2.25 in. round cutter, cut out 5 pieces of modeling chocolate and mold it to a petal shape using a round ended fondant tool.
  9. Wrap the bud with the 5 petals with some buttercream, overlapping each other at the edges. (Pic 7 and 8)
  10. With your 2.5 in. round cutter, cut out 5 pieces of modeling chocolate and mold it to a petal shape using a round ended fondant tool.
  11. Wrap the bud with the 5 petals with some buttercream, overlapping each other at the edges. (Pic 9 and 10)
  12. With your 2.75 in. round cutter, cut out 5 pieces of modeling chocolate and mold it to a petal shape using a round ended fondant tool.
  13. Wrap the bud with the 5 petals with some buttercream, overlapping each other at the edges. (Pic 11 and 12)
  14. With your 3 in. round cutter, cut out 5 pieces of modeling chocolate and mold it to a petal shape using a round ended fondant tool.
  15. Wrap the bud with the 5 petals with some buttercream, overlapping each other at the edges. (Pic 13)
  16. With your 3.25 in. round cutter, cut out 7 pieces of modeling chocolate and mold it to a petal shape using a round ended fondant tool.
  17. Wrap the bud with the 7 petals with some buttercream, overlapping each other at the edges. (Pic 15)
  18. Cut 2-3 in. wide strips of molding chocolate and curl the edges with a straw, about 8-13 pieces.
  19. Chill in the freezer to set, about 1-3 minutes.
  20. Use some frosting to wrap the cake with the strips, overlapping at the edges and curled edge pointing up.  (Pic 16)

* This is what I did.  In hindsight, you could do the regular sharp corners, it shouldn’t make a difference.