Tesco Finest* Red Velvet Cake

 

Claire: I've been baking for 21 years now, I started at Memory Lane when I came straight  out of college. I actually graduated in arts and fashion and a lot of my art skills I have bought into baking.

Louise: I get excited by new flavours. My nan taught me to bake and stuff like that so to come and work in a cake factory is like amazing.

Claire: James is the messiest one. He thinks he loves it because all the women just clean up after him.

James: I still put the love in the cake though, don't I, Claire?

Claire:  Yes, it's all about the love. He's more of the innovations guy; he's the crazy ideas and sometimes you think, "Where did you get that idea from?" His dad taught me when I started, he was my mentor and his dad's still working there. He's got over 40 years experience in baking and it's just ironic now that I'm actually mentoring my mentor's son. A lot of the manufactured cakes all look the same and things but this is that little bit more special, isn't it?

Louise: They're all hand decorated.

Claire: Yes.

Louise: They've all got that little personal touch to it.

Claire:  Yes. Right, I'm just going to fill each layer with - what we've got is cream cheese mixed with icing sugar and butter. Every layer is weighed and everything so that everything at the end looks the same height. My Red Velvet cake is made with cream cheese rather than sour cream which is what is traditionally used in American  Red Velvet so it suits the British palette more. I was heavily involved in development of this cake and it took a lot of time and effort to get the balance right with the  chocolate flavour versus the vanilla flavour, and especially the colour. Completely  covering this cake now in the cream cheese topping; this is where we start using the knife skills and getting the swirl on the top and swirls on the sides.

We worked very closely with Tesco while developing this cake to make sure that it matched their expectations and it is going back to traditional methods of using palette knives and spatulas. I feel really proud of having been working on this cake. It's going to be part of their iconic range and it'll be great to see it on the shelf. And  that's it, do you want to do the crumb? And then next then is the delicate positioning of the red crumb around the edge. It's just getting that even sprinkling and spinning at the same time. This is basically what you get from like a little village baker, the artisan bakeries in London, that kind of thing, but we just make several hundred of them rather than just the one in the shop window.

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