Saturday, November 11, 2006

A little something to cheer up our Red state friends

When I was a child I'd heard the legend of the Red Velvet Cake. A woman is served this delicious red cake in a fancy hotel restaurant and asks the waiter for the recipe only to find $100 was added to her bill. Her attorney advises to pay, I don't know, maybe he was eating lunch with her, any way, she pays and then to get even sends a chain letter to friends with the recipe. That is the long reason why I decided to make the cake.

Cook's Country has a red velvet cake recipe so I decided why not give it a try. First, this is not a difficult one to follow but as some know, I'm not a baker of cakes. I can throw together a pie in my sleep but cakes, I do have to follow the directions.

First odd thing, it calls for a one ounce bottle of red food coloring, next some buttermilk, now that's not too odd but it seems like I get stuck with the remainder of the quart and hate to waste. Cook's had an answer for my thriftiness, freeze the left over buttermilk in cup increments. Cool.

You mix the food coloring with two tablespoons of cocoa, I use Dutch process. When you add it to the cake batter you can see just how lacking your mixer is. There is a little divot at the bottom that needs a little hand mixing.

Mine did not raise as much as I thought it should. Maybe more mixing though I was diligent with the directions. I used 7-inch square pans to their 8-inch round so I'm thinking they should have been higher. Because I just can't leave well enough alone I sliced each layer in two. I thought it would look more dramatic. Who couldn't use more drama in their life.

As for the flavor I think it is suppose to have just a hint of chocolate, which it does. Some friends were afraid of the red food coloring turning their teeth ghoulish but that didn't happen. The frosting is delish, not too sweet nor cream cheesy, nice blend of flavors.

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 oz red food coloring
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
Whisk buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla, and eggs in large measuring cup. Whisk flour, baking soada, and salt in medium bowl.Cream butter; beat in sugar gradually.
Add flour mixure alternately with egg mixture, beating well after each addition.
Make paste of cocoa and food coloring; add to creamed mixture.
Stir until thoroughly mixed. Bake in 2 9-inch pans for 25 minutes at 350°.

2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
4 cups confectioners' sugar
16 oz. cream cheese, softened and cut into 8 pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
pinch of salt.

Beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese, one piece at a time, and beat until incorporated. Beat in vanilla and salt. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Frost the cooled cakes, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 3 days.


Ellie said...

Holey moley, thems some straight layers! I've heard of this red velvet cake but have never actually seen nor tasted it myself - I think I'd actually be a mite terrified of that intense red colour :P

Nice tip regarding the buttermilk, will definetely have to keep it in mind!

maltese parakeet said...

looks good! it seems like such a 50s recipe. maybe you can submit it to one of laura rebecca's retro recipe challenges!

Lea said...

Sounds like the Nieman Marcus cookie legend!! I adore red velvet cake... one of those things I love about being a southerner is being able to claim it! MUAHAHA!

doodles said...

lil bird is right about retro challenge. Love the snap of the whirling Kitchen Aid. It does look good and quite fancy schmancy and I am dying to try the frosting.

mooncrazy said...

Lea, is it Southern? I thought it was Canadian. Seems this cake has a lot of legend attached to it.

La Vida Dulce said...

Oooh, so yummy!

John said...

I love that you placed a recipe for Red Velvet Cake on your blog. This has always been one of my favorite kinds of cake! I love cooking so I think the next time I get the chance to cook, I will give this recipe a shot! Thanks!