Thursday, February 10, 2011

I am going to try this.

One of the news feeds on Yahoo this morning talked about this cake.

This is the famous Red Velvet Cake. I know this from my youth. One of my aunt's on my dad's side used to make it for family picnics. She made it in a 9 x 13 pan which would cause purists to gag. But it was easier to eat while sitting on the swing set at the park. I can't remember her name. I can see her face but her name eludes me.

Anyway, the author of the article states that while this cake was probably invented at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City, it was adopted and perfected by "the South". The author stated that a friend of hers said there are 8 rules for making the perfect Red Velvet Cake.

1. The cake must have some cocoa, but not too much because it is not a chocolate cake.
2. The cake must have red food coloring; beet juice does not add the right kind of red. [BEET juice? I have seen recipes for this cake but I don't ever recall one that asked for beet juice. Wouldn't that leave a flavor?]
3. The cake must have cream cheese frosting. [I don't really care for cream cheese frosting, but, if I'm going to do this 'right', I best make it according to the recipe.]
4. There should be pecans. (This was news to me.) [News to me too because I've never seen photos of the cake with pecans on it.]
5. You must use high-quality ingredients, including White Lily flour, a Southern specialty flour.
6. Precise measurements and meticulous attention to detail are key for this cake; therefore, it must be made in small, easy-to handle, family-sized batches. (Mass-produced batter just doesn't cut it. Sorry, large-scale bakeries.)
7. You must use a hand-held electric mixer, not a stand mixer: Larger machines can over-mix the batter, which sometimes prevents the cake from rising properly.
8. Red velvet cake batter needs vegetable oil, not butter or shortening. Oil yields a very moist cake.
She went on to print a recipe. After reading this, of course I'm going to have to try it. 

Paula Deen’s Red Velvet Cupcakes from Food Network
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1 pound cream cheese, softened
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • Chopped pecans and fresh raspberries or strawberries, for garnish
In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.
Garnish with chopped pecans, fresh raspberry or strawberry, or sprinkles.

I like that these are cupcakes which I can bring to the office. Yes, there will be photographs. 
Beverage:  Edinburgh's Finest tea


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