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Any opinions on a "traditional" Red Velvet cake?

Any opinions on a "traditional" Red Velvet cake?
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  • Any opinions on a "traditional" Red Velvet cake?

    Post #1 - May 15th, 2006, 4:48 pm
    Post #1 - May 15th, 2006, 4:48 pm Post #1 - May 15th, 2006, 4:48 pm
    I love Red Velvet cake and I have made it frequently, but I'm curious whether I make it in the "traditional" manner. I'm also curious what others prefer.

    There has already been a debate on this board regarding the use of nuts -- specifically, pecans -- and whether nuts (either on top of the frosting or in the cake batter) is traditional. I have also learned that there is some debate over the amount of food coloring to use, but I'll always use 2 small bottles for a really red cake. And there seems to be no debate regarding the use and amounts of both buttermilk and vinegar.

    But I'm really interested in finding out what everyone believes is the traditional and/or preferred type of icing, the proper amount of cocoa, and whether the batter should be made with oil or butter.

    cocoa - I typically use 2 tablespoons of cocoa (for 2 9" layers). But I have seen recipes calling for only 1 teaspoon. Apparently, some people think the cocoa should stand out (this is my preference), and others say that it should be used sparingly and so just to accent the flavor of the cake slightly.

    Oil or butter - Although I typically prefer baking with butter because of the improved flavor, even cakes, I always use vegetable oil when making a Red Velvet cake and I love the moistness of the resulting cake. But is butter or solid shortening more traditional?

    Icing - I use the buttercream icing that starts with a cooked paste of milk and flour, which is then added to powdered sugar and butter. But I wonder whether most people prefer a cream cheese frosting.

    Any thoughts as to what's traditional and also what's preferred? Also, although I've typically thought of the cake as a "southern" cake, I've been informed that it really doesn't have its origins in the south. Anyway, just curious.
  • Post #2 - May 15th, 2006, 7:58 pm
    Post #2 - May 15th, 2006, 7:58 pm Post #2 - May 15th, 2006, 7:58 pm
    It's been a while since we've made one, but MrsF says, "No nuts. Use a frickin' lot of food coloring, about a whole bottle." She can't remember what kind of shortening, or the cocoa amounts.

    Cook's Illustrated had a recipe a year or so ago, with the usual variations.

    MrsF's exposure to RVC was from a campground cook from the south.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #3 - May 15th, 2006, 8:11 pm
    Post #3 - May 15th, 2006, 8:11 pm Post #3 - May 15th, 2006, 8:11 pm
    And there seems to be no debate regarding the use and amounts of both buttermilk and vinegar.


    From the buttermilk and vinegar, I assume your recipe uses baking soda as the leavening. If yes, then you need acids to fully exploit the baking soda. If you substitute regular milk, then you get the chemically taste some products using baking soda can have.

    Everything I have ever read about Red Velvet involves a shocking amount of red food dye relative to our experiences.

    As for 'traditional,' it is often based on your experiences growing up and what your very local preferences may have been.

    Since this is a Southern cake, while using all-purpose flour is acceptable. It is very likely expected you use soft wheat flour such as White Lily, whose packaging labels it as all-purpose flour though different from ours. A substitute would be cake flour, though again you can comfortably use our all-purpose flour.

    I hope you will post pictures of your Red Velvet cake for us to admire.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #4 - May 15th, 2006, 8:37 pm
    Post #4 - May 15th, 2006, 8:37 pm Post #4 - May 15th, 2006, 8:37 pm
    Hi,

    I looked over at Southern Living for a Red Velvet recipe:

    1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 tablespoon white vinegar
    3 large eggs
    1 (1-ounce) bottle liquid red food coloring
    2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    2 tablespoons cocoa
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup buttermilk
    Cream Cheese Frosting


    They also had another Red Velvet recipe. Note both recipes used cream cheese frosting.

    Again, this magazine is for a Southern audience whose default flour is the soft. I looked at a recipe from Gourmet magazine who suggested using cake flour, which was my suggested substitute for our all-purpose flour. Gourmet also had cream cheese frosting. So the cooked frosting suggested you can substitute without giving up tradition.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #5 - May 15th, 2006, 9:05 pm
    Post #5 - May 15th, 2006, 9:05 pm Post #5 - May 15th, 2006, 9:05 pm
    Coming from a family of southern cooks I can say that I think a 'traditional cake' is pretty much dependant on how the cook in your family made it. For me I would say that nuts are a big no no. I've never had one with nuts and I don't make mine with nuts. I don't have the recipe handy but I do believe my grandmothers recipe is similar to the one that Cathy2 posted, and she does use White Lily flour, although I think she might use two bottles of food coloring.

    I don't make Red Velvet cake too often, when I make it for my family my mother says it reminds her of something that was 'hacked apart'. I think she's watched the movie Steel Magnolia's one too many time and it now reminds her of the 'groom's cake' in the movie though. :wink:
  • Post #6 - May 15th, 2006, 9:58 pm
    Post #6 - May 15th, 2006, 9:58 pm Post #6 - May 15th, 2006, 9:58 pm
    There's no consensus on the origins of this cake, though it's also called Waldorf Astoria cake and figured in an early "$250 cookie"-type hoax. The Waldorf is glad to take credit for the cake but has no record that it originated there.

    The most interesting speculation about this cake I've seen is that the red coloring originally came from beets. Here are two versions that call for beets.

    Red velvet cake

    1-1/2 teaspoons salt
    1/2 cup cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
    4-1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
    Juice from a 15-ounce can of beets (add water, if needed, to make 1/2 cup; save the beets for another use)
    1-1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
    2 cups buttermilk
    1 cup vegetable shortening
    2-3/4 cup granulated sugar
    4 large eggs
    2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    Cream cheese icing

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 9-by-2 inch cake pans. Sift the salt and cocoa with the flour. Mix the beet juice, vanilla and buttermilk.

    With an electric mixer on medium, beat the shortening and sugar till light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating at least 1 minute after each addition.

    On low speed, alternately beat in portions of the flour mixture and buttermilk-vinegar mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Combine the vinegar and soda in a small bowl. It will foam up briefly. Fold into the cake batter.

    Divide the batter between the pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a tester inserted in center comes out clean and the top of the cake springs back when lightly pressed. Let the cakes cool in the pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove to the racks to cool completely.

    Using a piece of unwaxed dental floss or a thin serrated knife, divide each layer horizontal, so you have four layers. Fill and frost with the cream-cheese frosting. 8 to 10 servings.

    Red velvet cake

    4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
    1 8 1/4-ounce can beets, drained
    2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1/3 cup cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2/3 cup buttermilk
    2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
    12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
    1 cup granulated sugar
    3 large eggs
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    Cream cheese icing

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 9-by-2 inch cake pans.

    Melt chocolate in the microwave or a double boiler and set aside to cool. Puree the beets in a blender or food processor; you should have 1 cup. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Combine the buttermilk and vinegar.

    With an electric mixer, beat the butter and brown and granulated sugars until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in the vanilla, then the cooled, melted chocolate.

    On low speed, alternately beat in portions of the flour mixture and buttermilk-vinegar mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Add the beets and mix on medium speed until blended.

    Divide the batter between the pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a tester inserted in center comes out clean and the top of the cake springs back when lightly pressed. Let the cakes cool in the pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove to the racks to cool completely.

    Using a piece of unwaxed dental floss or a thin serrated knife, divide each layer horizontal, so you have four layers. Fill and frost with the cream-cheese frosting. 8 to 10 servings.

    (If you Google, you'll find quite a few other variations on chocolate beet cake.)
  • Post #7 - May 16th, 2006, 11:29 am
    Post #7 - May 16th, 2006, 11:29 am Post #7 - May 16th, 2006, 11:29 am
    Cathy2 wrote:Since this is a Southern cake, while using all-purpose flour is acceptable. It is very likely expected you use soft wheat flour such as White Lily, whose packaging labels it as all-purpose flour though different from ours. A substitute would be cake flour, though again you can comfortably use our all-purpose flour.

    That's still a question that I have -- whether this really is a southern cake. As LAZ notes, some call it a Waldorf Astoria cake. So I wonder if it really is a southern cake, or if it just became popular in the south.

    I also wonder if the cake fell out of favor during the craze where red food coloring was believed to contain carcinogens. Maybe die-hards returned to using beets until it was determined that red food coloring is safe.

    In any event, maybe there is no real consensus on the type of shortening to use, the amount of cocoa or the type of frosting.
  • Post #8 - May 16th, 2006, 12:10 pm
    Post #8 - May 16th, 2006, 12:10 pm Post #8 - May 16th, 2006, 12:10 pm
    BR wrote:I also wonder if the cake fell out of favor during the craze where red food coloring was believed to contain carcinogens.

    That's certainly a theory I've seen. On the other hand, layer cakes generally fell out of fashion about then.

    Even now, the only places you see them much are trying to be "retro" or Southern. It's especially rare to see a layer cake beyond chocolate or carrot.

    Dine serves a red velvet cake, a miniature cake with cream cheese frosting, sized for two. Glenn's diner had a delicious but luridly colored fresh-orange cake when I was last there. But both of them are retro themes.

    I did have a terrific fresh coconut cake a while ago at Smith & Wollensky. Anyone know if they still serve it? The Tiki Terrace also has coconut layer cake, decent, but not made with fresh coconut.

    Dine
    312/829-5000
    www.dinerestaurant.com
    Crowne Plaza Chicago Metro
    733 W. Madison St., Chicago

    Glenn's Diner
    773/506-1720
    1820 W. Montrose Ave., Chicago

    Smith & Wollensky
    312/670-9900
    www.smithandwollensky.com
    Marina City, 318 N. State St., Chicago

    The Tiki Terrace
    847/795-TIKI
    www.thetikiterrace.com
    Ascot Center
    1 S. Wolf Road, Prospect Heights
  • Post #9 - June 5th, 2006, 10:32 pm
    Post #9 - June 5th, 2006, 10:32 pm Post #9 - June 5th, 2006, 10:32 pm
    HI,

    Last weekend I had an opportunity to make a Red Velvet Cake frosted with cream cheese frosting with chopped pecans folded in:

    Image

    I made one amendment to the cake, I used 2 tablespoons instead of 1 for the really red color. Instead of cake flour, I used White Lily soft wheat flour. The texture of this cake was indeed like velvet and a bit fuzzy evidenced by the fine crumbs along the cut edge. While the batter had only two tablespoons of cocoa, it has a chocolate taste though not very strong. My family had a debate whether this was a chocolate cake or just what was it?

    If I knew the cake would be eaten in one swoop, then I would happily add the raspberries and blueberries suggested. The pecans were used instead because I saw them in other recipes. Plus the pecans would hold their own while we ate the cake over several days.

    Thanks BR for reminding me to try a Red Velvet Cake.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #10 - June 6th, 2006, 7:47 pm
    Post #10 - June 6th, 2006, 7:47 pm Post #10 - June 6th, 2006, 7:47 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:HI,

    Last weekend I had an opportunity to make a Red Velvet Cake frosted with cream cheese frosting with chopped pecans folded in:

    I made one amendment to the cake, I used 2 tablespoons instead of 1 for the really red color. Instead of cake flour, I used White Lily soft wheat flour. The texture of this cake was indeed like velvet and a bit fuzzy evidenced by the fine crumbs along the cut edge. While the batter had only two tablespoons of cocoa, it has a chocolate taste though not very strong. My family had a debate whether this was a chocolate cake or just what was it?

    If I knew the cake would be eaten in one swoop, then I would happily add the raspberries and blueberries suggested. The pecans were used instead because I saw them in other recipes. Plus the pecans would hold their own while we ate the cake over several days.

    Thanks BR for reminding me to try a Red Velvet Cake.

    Regards,

    The cake looks excellent -- perfect crumb and color. I think many are afraid to use that much food coloring, but that's what is needed. As for the pecans, I have not incorporated them in mine, but I love them so . . . why not . . . next time. As for the cocoa, I don't know if the cake should have a chocolate flavor or not, but I agree that while 2 T gives the cake a bit of a chocolate flavor, I'd almost prefer to use a little more cocoa -- again, next time.

    Also, I am assuming you used butter as called for in the Epicurious recipe. Did you find the cake sufficiently moist? I have used butter and oil and I found that the oil gave me an incredibly moist cake without negatively affecting the flavor. When I used butter, the cake was not as moist as I would have liked (but that could have been as much my fault).

    In any event, here's a link to Gale Gand's recipe, which I have only used for the frosting. Although I usually find buttercreams a tad too sweet, this one I thought benefited from a little more powdered sugar and a little more vanilla. While I typically enjoy cream cheese frostings, I think this frosting was perfect for the Red Velvet cake: Gale Gand's frosting.
  • Post #11 - June 7th, 2006, 8:52 am
    Post #11 - June 7th, 2006, 8:52 am Post #11 - June 7th, 2006, 8:52 am
    HI,

    What I like about the Epicurious recipes are the feedback from people who have prepared the recipe before. I recall some adding oil instead of all or some of the butter. Some doubled the cocoa to make the chocolate more intense. Others added more powdered sugar to the cream cheese frosting, which was a bit loose when freshly prepared. The feedback also gives you an indication whether a recipe just isn't worth the bother.

    I've been having a small slice every day, while the cake is not super moist it was not unpleasantly dry. When you substituted oil for the butter, did the velvety texture change? I found the texture of this cake to be very unique, which I'd hate to give-up.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #12 - June 7th, 2006, 9:32 am
    Post #12 - June 7th, 2006, 9:32 am Post #12 - June 7th, 2006, 9:32 am
    Another place they have it:

    Image

    Feed.
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  • Post #13 - June 7th, 2006, 2:03 pm
    Post #13 - June 7th, 2006, 2:03 pm Post #13 - June 7th, 2006, 2:03 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:When you substituted oil for the butter, did the velvety texture change? I found the texture of this cake to be very unique, which I'd hate to give-up.

    I thought the texture was excellent using oil, although I've seen recipes calling for as much as 1 1/2 cups of oil, and I think that's too much. Interestingly, a note on the James Beard site discusses the origins of the cake and interestingly credits cocoa with giving the cake its velvety texture:James Beard. And sure enough, they indicate that the red food coloring scare seems to have been the cause of the cake's disappearance for many years.

    The cake that Mike G. shows above looks a lot like mine, particularly the frosting which does not appear to be a cream cheese-based frosting.
  • Post #14 - July 7th, 2006, 1:45 pm
    Post #14 - July 7th, 2006, 1:45 pm Post #14 - July 7th, 2006, 1:45 pm
    HI,

    I have been on a Red Velvet Cake tangent making three cakes in the last month. The most expensive ingredient has been the 1 ounce of red food dye for $4.

    I was at Viet Hoa on Argyle today. I picked up a 32 ounce bottle of red dye #40 for $3.40. I also saw similar sized bottles of yellow dye.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #15 - July 7th, 2006, 4:28 pm
    Post #15 - July 7th, 2006, 4:28 pm Post #15 - July 7th, 2006, 4:28 pm
    Maybe you should try the beets. They're certainly cheaper.

    There might also be a savings in using paste-type colors. They cost more per ounce but are much more intense.
  • Post #16 - November 12th, 2006, 6:25 am
    Post #16 - November 12th, 2006, 6:25 am Post #16 - November 12th, 2006, 6:25 am
    O.K., so most of you are actually BAKING the red velvet cake. I just wanted to report that someone in the office ordered a red velvet cake from Fox & Obel last week for a party. It was excellent -- lovely color, velvety texture. terrific frosting and tasted like heaven on a plate. It disappeared rather quickly.

    I'm tempted to order one for my upcoming birthday and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone who needs a red velvet cake and is not inclined to do it themselves.


    Suzy
    " There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life."
    - Frank Zappa
  • Post #17 - June 22nd, 2010, 2:13 pm
    Post #17 - June 22nd, 2010, 2:13 pm Post #17 - June 22nd, 2010, 2:13 pm
    LAZ wrote:There's no consensus on the origins of this cake, though it's also called Waldorf Astoria cake and figured in an early "$250 cookie"-type hoax. The Waldorf is glad to take credit for the cake but has no record that it originated there.

    The most interesting speculation about this cake I've seen is that the red coloring originally came from beets. Here are two versions that call for beets.

    Red velvet cake

    1-1/2 teaspoons salt
    1/2 cup cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
    4-1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
    Juice from a 15-ounce can of beets (add water, if needed, to make 1/2 cup; save the beets for another use)
    1-1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
    2 cups buttermilk
    1 cup vegetable shortening
    2-3/4 cup granulated sugar
    4 large eggs
    2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    Cream cheese icing

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 9-by-2 inch cake pans. Sift the salt and cocoa with the flour. Mix the beet juice, vanilla and buttermilk.

    With an electric mixer on medium, beat the shortening and sugar till light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating at least 1 minute after each addition.

    On low speed, alternately beat in portions of the flour mixture and buttermilk-vinegar mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Combine the vinegar and soda in a small bowl. It will foam up briefly. Fold into the cake batter.

    Divide the batter between the pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a tester inserted in center comes out clean and the top of the cake springs back when lightly pressed. Let the cakes cool in the pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove to the racks to cool completely.

    Using a piece of unwaxed dental floss or a thin serrated knife, divide each layer horizontal, so you have four layers. Fill and frost with the cream-cheese frosting. 8 to 10 servings.

    Red velvet cake

    4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
    1 8 1/4-ounce can beets, drained
    2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1/3 cup cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2/3 cup buttermilk
    2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
    12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
    1 cup granulated sugar
    3 large eggs
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    Cream cheese icing

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 9-by-2 inch cake pans.

    Melt chocolate in the microwave or a double boiler and set aside to cool. Puree the beets in a blender or food processor; you should have 1 cup. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Combine the buttermilk and vinegar.

    With an electric mixer, beat the butter and brown and granulated sugars until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in the vanilla, then the cooled, melted chocolate.

    On low speed, alternately beat in portions of the flour mixture and buttermilk-vinegar mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Add the beets and mix on medium speed until blended.

    Divide the batter between the pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a tester inserted in center comes out clean and the top of the cake springs back when lightly pressed. Let the cakes cool in the pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove to the racks to cool completely.

    Using a piece of unwaxed dental floss or a thin serrated knife, divide each layer horizontal, so you have four layers. Fill and frost with the cream-cheese frosting. 8 to 10 servings.

    (If you Google, you'll find quite a few other variations on chocolate beet cake.)


    Still a favorite of mine & this southerner prefers the cream cheese icing to cooked. That said, I will definitely try to keep a can of beets on hand for future efforts although my recipe is far less cocoa than this one. Thanks for a thought that is different from searching high & low for a couple of bottles of 2 oz. Red food coloring.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #18 - June 22nd, 2010, 5:07 pm
    Post #18 - June 22nd, 2010, 5:07 pm Post #18 - June 22nd, 2010, 5:07 pm
    pairs4life wrote:Still a favorite of mine & this southerner prefers the cream cheese icing to cooked. That said, I will definitely try to keep a can of beets on hand for future efforts although my recipe is far less cocoa than this one. Thanks for a thought that is different from searching high & low for a couple of bottles of 2 oz. Red food coloring.

    LTH bakers, such as Jygach, note that beet versions are not as red as the food-coloring version.
  • Post #19 - June 22nd, 2010, 7:46 pm
    Post #19 - June 22nd, 2010, 7:46 pm Post #19 - June 22nd, 2010, 7:46 pm
    LAZ wrote:LTH bakers, such as Jygach, note that beet versions are not as red as the food-coloring version.


    Yeah, I don't like the cakes that look like they are some weird chocolate. I always attributed that to far more cocoa than I use in my recipe. Perhaps I will try it for the 4th amongst non-southerners :lol:
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #20 - June 22nd, 2010, 8:05 pm
    Post #20 - June 22nd, 2010, 8:05 pm Post #20 - June 22nd, 2010, 8:05 pm
    pairs4life wrote:
    LAZ wrote:LTH bakers, such as Jygach, note that beet versions are not as red as the food-coloring version.


    Yeah, I don't like the cakes that look like they are some weird chocolate. I always attributed that to far more cocoa than I use in my recipe. Perhaps I will try it for the 4th amongst non-southerners :lol:

    Personally, I have changed my mind on the cocoa part of the cake since I started this thread. I have cut back to a lesser amount of cocoa, realizing that it's really not added for the chocolate flavor. As for the frosting, I go back and forth between the cooked frosting and cream cheese frosting. But in my opinion, both are good.
  • Post #21 - June 22nd, 2010, 8:50 pm
    Post #21 - June 22nd, 2010, 8:50 pm Post #21 - June 22nd, 2010, 8:50 pm
    BR wrote:
    pairs4life wrote:
    LAZ wrote:LTH bakers, such as Jygach, note that beet versions are not as red as the food-coloring version.


    Yeah, I don't like the cakes that look like they are some weird chocolate. I always attributed that to far more cocoa than I use in my recipe. Perhaps I will try it for the 4th amongst non-southerners :lol:

    Personally, I have changed my mind on the cocoa part of the cake since I started this thread. I have cut back to a lesser amount of cocoa, realizing that it's really not added for the chocolate flavor. As for the frosting, I go back and forth between the cooked frosting and cream cheese frosting. But in my opinion, both are good.


    Many people think the cake is just chocolate with red coloring. It's not supposed to be that. It should taste of something that can only be recognized as red velvet. Not a yellow cake or a chocolate cake, something far more exotic.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #22 - March 22nd, 2013, 4:31 pm
    Post #22 - March 22nd, 2013, 4:31 pm Post #22 - March 22nd, 2013, 4:31 pm
    Hi,

    This is an article offering a history of Red Velvet Cake.

    The Unknown History of Red Velvet Cake
    No beets, no sugar shortages. How America’s most nostalgic cake really came to be.
    by Stella Parks October 2, 2011


    There is a sidebar article with what the author believes is the root recipe: a cake using red wine for the color: http://www.gilttaste.com/stories/2292-t ... ake-recipe

    This I will have to try sometime soon.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #23 - March 22nd, 2013, 5:01 pm
    Post #23 - March 22nd, 2013, 5:01 pm Post #23 - March 22nd, 2013, 5:01 pm
    Very interesting. It reminded me that when I was growing up my birthday cake, by my request, was always the Joy of Cooking's (probably the 3rd edition, based on my parents' 1947 wedding date) Velvet Spice Cake. It never occurred to me to wonder where the "velvet" came from. Now I know.
  • Post #24 - May 22nd, 2013, 2:40 pm
    Post #24 - May 22nd, 2013, 2:40 pm Post #24 - May 22nd, 2013, 2:40 pm
    Hi,

    Now there is a black velvet cake, which uses black food dye instead of red.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #25 - May 22nd, 2013, 3:40 pm
    Post #25 - May 22nd, 2013, 3:40 pm Post #25 - May 22nd, 2013, 3:40 pm
    Black velvet cake with orange tinted frosting...perfect for a fall dessert exchange.
    Toria

    "I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" - As You Like It,
    W. Shakespeare
  • Post #26 - May 22nd, 2013, 4:45 pm
    Post #26 - May 22nd, 2013, 4:45 pm Post #26 - May 22nd, 2013, 4:45 pm
    Not that I'm a fan of dyed cakes, but I always find black food coloring excessively bitter.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #27 - May 23rd, 2013, 10:56 am
    Post #27 - May 23rd, 2013, 10:56 am Post #27 - May 23rd, 2013, 10:56 am
    I always thought that with red, in things like frosting. When ordering birthday cakes from bakeries, I always told them not to use red.
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love

    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach

    I write fiction. You can find me—and some stories—on Facebook, Twitter and my website.

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