11 March 2008

Great Success!

Finally, a red velvet cake that tastes like red velvet cake. My mom's cousin suggested after my last post that I try her mother's red velvet recipe, and so I looked it up in our family cookbook, a project that came together on the occasion of my great grandmother's hundredth birthday and includes a lot of tasty Southern recipes. I had to tweak the recipe a little based on what I had on hand, and I used canned frosting because I was out of cream cheese, but it was still really tasty. It's moist and fluffy and yeah, you can definitely taste the oil, but no one ever expected a red velvet cake to be a diet recipe.

This is for a two layer, nine inch cake. If you want something a little fancier and storebought looking, I imagine you could increase the amounts and make a three layer cake. I ran out of icing part of the way through, so I didn't ice the sides all the way around. Also, I didn't let the layers cool *quite* all the way, and so as you can see from the first picture a thin layer on the bottom didn't come away from the pan. For the bottom layer, I just got it all out with my fingers and pressed it on, but that made icing more difficult. For the top layer, I left it alone.

So anyway, I recommend you start with dry ingredients. Sift together two cups of flour, a teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon of baking soda, and two tablespoons cocoa. It helps to sift the other things through the flour (on top of it) to blend well without stirring. I also just shook the bowl around a bit. Next, cream 1-1/2 cups sugar and two cups oil. I actually ran out of oil and so I used about a cup and a third of oil and maybe half a cup of margarine. It worked fine but I'd just go with the recipe next time. Use an electric mixer if you have one and don't be afraid to blend thoroughly, until it gets fluffy and the mixer starts leaving patterns.

Next, beat in a couple of eggs. Again, don't be afraid to spend a little time on this step. Add a teaspoon of distilled white vinegar and about half a bottle of red food colouring (the recipe says two bottles, but I didn't find that entirely necessary). Blend that in, then drop your mixer speed down to low. Alternate the dry ingredients and a cup of buttermilk (I used low-fat and it was fine). Start with flour, then buttermilk, flour, buttermilk, flour. Make sure to blend the dry ingredients all the way in before going to the next addition. Finally, add a teaspoon of vanilla, blend it in, and then pour your batter into two greased 9" round cake pans. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until it tests done. Cool completely on racks before turning out and icing. Enjoy!

The Bottom Line

Taste: ****
Appearance: ***
Ease: ***
Cost: $$
Overall: ***


JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

This cake is definately all the rage these days! It certainly is eye catching! Nice job!

Anonymous said...

Huzzah! Success at last!


Judith said...

Jenn - I just love that it's become a "fad food," since it's something I grew up on. Kind of like the cupcake!

Nicole - Seriously, I may be budgeting better now, but I'm making you one. It needs to be done.