Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Red Velvet

I've never been a big fan of Valentine's Day.  I think it goes back to high school when, if I had a boyfriend, I got dumped right before the big day. Now that I think about it, it wasn't just V-Day, but every other holiday along the way!  I always thought it was pretty crappy for a guy to do that and quickly realized it was because he was a cheap ***!  I envied the girls who had flowers delivered to them at school or walked around with heart shaped chocolate boxes.

As I got older, it didn't get much better, at least not for sweetheart day.  Even married.  I recall a particular Feb. 14th that fell on the same Sunday as the Daytona 500.  Uh...let's just not go THERE! As time marched on, V-day just kind of faded into the background. Oh, well, there's been roses here and there or a box of chocolate or dinner out, but not a big to do.

 I've always wanted to make a Red Velvet Cake from scratch.  Only because I've heard there's some magic involved and I'm all for a challenge! I searched until I found this old Southern recipe and didn't think there was anything too spectacular about it.

I gathered the ingredients and set forth on this journey of sugar, eggs, cocoa, and RED food coloring. WOW! That's a LOT of red! Didn't I hear once that red dye #40 wasn't good for you? Not like this cake is anyway!

This needs NO explanation!

BEST vanilla I've ever used!

Eggs and Sugar

Very dangerous lab procedure

Looks like an art project!

Perfect out of the oven.

Let the fun begin!

Some sugar crystals and sprinkles for a dash of excitement

The whole kit and caboodle!
The roses were from my sweetheart!

Here's the recipe for one VERY delicious cake!

2 1/2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cocoa
1 1/2 c granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 c canola oil
1 tsp vinegar
1 (1 oz bottle of red food coloring)
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk (room temp)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 3 (9 inch) round cake pans.

Sift flour, baking soda, cocoa together.  Beat sugar and eggs together in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, mix together oil, vinegar, food coloring, and vanilla.  Watch that red, as it will stain clothes and fingers! Add to the bowl of eggs and sugar and beat until combined.

Add the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the wet mixture by alternating the buttermilk and dry ingredients. Always start with the flour and ending with the flour.  Pour batter into pans. Tap them on the table to level out and release air bubbles.  Bake for 25 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Watch it closely. Mine were finished at about 18-20 minutes.  You don't want to over bake or you'll have a dry cake.  Let layers cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, then remove from pans. Cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

2 sticks margarine at room temp
16 oz cream cheese at room temp
2 box confectioner's sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla

Cream together the margarine and cream cheese. Add sugar and beat until mixed, but not so much that the frosting becomes loose. Add vanilla.  You can also add toasted pecans or walnuts.  Spread between layers and on sides.

Now, here's the deal.  I screwed this up big time! The recipe listed above is doubled.  I usually do this because I'd rather have too much than not enough.  Well, I did great with the cream cheese and margarine, but when I got to the sugar, I only added 1 box.  I also didn't pay attention to over mixing the frosting, as mine was a little "loose."  I don't know why, but that term just doesn't sound right to me. Brings about another....uh, never mind.

So, I have this very creamy frosting and I'm trying to figure out why the consistency isn't thicker...DUH!  BUT, it tastes FABULOUS!  I expected it to be very sweet, but it wasn't at all.  You could really taste the cream cheese. I started frosting the cake and it wasn't too challenging, just different. It set up nicely in the fridge.  I have to say it's the BEST cream cheese frosting I've ever tasted!  I will continue to leave out the 2nd box of sugar. Also, I did have some left over.  My son thought it would be good to dunk oreos in!

I'm suddenly craving a slice of cake. Hmmm...I wonder if there's any left?


Robin Thomas said...

Your velvet is red and your icing is loose.

You have always been my kind of girl...

Lisa said...

Mmm, what a yummy cake. I love how you decorated it so sweetly. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog and I'd like to invite you to stop by and link your cake up. http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com/2011/02/sweets-for-saturday-5.html

jackie said...

I to love red velvet cake from scratch! Haven't made it for years..............delicious!

Lisa said...

Believe it or not, you can still link up. Sweets for a Saturday always stays open until Monday at 6PM PST.

Honey Lamb and I said...

I will be your Valentine!!! :) That cake looks crazy awesome and I want a piece so bad I can't stand it!!! ~Shelley

Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking said...

This cake looks awesome. I bet it was delicious.Really like your blog. Glad I found it!