Monday, February 28, 2011

Red Velvet Cake, finally!

Red Velvet Cupcakes
So, what's the big deal with Red Velvet Cake? Just about every American blog I've ever read all mentions Red Velvet Cake. My curiosity got the better of me and I decided to do this recipe from here which is Australian so has ingredients and measurements that we're used to.

It was a lovely, light, moist cake but just basically a chocolate cake but coloured red. I'm not sure that my kids need any more artificial ingredients in their diet so I probably won't make it again. The cream cheese icing was an unusal, but nice, topping. Something I usually only save for Carrot Cake. Wikipedia says:

"James Beard's 1972 reference American Cookery[2] describes three red velvet cakes varying in the amounts of shortening and butter. All use red food coloring, but the reaction of acidic vinegar and buttermilk tends to better reveal the red anthocyanin in the cocoa. Before more alkaline "Dutch Processed" cocoa was widely available, the red color would have been more pronounced. This natural tinting may have been the source for the name "Red Velvet" as well as "Devil's Food" and similar names for chocolate cakes.[3][1] While foods were rationed during World War II, bakers used boiled beets to enhance the color of their cakes. Boiled grated beets or beet baby food are found in some red velvet cake recipes, where they also serve to retain moisture.

In Canada the cake was a well-known dessert in the restaurants and bakeries of the Eaton's department store chain in the 1940s and 1950s. Promoted as an exclusive Eaton's recipe, with employees who knew the recipe sworn to silence, many mistakenly believed the cake to be the invention of the department store matriarch, Lady Eaton.[4]

A resurgence in the popularity of this cake is partly attributed to the 1989 film Steel Magnolias in which the groom's cake (a southern tradition) is a red velvet cake made in the shape of an armadillo.[1]"

2 comments:

  1. HI Anne!

    Your blog looks fantastic and I love the way it's set up and the retro feel is gorgeous.

    I just wanted to point out that what you have said about the red velvet being basically a chocolate cake dyed red is a common misconception and actually incorrect.

    Another point, the articicial ingredient does not have to be used ( the red food dye),it may be substituted with beetroot, if you feel that strongly about the matter, having said that it is not something you would eat everyday.

    Keep up the great work with the blog! :)

    ReplyDelete
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