Monday, October 18, 2010

Red Velvet Cake


For Birthdays in my family we often skip the cake (unless we're having a party) and just make cup cakes instead.  For my husbands birthday he requested Red Velvet, his favorite.  Now comes the debate in my house... is a Red Velvet Cake merely just a Devils Food Cake with red food coloring? well... yes, and no... while both of them are in essence a chocolate cake, a Red Velvet Cake usually has either buttermilk (southern choice) or sour cream (northern choice), and recipes differ between adding vinegar or not and to use dutch processed cocoa or not.  While dutch processed cocoa will not have the sharp dark chocolate taste, it also wont lend well to the traditional dark red crumb that comes from using natural cocoa and baking .  So, of course, I prefer using natural cocoa.  After scouring all sorts of books and the internet I decided I'd try Paula Deen's "Grandmother Paula's Red Velvet Cake", being that she almost embodies southern cooking, and when I think of every time I've had a good Red Velvet Cake, I think of when I lived in the south.

Red Velvet Cake
Ingredients
2 cups sugar
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
2 eggs
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 ounces red food coloring
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon vinegar

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl, cream the sugar and butter, beat until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time and mix well after each addition.

Mix cocoa and food coloring together and then add to sugar mixture; mix well.

Sift together flour and salt. Add flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Blend in vanilla. In a small bowl, combine baking soda and vinegar and add to mixture.

Pour batter into 3 (8-inch) round greased and floured pans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from heat and cool completely before frosting.

The cake is DELICIOUS... I did have a problem with them falling and deforming during cooling though, not sure why.  This is a very moist, rich and creamy cake, that I would probably make again... maybe not as cupcakes since the one pictured above is literally one of about 5 out of 24 that actually looked good and the paper didn't separate away from it.
 


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