Red Velvet Cake
Last weekend was the season premiere of True Blood.* I am a fan of True Blood.* Some of my girlfriends are fans of True Blood.* We have been waiting anxiously for the third season of True Blood to come on since very shortly after season two ended.
In honor of the premiere of the third season, I invited said girlfriends over for dinner and some quality time together. The evening’s menu included a slew of homemade goodies starting with a BLT bar, washed down with melon drinks and topped off with Red Velvet Cupcakes.
The BLT bar was composed of several of my favorite foods, including bacon, fried shrimp,** pimento cheese, Chiqui’s Creole Cream Cheese, lettuce, avocados, tomatoes and a couple of choices of bread. I even went so far in my gleeful cooking spree as to make my own mayonnaise again. My melon drinks were cantaloupe daiquiris flavored with mint and basil, and watermelon juice slushies. Both were good, but I think I favored the cantaloupe daiquiris a wee bit more than the watermelon slushies.
Anyhow… The piece de resistance were the cupcakes.
Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting.
And yes. It was a very deliberate decision on my part to make Red Velvet Cupcakes.
Holy moly… I am not afraid to say these were awesome. In fact, after enjoying one, a friend’s comment was, essentially, “Wow. That was good. But… Hmm… It was… uhh… kind of small… Yeah. That’s it. It was small. I think I should have another one.”
Quite frankly, that is about the best kind of compliment in my books.
Dinner was good. True Blood* was great. Time with my friends was fabulous.
Now time for me to get up on my soapbox.
I’ve made Red Velvet Cake before. In fact, several years ago, I was on a mission to find the perfect Red Velvet Cake recipe. The first one I tried was made with canola oil. Bleh!
Whoever thinks Red Velvet Cake should be made with canola oil really needs to reconsider their choices. Canola oil makes the cake smell and taste like Play Dough. I don’t care how much fun Play Dough is, none of my foods should ever smell and/or taste like it.
If you’re going to make Red Velvet Cake, then use butter. Not canola oil. I’m not sure if vegetable oil would make a difference, but I don’t care. Butter, people. You make Red Velvet Cake with butter. Not canola oil.
Okay? Got it? Butter. Butter. Butter.
Okay. I’ll get off the soapbox now. But only so long as someone doesn’t try to convince me that, no, really, Red Velvet Cake can be made with canola oil. I won’t listen.
(all right. fine. maybe i was a bit traumatized by my experience. what of it? butter is better. just ask paula deen.)
If you’d like to make a proper Red Velvet Cake, I highly recommend the following recipe from The South The Beautiful Cookbook.
* Read “Eric Northman.”
** More on the fried shrimp in the near future.
Red Velvet Cake
(from The South The Beautiful Cookbook)
2 ½ cups sifted, unleavened cake flour
3 tablespoons cocoa
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar 2 eggs, room temperature
1 egg yolk, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
2 fluid ounces red food coloring
3 tablespoons lukewarm water
1 cup low-fat buttermilk, room temperature
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare your baking pans. This recipe makes two, 9-inch layers or about 30 cupcakes.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa and baking powder. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and egg yolk one at a time. Add the vanilla and salt. Then add the red food coloring and the lukewarm water. Be sure you keep scraping down the sides as is mix in the ingredients.
Using the lowest speed on the mixers, beat in the flour mixture alternating with the buttermilk for in four parts – ending with buttermilk and blending very well.
In a glass measuring cup, dissolve the baking soda in the apple cider vinegar. Pour into the batter. Beat just until mixed in well.
Put batter into the cake pans or cupcake tins. Two 9-inch cakes will take about 25-30 minutes to bake. A 12 cupcake tin will take about 15 minutes.
Frost with cream cheese frosting. I used the same recipe I used recently on my carrot cake. The only difference being that I used fresh lemon juice instead of orange juice.