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Red Velvet Cake

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178 replies to this topic

#121 Ling

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 02:27 PM

I thought the cake was good, and I found the little bit of cocoa flavour interesting. Honestly, I got the tanginess from the batter, but it was very subtle in the baked cake.

I'm glad this thread got started because I've looked at a bunch of Red Velvet recipes over the years but never felt the need to taste one until I stumbled upon this heated debate! :smile: So of course, I had to try it for myself, and I'm happy I did!

However, I disagree that the cake is very flavourful. More flavourful than a white cake or a yellow cake, yes...but not nearly as flavourful as a good chocolate cake or good carrot cake. Regardless, I enjoyed the cake. I ate two big pieces. :smile:

Edited by Ling, 28 June 2006 - 02:28 PM.


#122 Saara

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 02:49 PM

Too late now, but I was going to suggest using carmine instead of food coloring.

Cochineal from Natural Pigments

Carmine is used to color Campari and, at least, the Grenadine liqueur that I purchase.

I avoid artificial colorings and flavorings when I can, but have no problem eating bugs, I guess. :blink: Being from the PNW, I've never seen a Red Velvet Cake either, but should I ever get the urge to bake one, be assured if you're offered a piece, that it will be bug cake! :raz:

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#123 K8memphis

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 03:30 PM

Too late now, but I was going to suggest using carmine instead of food coloring.

Cochineal from Natural Pigments

Carmine is used to color Campari and, at least, the Grenadine liqueur that I purchase.

I avoid artificial colorings and flavorings when I can, but have no problem eating bugs, I guess.  :blink:  Being from the PNW, I've never seen a Red Velvet Cake either, but should I ever get the urge to bake one, be assured if you're offered a piece, that it will be bug cake!  :raz:

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I tried to warn yahs. :rolleyes: You really don't wanna know what's in the poo bottle.

#124 Saara

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 12:02 AM

Heheh. Well, I am infinitely more squeamish about chemicals vs. things derived from nature. I mean, I eat sauasage, don't I? :biggrin:

Isn't standard red food coloring erythrosine, however, and not carmine?

Edited by Saara, 29 June 2006 - 12:03 AM.

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#125 K8memphis

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 05:58 AM

Heheh. Well, I am infinitely more squeamish about chemicals vs. things derived from nature. I mean, I eat sauasage, don't I?  :biggrin:

Isn't standard red food coloring erythrosine, however, and not carmine?

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I don't keep track of exactly what it is at any given moment--I know too much as it is. Jaymes, close your eyes



















It's just one of the nastiest products on the planet that I have to personally use in my business and I still use it as often as I need to. I mean lots of the products we use, like you said sausage (and I'm Polish!) will kill us if taken in high enough doses or long enough periods or ruin our thyroids or whatever. We all know too much. And the less I know about food coloring the happier Me & Jaymes will be. Diet Coke is dissolving our gums out of our mouths. The list is endless. Where do you draw the line between chemicals and from nature? Even if we got the chemicals from outer space that's nature too huh? What's natural about distilled bug butts/bodies? :)

#126 Kris

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 06:38 AM

Red Velvet Cake is a cake that I make and offer on my menu to customers, but it's not really a favorite of mine.

I've tried many variations over the years and always found the cake to be slightly on the dry side.

In my doctored cake mix days, the cake was moist (and my husband loved it) but I wanted to find a moist scratch cake recipe.

I've come to the conclusion that the best scratch red velvet cakes contain oil instead of butter. And that's what keeps it moist.

The recipe I use contains oil, buttermilk and 2 tbsp. cocoa.

For the red color, I use 1 heaping tsp. of gel paste Super Red food coloring from a cake decorating supply shop. I've made the mistake of using other shades of red (e.g. Ruby red, tulip red, etc.) and those impart a bitter taste to the cake. Super Red food coloring has more red pigment so you don't have to use as much to get a vibrant red color.

#127 Kris

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 07:02 AM

I use 1 heaping teaspoon of gel food coloring from a cake supply store. I've found that the shade of red is very important...I only use Super Red now since it has more pigment than other reds. Therefore it doesn't impart a bitter aftertaste to the cake.

I've used other "reds" like Tulip Red and Ruby Red but they don't work as well. Too bitter.

I've been to Cake Man Raven's store in Brooklyn and I think his red velvet cake is good. But I prefer more of a "chocolate-y" flavor.

My recipe calls for 2 tbsp. of cocoa.

I'd like to try Jaymes' recipe, but I can't seem to find it on this site. I'm still searching...

#128 Lindacakes

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 08:27 AM

Lorna, your cake has the color! Very tasty-looking.

The frosting is different from mine -- more cream colored, mine is quite white against the red.

I never use the chopped nuts, myself.

Which recipe did you use?

One additional word on chemical ingestion: (keep in mind I use two bottles of McCormick's and I eat it once a year) It would be a good idea for all of us to limit our exposure to as many chemicals as possible. I don't think that means running around in a spacesuit, or forgoing a hot dog at the ballpark. It's about overall exposure from the atmosphere, cleaning products, foods, etc. I'm too lazy to go bag the facts right now, but they are easily researchable. We are all guinea pigs in the current environment. There are hundreds of chemicals in use that have not been properly tested, not tested over time, and not tested together. When your body exhausts itself trying to fend them off, you get multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome. I know someone who developed this. It isn't pretty. She developed it during a work project in which she spent the day in a small conference room with a brand new rug. The off-gassing of the new rug over a six month period put her over the edge.

All the food I buy is organic, I try to eat at home as much as possible, I do my own baking. I also live in a big city and try to offset that unhealthy atmosphere as much as possible.

Except when I have me a big slice of RVC!
I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

#129 K8memphis

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 08:42 AM

Yeah I totally agree with what Lindacakes said. It's a balancing act. Sure we're all gonna eat a little food color & ingest ocassional weird stuff. Some of us will scrape our kids off the ceiling, some of us will pop some Tums, whatever. Life will go on.

My husband's Mom and my Mom were both on inordinate amounts and astrononically priced drugs their last days. So from that experience, my little saying is,
"He who dies on the least drugs, wins."

And be good to everybody 'cause everybody's having a tough time, as that other saying goes.

#130 Jaymes

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 09:45 AM

Honestly, I got the tanginess from the batter, but it was very subtle in the baked cake.


Been thinking about this. I note that Ling added an extra tablespoon of cocoa powder. Like Kris, I only use 2, and that's what my recipe calls for.

Chocolate is a pretty strong flavor, and this cake is not really a "chocolate cake." It's supposed to have an underlay of chocolate, but it's not supposed to dominate.

I wonder if the additional chocolate could have contributed to the tang being less noticeable in the final product.

Edited by Jaymes, 29 June 2006 - 09:47 AM.

Joan Rivers says she's starting a new charity - "Feels on Wheels" - a service delivering sexual contact to the elderly.


#131 Ling

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 11:48 AM

Lorna, your cake has the color!  Very tasty-looking.

Which recipe did you use?

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I used Jaymes's recipe; it's in Recipe Gullet.

Kris, perhaps you might be interested in that recipe too. The cake was very moist. I just ate the last piece for breakfast and I liked it even more the second day.

#132 Parmhero

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 12:16 PM

Just wondering, since most people seem to want to avoid the red dye...is the red velvet cake good enough for you to want to make and eat with no coloring--just a Velvet Cake? Or is it all about the redness.

Edited by Parmhero, 29 June 2006 - 12:16 PM.

"Yo, I want one of those!"

#133 CaliPoutine

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 01:23 PM

There is another red velvet thread floating around. Maybe admin can combine these two threads?

#134 Jaymes

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 01:48 PM

I'd like to try Jaymes' recipe, but I can't seem to find it on this site.  I'm still searching...


It's in recipe gullet -- here:
Red Velvet Cake

Joan Rivers says she's starting a new charity - "Feels on Wheels" - a service delivering sexual contact to the elderly.


#135 Jaymes

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 02:22 PM

There is another red velvet thread floating around.  Maybe admin can combine these two threads?


Actually, I think there may be more like five. If they were combined, it probably would make it easier to find all of the myriad info, opinions, types, etc. Seems to be a fascinating topic, eh?

To put it mildly.

:laugh:

Edited by Jaymes, 29 June 2006 - 05:37 PM.

Joan Rivers says she's starting a new charity - "Feels on Wheels" - a service delivering sexual contact to the elderly.


#136 Ling

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 12:58 AM

Sure, I would make Jaymes's recipe again. It was really good and my family enjoyed it. Not really interested in trying the recipes with significantly less oil (or fat) because that they seem like they would be quite a bit drier.

#137 Uncle Jim

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 05:27 AM

In some locales, though, it was called "Waldorf Astoria cake"


My aunt used to call hers a "Waldorf Rose Cake".

I'm thinking green food coloring for St. Patrick's Day :wacko:

#138 Abra

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 10:52 AM

I've never seen nor tasted red velvet cake, but I find this discussion pretty fascinating. Here's an interesting article about the nature and derivation of food colorants.

#139 Kris

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 01:14 PM

I used Jaymes's recipe; it's in Recipe Gullet.

Kris, perhaps you might be interested in that recipe too. The cake was very moist. I just ate the last piece for breakfast and I liked it even more the second day.

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Yes I would! :)

I couldn't find the recipe though.

#140 Kris

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 01:22 PM

Jaymes was kind enough to post the link to his recipe in the other red velvet thread floating around. Thanks!

#141 Jaymes

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 01:22 PM

I used Jaymes's recipe; it's in Recipe Gullet.

Kris, perhaps you might be interested in that recipe too. The cake was very moist. I just ate the last piece for breakfast and I liked it even more the second day.


Yes I would! :)

I couldn't find the recipe though.


Here it is:
Red Velvet Cake

Joan Rivers says she's starting a new charity - "Feels on Wheels" - a service delivering sexual contact to the elderly.


#142 Jaymes

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 01:28 PM

Well, whoops. It seems I posted at the exact same time as Kris.

Maybe an admin can remove my post as it now appears to be redundant.

And this one, which, when the redundant post is removed, will be superfluous.

Edited by Jaymes, 30 June 2006 - 03:26 PM.

Joan Rivers says she's starting a new charity - "Feels on Wheels" - a service delivering sexual contact to the elderly.


#143 Jaymes

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 11:23 AM

I've said it elsewhere, but want to reiterate....

As I see "my" recipe for Red Velvet Cake referenced around the site, want again to point out that I don't deserve much credit for it. I got it from a friend, an older neighbor lady, back in the early 70's. She swore me to secrecy, because she entered it in various state fairs and Red Velvet Cake bake-offs, many of which she won. I said, "Don't worry, I'll never tell anyone." And she laughed and said, "After I'm dead, you can tell!"

So now I'm sharing it. Not only did she die a long while back, Red Velvet Cake is no longer the baking sensation sweeping the nation, and I haven't seen any Red Velvet Cake bake-offs in a very long time.

But I don't want anyone to be under the illusion that I developed that particular recipe.

I just had the good sense to realize how tasty it is.

Not that hard to do.

:rolleyes:

Joan Rivers says she's starting a new charity - "Feels on Wheels" - a service delivering sexual contact to the elderly.


#144 Abra

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 06:55 PM

I finally made and tasted my first red velvet cake. I used Jaymes' friend's recipe with a couple of little tweaks. I used 1 1/2 oz of red coloring to get it really red. I have to say, if you can taste the coloring, you have a far better palate than I do. I couldn't detect anything off about it. I made a double batch of frosting, and I doubled the vanilla it called for. The buttery-flavored oil is not to be found here, so I used plain canola. I would have tried the buttery thing just once, but it seems not to be something we can get here.

Posted Image
I made it in a half sheet pan, then trimmed the edges and made a 2 layer rectangle. I crumbed up the trimmed edges to get the fluffy crumb decoration.

Posted Image
The optional pecans I put between the layers. People really did rave about this cake. Everyone asked how it got so red, but nobody went nuts when I said it was food coloring. I served this to 16 people and as far as I can tell, they'd all happily eat it again and again. It's more-ish, in that you do tend to keep having another little piece. Although it's very sweet, the balance of the sugar with the cocoa, buttermilk, vinegar, and cream cheese keeps you having just one more bite.

Edited by Abra, 21 January 2007 - 06:56 PM.


#145 Ling

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 11:46 PM

^That's really cool, Abra!

BTW, you can find the butter-flavoured canola oil at Larry's in Queen Anne (now Metropolitan Market) though the last time I noticed it was a few months ago, and I haven't looked since.

#146 bripastryguy

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 07:18 AM

I finally got around to making DiH's version with the mashed beets. It is a moist chocolately cake with no taste of beets but it is not red at all. I was really turned off by the obscene amount of red coloring in my existing recipe and wanted to change it but it seems like I cant because my customers love it. It's so funny to go to parties or charity events where I am serving red velvet cupcakes and everybody's face has red and there tongues are red, it's especially fun for the kids.
"Chocolate has no calories....
Chocolate is food for the soul, The soul has no weight, therefore no calories" so said a customer, a lovely southern woman, after consuming chocolate indulgence
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#147 robyn

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Posted 28 January 2007 - 07:31 PM

To make red velvet cake red - you need to use food coloring. That's just the way it is <shrug>. Robyn

#148 skyflyer3

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Posted 14 February 2007 - 12:04 AM

I made the Cake Raven recipe, with a few tweaks as well. I doubled the cocoa, used .5 oz maraschino cherry syrup and .5 oz red food coloring, doubled the vanilla, and used full-fat sour cream instead of buttermilk.

The batter was a crazy, fake blood red. I probably only needed to use .25 oz. And then today I happened to stop by Whole Foods, which carried all natural red food coloring. But of course, day before Valentine's day, they were out. Bummer

By the way, the cake batter tastes totally different than it cooked. Batter tasted awful - no flavor whatsoever. Cooked, the cake's not bad. But I do taste the food coloring. Even my fingers had a scent. Gives me the heebee jeebees.

#149 juliachildish

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Posted 14 February 2007 - 09:10 PM

Just in case anyone's interested, the NYTimes had an article on Red Velvet cake today:

article here

Doesn't really talk about anything we haven't already discussed here, but it does give a new recipe for anyone who's curious!

#150 Abra

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Posted 14 February 2007 - 11:14 PM

Uhm, maraschino cherry has a horrible fake flavor, to me, so that might have been the culprit, as opposed to the coloring.





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