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Red Velvet Cake

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I've never had red velvet cake. Other than the novelty of a red cake, what does it bring to the table?

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I've never had a red cake that I thought was a 'great' cake. The taste is very mild chocolate (almost hard to detect), the texture is not real moist. It's rather plain, nothing that knocks your socks off.

I'd guess that explains why it's not a hugely popular cake from coast to coast. This is my husbands favorite cake, why I'm not certain...........but it's something Grandma and Mom would always bake for his b-day. Maybe it's the combination of the frosting that isn't too sweet or rich with a simple cake that appeals to people.........

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I was asking about this cake a few months ago.. I made a pretty good one using the red food coloring..

I was surprised to hear all the stories from people who thought that this was only popular in their region.. Its the official cake of Guam.. Its popular in Canada, Ohio, and through out the South.. These are just some of the places I heard about..

Here is a link to a recipe..

recipe


Edited by Daniel (log)

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Does anyone have an idea of when the first Red Velvet Cake recipe was published? or whatever it's called--how far back does it go in history?

I have a vague idea about some reddish chocolate cake that got it's redness from the cocoa powder reacting with some other ingredient--something like non-alkalized cocoa being more "red" and either more acid added or something to make the cake redder than the usual chocolate cake. (Maybe I'm mixing it up with Devil's Food Cake?)

Any thoughts?

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Does anyone have an idea of when the first Red Velvet Cake recipe was published? or whatever it's called--how far back does it go in history? 

I have a vague idea about some reddish chocolate cake that got it's redness from the cocoa powder reacting with some other ingredient--something like non-alkalized cocoa being more "red" and either more acid added or something to make the cake redder than the usual chocolate cake. (Maybe I'm mixing it up with Devil's Food Cake?)

Any thoughts?

Clicky Here...

Di

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Does anyone have an idea of when the first Red Velvet Cake recipe was published? or whatever it's called--how far back does it go in history? 

I have a vague idea about some reddish chocolate cake that got it's redness from the cocoa powder reacting with some other ingredient--something like non-alkalized cocoa being more "red" and either more acid added or something to make the cake redder than the usual chocolate cake. (Maybe I'm mixing it up with Devil's Food Cake?)

Any thoughts?

According to the following recipe, which discusses the cake's origins and related info at some length, the dessert originated at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel:

http://www.texascooking.com/features/may99redvelvet.htm

BTW, this recipe for Red Velvet Cake is excellent. I made it for a couple of southerners a few months ago who asked for the cake, which I'd never heard of. I did some research and compared various versions and settled on this one. I was rather appalled at adding so much red dye (safe though it may be), but the resulting cake was delicious and rather stunning when cut into - the deep red set off by the white. Kitschy but pretty.

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Hi,

I have received a request from a client to make a full sheet red velvet cake and a half sheet cake and they want it pre-cliced in generous pieces with a strawberry on each slice and they also want some strawberry puree to drizzle on the top if desired.

First of how do I cut the cake without make a horrific mess of the whole thing? :sad:

I hate to put in a lot of work in decorating the cake only to screw it up be pre-slicing. :angry:

I don't have any of the gadgets either that I been researching this week to equally divide the cake is this something I should invest in? I recommended to the client that perhaps I make mini cakes and put them in the decorative foil petite holders but apparently my price is too much for that. I didn't think it was expensive but the client did.

HELP.

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Are they having someone serve the cake? You could make it, ice it, freeze it and slice it frozen then let it thaw...that would give you neat edges.

Are they throwing them on a table for people to help themselves? If they are amenable to this suggestion it might work better if that is the scenario...make the cake and cut it up, then just pipe a frosting swirl on each square and garnish with a strawberry. That way each individual dessert will look nice on the plate.

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Actually no they don't want cupcakes they want a decent slice of cake with a strawberry. The objective of the pre-slice is so that folks can see the cake is red??? But to me if you know what red velvet cake is you already know if is red.

I thought if I made individual loaves it would be a better presentation versus precutting a large sheet cake and a half. It is my understanding the cakes will be out for those in attendance to view so it is not like it will come from the back and be placed in front of the guest.

It just seems backwards to me.

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Actually no they don't want cupcakes they want a decent slice of cake with a strawberry.  The objective of the pre-slice is so that folks can see the cake is red???  But to me if you know what red velvet cake is you already know if is red.

I think the objective of the pre-slice is for them to save a bit on serving costs. By having you slice it, guests can easily serve themselves and they don't have to pay a cutting fee. In addition, if they allowed guests to cut their own, they would have to worry about some cutting off too much (or too little). Pre-slicing will take away that worry, as each guest will take a predetermined amount.

I hope you are adding to your fee for the service if you do, indeed, give it to their request.

Is icing involved? If so, definitely warn them that you cannot guarantee a beautiful final product, and let them know there is a reason large cakes are usually not pre-cut.

An alternative, perhaps you can suggest that you score the icing, rather than make full cuts. They could get their pre-determined sizing, and you want have to worry as much about the mess (or the ruin of the appearance of the cake).

Failing all that, I wonder if you could make-up a hack-saw type piece of equipment using string or dental floss (make sure it's very taut) as the blade. Clean after every cut. Works when I make souffle cheesecakes, but those are much smaller in size that a full sheet slab cake.

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I second the idea of freezing then slicing. You may find that semi-frozen is the best time to cut it for clean lines. Dip your favorite knife in hot water before slicing. Do you have a really long knife (or a two handled long knife) that allows you to slice the cake from side to side in one go? That helps with keeping things neat and equal.

I love my cake-dividing gadgets. The ones I have for sheet pans are adjustable and allow me to choose the size. The other option is to buy a new, plastic, washable yard-stick.

I also like the idea mentioned by somebody upthread - cut the cake into pieces and then pipe a dollup of icing on each piece and top with a strawberry.

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Well, red velvet can be crumby I mean a lot of crumbs so that's a possible issue but usually scoring a sheet cake is a normal thing to ask a baker or bakery to do. You just cut it and ice it. Then when the client slides the spatula under the cake each slice just comes a loose y'know? Very common request for the most part. Maybe I'm not understanding what you mean. You want to use a nice fluffy icing.

I mean if you run into a lot of crumbs when you ice it, just crumb coat it & come back later & do a final coat & add the strawberries. The strawberries will become the x's that mark the spot.

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Beet juice? I can use straight beet juice?

I just made a lovely "Beige Velvet Cake" which I'm sure will be delicious, but how ridiculous is it that I COULD NOT find red food coloring anywhere? And it was an impulsive decision made this afternoon so I didn't have time to order anything from King Arthur or somewhere. Never thought of beet juice.

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For future reference, Michael's craft supplies usually has a pretty good stock and when there is none on display, I ask and they have always managed to find some in the back.

It is the paste type and needs to mixed with a liquid. I mix it with egg yolk because it emulsifies nicely and mixes easier.

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I have made this cake for the last few weeks at my shop. The customers who try it love it. I layer it with white chocolate cream cheese buttercream and mask it with meringue, torch the top and press left over RV crumbs to the side. I make jumbo cupcakes also. It kills me everytime I make as to the amount of red color needed. I use a no taste liquid color diluted with water (my recipe calls for 1qt. I do alittle more than 2 cups color and the rest water)

Either you love or you dont. My wife prefers it to have vanilla bean whipped cream between the layers. She sells it as an alternative to our ultra decadent DOUBLE CHOCOLE INDULGENCE

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I've never had a red cake that I thought was a 'great' cake. The taste is very mild chocolate (almost hard to detect), the texture is not real moist. It's rather plain, nothing that knocks your socks off.

I'd guess that explains why it's not a hugely popular cake from coast to coast. This is my husbands favorite cake, why I'm not certain...........but it's something Grandma and Mom would always bake for his b-day. Maybe it's the combination of the frosting that isn't too sweet or rich with a simple cake that appeals to people.........

I don't understand this. For one thing, I do think it's a "hugely popular cake from coast to coast," and has been for decades. In fact, it seems that many folks love it so much that they claim it as belonging exclusively to their own region. In several places where I've lived, they even had 'Red Velvet Cake Cookoffs,' and a separate category for Red Velvet Cake at county and state fairs. I know because the recipe I use (from a friend) won a few.

Also don't get the "not real moist" thing. My recipe, anyway, is VERY moist.

No, there's not a strong chocolate taste. Just rich, deep layers of flavor. The vinegar and buttermilk provide a tang that is the first flavor you taste, and then comes the undertone of chocolate.

I don't know, but I'm pretty old and have lived all over the country, certainly from "coast to coast," and as far south as Florida, north as Alaska, east as New York, west as California, and I've found that cake to be a favorite most everywhere.

It's certainly one of mine.


Edited by Jaymes (log)

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We ordered a Red Velvet Cake for Thanksgiving from Cake Man Raven in Brooklyn. It is their signature cake and it is excellent. They have the the recipe online.

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Red Velvet cake is a holiday tradition in my husband's family. With my MIL passing away a decade ago the baking of the cake falls on me. Even if I use "no taste" red, I swear I can still taste something funny. I am very interested in using beet juice. So, I cook the beets, squeeze out beet juice and use 2 oz to sub for 2 oz food coloring?

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Red Velvet cake is a holiday tradition in my husband's family. With my MIL passing away a decade ago the baking of the cake falls on me. Even if I use "no taste" red, I swear I can still taste something funny. I am very interested in using beet juice. So, I cook the beets, squeeze out beet juice and use 2 oz to sub for 2 oz food coloring?

Is it possible 2oz is too much? The Cake Man Raven recipe only calls for 1oz.

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This is a family recipe, it is a little different than the ordinary Red Velvet cake.

There is no food coloring used in it and certainly no beets.

MEEMAW’S RED VELVET CAKE

It is very important to follow the directions exactly. Note there is no baking powder in this cake. The action of the acids and alkaline ingredients mixed in the proper order and the extended beating to incorporate air into the batter is what leavens this cake.

You must start with all ingredients at room temperature so set the eggs out and measure out the buttermilk at least an hour before you plan to start mixing.

2-2/3 cups all purpose flour (you can also use 1/2 all purpose and 1/2 cake flour for a more tender cake and a finer texture)

1/2 cup Crisco (This is important for the texture, butter doesn’t work as well.)

2 large eggs - room temp.

1 level teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 rounded Tablespoons cocoa (regular, not Dutch process)

1 cup buttermilk - room temp (or 3/4 cup sour creamed thinned with a little milk to make 1 cup).

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup pitted canned cherries(sweetened), drained and pureed (do not use cherry pie filling)

1/4 cup grenadine syrup

2 teaspoons vinegar

First grease and flour 2 9-inch cake pans - or line with bakers parchment. You can also use a large rectangular pan.

In a large mixing bowl cream the shortening, sugar and vanilla, beat until very fluffy.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating each until completely incorporated into the batter, set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa, cherry puree, grenadine syrup and vinegar and set aside.

In a medium bowl mix together the buttermilk, flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.

Turn oven on, set at 350 degrees F.

Add the cocoa/cherry mix to shortening/sugar/vanilla, blend well.

Add the buttermilk/ flour/baking soda/ salt mixture to the batter and blend until batter is completely smooth and looks silky.

Continue beating on medium speed for 3 minutes. This is important!

Pour batter into the cake pans.

With a rubber (or silicone) spatula, start at the center and turning the pans, spread the batter out toward the edges so the level is slightly lower in the center.

Bake for 50 minutes, test with a cake tester, if it still appears moist, bake an additional 5-10 minutes.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

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I used the Cakeman Raven recipe as well.

But please someone give more info on the beet juice. Can I just juice a beet and use that? Won't the flavor be strong? Or should I use dianalane's suggestion to cook the beets first?

hm...I wonder how the liquid in canned beets would work....you'd need to cut the vinegar then, no?

eta: I'm eating a piece now, and it's really an amazingly delicious cake. Even better than the version at Billy's Bakery which is where I got hooked on the thing in the first place. I just want to make it look as pretty.


Edited by lia (log)

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