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Fay Jai

Red Velvet Cake

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Red Velvet Cake was featured in "Steel Magnolias"? I didn't notice, but that was most likely because Red Velvet Cake's been a favorite in these parts (and every other place in the southeast that I've lived) as long as I can remember.

Red Velvet Cake's one of my very favorites: moist, nice sweet/sour balance. Cream cheese frosting crucial.

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Red Velvet Cake was featured in "Steel Magnolias"? I didn't notice, but that was most likely because Red Velvet Cake's been a favorite in these parts (and every other place in the southeast that I've lived) as long as I can remember.

Yup! It's the groom's cake at Shelby's wedding (says the self-proclaimed Steel Magnolias addict - nothing better for a good cry).

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Maybe in some parts of the country. I'd never even heard of Red Velvet cake until I started reading internet food message boards, and I never once saw one at a bake sale, potluck or dinner in the 60's or 70's. I still have never seen one in person.

I haven't seen it in Vancouver either, and I didn't hear of it until I started reading internet food boards a few years ago.

I'm interested in trying it, though, as I've never eaten it before. I have some grenadine syrup...could I sub it 1:1 for the red food coloring and lower the sugar in the recipe to compensate? Or would that affect the taste of the cake too much?

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I thought I could work my way around the food coloring with beets but despite using raw grated and canned (depending on the various "healthy" recipes I tried) the finished product never had the red tinge that I thought a Red Velvet Cake should have.

Too bad. I like the idea of this retro cake but not with the dye. Just the thought of using maraschino cherries or grenadine - both of which are overly sweet and loaded with colorant makes me queasy.

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Really...so grenadine is basically just red food colouring? I guess I can just leave the red colouring out then, and add 2 oz. of liquid (like water?)

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Really...so grenadine is basically just red food colouring? I guess I can just leave the red colouring out then, and add 2 oz. of liquid (like water?)

Just what I was thinking! I have Jaymes's recipe bookmarked, but the food coloring scares me, so I've not made it yet.

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Really...so grenadine is basically just red food colouring? I guess I can just leave the red colouring out then, and add 2 oz. of liquid (like water?)

Grenadine is (usually) pomegranate syrup and gets its red color and tart flavor from pomegranate (though of course commercial products may have added food coloring). Using grenadine would add sugar and pomegranate flavor to the cake.

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As someone else here said, the food coloring on the market today is quite safe, but even if you're still a little put off by the idea of it, the fact is that the recipe makes a fairly large two-layer cake.

I'm not sure how many servings that is, but it's a lot, unless you're with a pretty piggy group. Good recipes for this cake are rich and moist and with the cream cheese icing, you don't need a lot.

So in my recipe, that's 1 oz of red food coloring for something that probably feeds between 12-20 people. When you divide 1 oz of something into even 12 portions, you're not really getting that much of it.

Especially considering that it's something you would never eat every day, I can't think it's harmful in any way.

If you read the lables on prepared foods, colorant shows up often, as in: "natural colors and flavorings." Jell-O doesn't seem to be having any trouble selling its products. And look at all those people that stand around guzzling cokes day in and day out. I'm not a fan of sodas, and don't have one here to check, but it seems to me that I've read the labels on them before and they all have some sort of "caramel color" that makes them that dark brown. I think "caramel color" is different from just saying "caramel."

Although it's true that I don't make it several times a month, as I did during the big Red Velvet heyday, I do make Red Velvet Cake for special occasions two or three times a year. I think it's impossible that I'm harming anyone.

Zeroing in on this one thing seems to me to be just silly.


Edited by Jaymes (log)

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As someone else here said, the food coloring on the market today is quite safe...

So in my recipe, that's 1 oz of red food coloring for something that probably feeds between 12-20 people.  When you divide 1 oz of something into even 12 portions, you're not really getting that much of it...

I can't think it's harmful in any way...

I think it's impossible that I'm harming anyone...

Zeroing in on this one thing seems to me to be just silly.

Well, that's another reason why I'm not a fan of the red velvet. Red food coloring can certainly be immediately harmful to hyperactive children. Hey, it's been in chocolate cake mix for example, bar-b-q chips, cheese products etc.. So those kids are problems anyway, but oh my yes it does send them further sky rocketing into space. And there are many other very harmless food items that can be avoided that will keep some of these kids from pinging off the ceiling. About fifty percent respond well to diet changes.

However, I respectfully disagree that red food color is not harmful. I believe it is harmful. And still I use it as needed in my line of work.

Who can deny, in general, the less junk we put in there, the better off we all are? So an ocassional foray into food color land is understandable. But it certainly can be harmful sometimes, if not undetected and harmful all the time. Besides it tastes like poo.

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As someone else here said, the food coloring on the market today is quite safe...

So in my recipe, that's 1 oz of red food coloring for something that probably feeds between 12-20 people.  When you divide 1 oz of something into even 12 portions, you're not really getting that much of it...

I can't think it's harmful in any way...

I think it's impossible that I'm harming anyone...

Zeroing in on this one thing seems to me to be just silly.

Well, that's another reason why I'm not a fan of the red velvet. Red food coloring can certainly be immediately harmful to hyperactive children. Hey, it's been in chocolate cake mix, bar-b-q chips, cheese products etc.. So those kids are problems anyway, but oh my yes it does send them further sky rocketing into space. And there are many other very harmless food items that can be avoided that will keep some of these kids from pinging off the ceiling. About fifty percent respond well to diet changes.

However, I respectfully disagree that red food color is not harmful. I believe it is harmful. And still I use it as needed in my line of work.

Who can deny, in general, the less junk we put in there, the better off we all are? So an ocassional foray into food color land is understandable. But it certainly can be harmful sometimes, if not undetected and harmful all the time. Besides it tastes like poo.

Well then, if you and your children come to my home, you could certainly refuse to eat "the Devil's Cake."

:cool:

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I certainly don't want to eat anything that taste like poo. :blink:

It is one of those topics that one personally has to weigh, good for me or how hungry am I...hmmm? It is also one of those topics that ignites a field of fear and spreads like wildfire, sort of like "OMG...are these egg whites cooked in the Italian meringue buttercream? OMG...you leave butter sit out on your counter?..OMG!!!"

*sigh*

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Well then, if you and your children come to my home, you could certainly refuse to eat "the Devil's Cake."

:cool:

Naw, if I get an invite, buddy, I'm eating whatever you serve especially the home made goodies (except I'm not big on raw fish) But I'd sing a few bars if you start me off.

The kid is 6'4" now and a chef--he hated his diet--it totally worked--would still work if he stuck to it.

No, I just couldn't let all 'the food color is completely harmless' stuff pass unchecked. Didja see the part where I said I use it in my line of work?? I mean I had a girl the other day want a yellow & black scooter cake to match her work logo. I talked her into yellow and chocolate instead. Stuff like that.

What time is supper???

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Naw, if I get an invite, buddy, I'm eating whatever you serve especially the home made goodies (except I'm not big on raw fish) But I'd sing a few bars if you start me off.

The kid is 6'4" now and a chef--he hated his diet--it totally worked--would still work if he stuck to it.

No, I just couldn't let all 'the food color is completely harmless' stuff pass unchecked. Didja see the part where I said I use it in my line of work?? I mean I had a girl the other day want a yellow & black scooter cake to match her work logo. I talked her into yellow and chocolate instead. Stuff like that.

What time is supper???

I don't believe I said that "all the food color is completely harmless."

What I intended to say, and what I'm pretty sure I DID say, is that in the quantities one would eat it in Red Velvet Cake (especially given the ubiquity of food color in the American diet; not to mention the frequency with which one is likely to eat Red Velvet Cake at all), zeroing in on this one thing is silly.

And I believe that.

Supper. I'll swing by your place. You'll be able to recognize me at once. I'll be the one with the Red Velvet Cake.


Edited by Jaymes (log)

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Supper.  I'll swing by your place.  You'll be able to recognize me at once.  I'll be the one with the Red Velvet Cake.

High five :laugh:

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I made Jaymes's recipe for Red Velvet cake today. The cake is very moist with all that oil. I doubled the amount of red food coloring (might as well go all the way :wink: ) because 2 oz. seemed to be the norm for a cake of that size, and I wanted the cake to be pretty damn red. I also added an extra tablespoon of cocoa.

The cake was quite sweet for me, so I barely used any sugar for the cream cheese frosting (only about 3 tbsp for an 8 oz. pack of cream cheese and 4 oz. of butter.)

I didn't make a double layer cake because one of the layers stuck to the pan a bit and came out ugly. :sad:

gallery_7973_3014_810480.jpg

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I doubled the amount of red food coloring (might as well go all the way  :wink: ) because 2 oz. seemed to be the norm for a cake of that size, and I wanted the cake to be pretty damn red. 

:laugh:

And indeed it is.

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I'll take that as a compliment. :laugh:

Thanks for the recipe!

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So Lorna, this was your first time tasting red velvet cake - what did you think?

(don't worry - those of us with it in the blood won't be offended if you didn't like it. We'll just assume that a Canadian didn't make it properly! :raz::biggrin: Just kidding - I can only aspire to bake as well as you, I'm sure.)

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So Lorna, this was your first time tasting red velvet cake - what did you think?

(don't worry - those of us with it in the blood won't be offended if you didn't like it. We'll just assume that a Canadian didn't make it properly!  :raz:  :biggrin: Just kidding - I can only aspire to bake as well as you, I'm sure.)

Let me hasten to add that if she didn't like it, I can't be held responsible since, on her own, she chose to double the amount of "poo."

:raz:

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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 (log)

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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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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:

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

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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 (log)

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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?

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? :)

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