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Red Velvet Cake

A rich, moist, sweet cake with a dark red, bright red or red-brown color.

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Trial and Error with Red Food Coloring...

  • Mar 16, 2010
  • by
In the last week I have made no less than three four red velvet cake recipes with three different frostings and two moms (one biological, one in-law). 

The main thought that I leave you with after my experiements is that red food coloring is weird and should be eaten in moderation whenever possible...

That said, Red Velvet Cake is a delicious flavor and a wonderment of science.  Technically, it is a sort of very light tangy chocolate.  You might not have been able to place it exactly... chalk it up to the red food coloring...  The tangyness comes from a reaction between the cocoa powder and the baking soda/vinegar combination.  Truly traditional recipes also call for buttermilk, which make the cake even richer. 

Traditional frostings also vary - the most popular being cream cheese and butter cream. HOWEVER, the truly traditional frosting for Red Velvet is a very old fashioned whipped frosting made with flour, milk and regular sugar.  It is weird to make the first time, but i LOVE it.  It whips up light as air.  

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More Red Velvet Cake reviews
review by . December 15, 2008
Red Velvet Cupcake
Yes, as my headline states, red velvet cakes are indeed, LOVE.  Whenever I happen to be passing by a bakery, I never pass up the opportunity to get a cupcake one.  I've also been known to drive miles out of the way to pick up one of these babies; they're just that good!      The red velvet not only has a gorgeous name, but if made right, has a gorgeous color and texture, not to mention amazing taste and richness.  My favorite frosting to go with it is definitely …
Quick Tip by . May 29, 2010
Don't bother snagging one of those normal frosting varieties; cream cheese frosting or BUST! It really does make or break the experience...
Quick Tip by . September 02, 2009
Red velvets are my favorite cupcakes of all. Will definitely be my wedding cake. The frosting must be SUPER cream cheesy!
review by . December 16, 2008
The best thing about red velvet cupcakes is undoubtably the cream cheese frosting.  I first had red velvet cupcakes at a friend's wedding this summer...I just found out they're now filing for divorce, which is awful....but I don't blame the cupcakes.  
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Member Since: Oct 21, 2009
Last Login: May 22, 2010 02:13 AM UTC
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About this food


 Red velvet cake is a rich, moist, sweet cake with a dark red, bright red or red-brown color. It is usually prepared as a layer cake somewhere between chocolate and vanilla in flavor, topped with a creamy white icing. Common ingredients are buttermilk, butter, flour, cocoa, and either beets or red food coloring. The amount of cocoa used varies in different recipes. A typical frosting is a butter roux (also known as a cooked flour frosting). Cream cheese or buttercream frostings are also used.

James Beard's 1972 reference American Cookery describes three red velvet cakes varying in the amounts of shortening and butter. All use red food coloring, but the reaction of acidic vinegar and buttermilk tends to better reveal the red anthocyanin in the cocoa. Before more alkaline "Dutch Processed" cocoa was widely available, the red color would have been more pronounced. This natural tinting may have been the source for the name "Red Velvet" as well as "Devil's Food" and similar names for chocolate cakes.

While foods were rationed during World War II, bakers used boiled beets to enhance the color of their cakes. Boiled grated beets or beet baby food are found in some red velvet cake recipes, where they also serve to retain moisture.

A red velvet cake was a signature dessert at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City during the 1920s. According to a ...

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