Sunday, 10 November 2013

Red Velvet Cake

... a miracle in my new kitchen ... I always have parchment paper ...
I am not a cake maker.

I do have a few tried and tested cake recipes, all of which are presented in a 9 x 13 pan: carrot cake, a quick “hot water” chocolate cake, a zucchini cake, and there you have it.

Three-quarters of the time my cakes don’t even get iced. I don’t know if brownies qualifies as cake, but I can bake them in a 9 x 13 pan as well, so now you know it – I can do four cakes.

... 2 tbsp cocoa (not Dutch) and 2 tbsp red food colouring ...
And I only have one icing. Cream cheese.

I can remember a broiled icing my mother used to do: cream, nuts, cocoanut, brown sugar, dissolved, then spread on a cake and broiled until toasted – brickle-like.

But I haven’t thrown that together for what seems like 1000 years.

... following the recipe step by step ...
columns on the other side of the page now have red food dye on them
My Cooks Illustrated Comfort Foods magazine that I bought at the supermarket has a recipe for Red Velvet Cake. For entertainment I read the articles (as opposed to make the products), and this recipe struck a chord from the past. I could remember making this cake many years ago. But this recipe went off of my radar when I read the red food colouring might not be the healthiest choice for my family.

Bonnie asked me to make a cake for her friend’s birthday. Why not retry Red Velvet? I am trying to comply with her requests for help while I am here. I put in the thinking time about how to make this cake,... and then Bonnie cancelled her request. Too late for me. I had the red food colouring, I had the buttermilk, I had the cream cheese for the icing and I couldn’t be stopped, even if she no longer wanted that job done.

... colour looks good for Xmas or Valentines Day or ... any other day
On beginning, I laughed at the method for making the cake. “This cake can be made in 10 minutes.” Yes, if you have thought ahead 2 hours to get the butter out of the fridge so that it is soften, if you have put together the dry ingredients in one pan, the wet ones in another, and figured out which of the 2 cans of cocoa you are to use, since the recipe specifically warns the cook about the dangers of using Dutch cocoa – the kind I bought the last time I was at Costco.

... cool ten minutes in pans and 2 hours on a rack ...
Not being a cake maker, I didn’t even know if I could find two round 9 inch cake pans to make the double layers in. That search ended when I found some unused ones stacked among my pie plates – unused meaning, I bought them last year in the hopes that having a set of pans would inspire me to make wonderful cakes. I promptly forgot I had the equipment.

Do these problems happen in every kitchen? Or just mine.

 ... ask for the icing recipe AFTER you have eaten a piece ...
I am notorious for thinking I have ingredients, when in reality the jar I am wanting to use is back in the kitchen in Calgary. That happened yesterday – the whole Indian Butter Chicken finished when I discovered – mmm, that Patak’s jar is not in these kitchen cupboards afterall. Improvisation only goes so far and takes away some of the bloom of happiness that should accompany cooking. On the other hand, there is a certain challenge in overcoming unexpected kitchen surprises.

... decorate with the last of the fresh raspberries from lot #3 ...
ever bearing means raspberries are still going strong on Nov 10th
This cake went from beginning to completion with no hitches.
So here you have it, Red Velvet Cake, the pictures of which are coming from a Shuswap kitchen to this blog.

Wish you were here to have a piece.


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