And Then There Was Red Velvet Cake…

25 Feb

So, there is something that you should know about me.

Throughout my baking career, I have made dozens of biscuits, cookies of all kinds, and just about every dessert under the sun. I make a mean cinnamon roll. One time I made a particularly delicious pumpkin + caramel apple pie (!!!) for a cook off that didn’t quite make it to the judging table because a few slices went missing while it was still on the cooling rack.

But up until last week, I had never made a red velvet cake of my very own.

I’m not sure why not. Maybe I was a little intimidated. I am here to tell you today that not only is red velvet cake delicious, it is something that anyone with an oven and a sense of culinary adventure can accomplish. All it takes is an oven and a sense of culinary adventure.

I mean, if I can do it, so can you.

I was baking for two, so I modified a few recipes that I found online so that my boyfriend and I wouldn’t face the temptation of  leftover cake for breakfast.  (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!) Since February means Valentine’s Day, and Valentine’s Day means heart-shaped everything, I decided to use two miniature heart spring form  pans (as seen here).

Red Velvet Cake for Two

Ingredients

1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups flour (most recipes call for cake flour but I just had regular ol’ flour on hand)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon vinegar
About half of one of those little bottles of red food coloring
1 teaspoon cocoa powder

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease your baking pan(s).
Blend together shortening and sugar with electric mixers – set bowl aside.
In bowl #2, mix together flour and salt – set aside.
In bowl #3, mix egg, buttermilk, vanilla, baking soda, and vinegar. – set aside.
Alternate adding the contents of bowl #2 (flour mixture) and bowl #3 (egg mixture) to the shortening mixture. Mix well.
In a small bowl, mix the red food coloring and cocoa powder. If it is too thick, add a few drops of water. Add this to the other mixture – mix until just combined. (Don’t over beat.)
Pour the batter into the cake pan(s) and bake for 20-30 minutes, depending on the pan. To check doneness, insert a toothpick. It should come out clean. DO NOT OVERBAKE. Allow to cool in pan for at least 15 minutes before removing.

A lot of red velvet cake recipes call for cream cheese frosting, but this particular recipe had me at hello.

The Self-Proclaimed Best Frosting I Ever Had (that’s what it is really called)

Ingredients

4 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup regular sugar (not powdered sugar!)

Directions

In a saucepan, whisk flour into milk and heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens.  You want this to be very thick – think brownie batter.
Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. This is important. Stir in vanilla.
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. You don’t want any sugar graininess left. Add on the cooled flour mixture.
Beat it until it all combines and resembles whipped cream. Top with these fun sprinkles. Enjoy!

Voila. I have a feeling that red velvet cake will be making an appearance in my home again sometime soon. Do you have a favorite recipe that you were originally a bit hesitant to try?

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One Response to “And Then There Was Red Velvet Cake…”

  1. District RestauRANT February 27, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

    Alright that’s it! I’m going to do it!! The only ingredient I’m missing right now is shortening, so once I get that, I’m bringing those things IN!! (I might have to time it for a Monday when I don’t have work before– or when I can run home and get the finished product(s) first… otherwise I DOUBT these delicious treats would make it out of my office door, let alone into our classroom) 😉

    Just wait though! I’m going to bring these babies IN!!

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