Thursday, August 5, 2010

Red White and Velvet All Over

I was recently asked to provide trivia assistance via text message. The question was if there was cream cheese in red velvet cake. There isn't, of course, unless it's in the frosting (not mine).

This got me thinking. I hadn't realized it before, but I've made red velvet cake for the 4th of July every year I've been in Seattle for fireworks. I've made it all red with blue and white frosting and I've made red and blue cake with white frosting. Last year I even made red cake with cool whip frosting and blueberry pie filling (potentially the prettiest of them all because there weren't red crumbs all over in the frosting).

This year I branched out and tried something new -- Stars! I usually go with the traditional 9" rounds, but this year I received a star baking mold for my birthday.  This brought a whole new twist to frosting the dang things.

I decided to stack them into sandwiches and frost them like they were minirounds. I used my plain old white "Red Velvet Cake Frosting" that is my default frosting for pretty much anything, and died a bit blue to use as a filling and for accenting the tops. Unfortunately, they were eaten before I could take pictures of the final product. I guess that means they were good. I certainly liked them. I may have eaten more than my fair share....

Red Velvet Cake
From my mom's recipe box

1 cup shortening
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp cocoa
2 oz red food coloring (one 1oz container, emptied and refilled with water or vodka works just as well for a red color, just less dark and chocolately)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk*
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 tsp soda
1 1/2 tsp vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour two 9" layer pans.  Cream shortening, sugar and eggs.  In separate bowl, make a paste with cocoa and food coloring.  Add to cream mixture. Add salt and vanilla to buttermilk and add alternately with the flour to the cream mixture.  In separate bowl, mix soda and vinegar.  Fold into cake mixture.  Do not beat! Bake in layer pans for 30 minutes.

*If you don't want to go buy a carton of buttermilk, you can add 1tsp lemon or vinegar to 1 cup of milk.  Let it sit for a few minutes before using.  Or, as I have done recently, you can use powdered buttermilk. Just make sure you don't mix it first. Always put the powder with the flour mixture and use the water in the place of the buttermilk with the salt and vanilla.

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