Monday, August 6, 2007

Teaghan's Favourite Cake: Recipe File Memories

Oh, you know this cake. Maybe not my version, but you know this cake well. For one thing, it was featured in the film Steel Magnolias. For another, the wonderful Daring Bakers out there have featured it in a variety of forms! Thirdly, you can get 3,140,000 responses just by Googling the words red velvet. If you have never tasted this amazing creation, try it!!! It is easily one of the best chocolate cakes I've ever had or made!

Legend in the USA has it that the recipe for red velvet cake originated in New York's Waldorf Astoria hotel. It's the cake equivalent of the ubiquitous Neiman Marcus cookie. Today, the Red Velvet Cakes most of us know are coloured with artificial food colouring or beet juice. However in history (according to James Beard) the reaction of the buttermilk and vinegar (acids) tends to turn the regular (not Dutch) cocoa a reddish brown color. This natural tinting may have been the source for the name "Red Velvet"!

Up here in Canada, where we are, Red Velvet Cake was (apparently) offered at Eatons (which is now long gone so I can't check).

This is my younger sister's all-time favourite cake: she's asked for it for birthdays, Christmases, other people's birthdays, and we even made it as a second serving cake for my grandparent's 50th wedding anniversary! She doesn't know it's low-fat, low-sugar or whole-grain, either! She insists on tub chocolate icing, though I prefer nothing more than a little cocoa powder and icing sugar sifed over top, or sometimes cream cheese frosting.


Teaghan's Red Velvet Cake (heavily modified from a TV Guide recipe)
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c sugar
1/2 c Splenda
1/4 c shortening
1/4 c thick prune puree (or apple butter, but not sauce)
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp red food colouring
1 Tbsp water
3 tbsp cocoa
1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1 c whole-wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 c buttermilk
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease / flour either two round 9" cake pans or one large (9x13") pan.
  2. Cream sugars, Splenda, shortening, and prune puree.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla, beat well.
  4. Make a paste of the food colouring, water and cocoa powder, add to above mixture.
  5. Mix flours and salt.
  6. Add dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk to the creamed mixture.
  7. Mix vinegar and baking soda to combine well (it will foam, if it doesn't, you need new baking soda!).
  8. Add to the batter and blend well.
  9. Pour into prepared pan(s).
  10. Bake 30 minutes (for 9" pans), test for doneness.

1 comment :

Valli said...

I have seen and heard of this legendary cake but have never had the pleasure of trying it. If I still lived in Oshawa I'm sure you would invite me over for some. I will have to try it.