Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Cake So Nice...
I Made it Thrice

As a cook and a baker, one of my greatest joys is to find a realllllly good-looking recipe and then to make it and find that the resulting creation is even better than you imagined it could be!
That's what I experienced recently when I made my first-ever homemade red velvet cake.

I had only made red velvet cake before with a cake mix because, honestly, someone had requested it and I wasn't a huge fan of the flavor. When I saw a homemade recipe featured on a Bobby Flay show on the Food Network, though, I decided that it was time to try a "real" recipe and see how it turned out (because, after all, how could so many people rave about the cake and me not like it like I should?). I went online, found the recipe (from a Brooklyn baker/caterer named Cakeman Raven), and tried it. Believe me, it was absolutely delicious...and everyone who tried it said the same thing.

I made my first cake last Saturday for our party here for the first Alabama football game. Our friend, Raymond, decorated it in Bama regalia and it was gorgeous; it went SO fast that I got just one, smallish piece. Gary didn't even get a piece (he only got to scoop up a tiny piece of cake with mostly frosting, off of the cake plate) and he requested another cake soon. Good for us that Gary's sister had never gotten together with me for my birthday and still had a gift to give me. It was a built-in excuse to make another cake! And then I decided to make some cupcakes out of the recipe, as well. So...the cake was so nice that I made it--yes!--thrice!

Here is the recipe for you (which I am now proudly renaming):

Crimson Velvet Cake

(This will make a three-layer cake made with three 9-inch layer pans. It will also make a full 24 cupcakes. You could also make a 13-by-9 inch cake, if you don't like dealing with layers.)

Preheat oven to 350.

Begin my blending the following wet ingredients with an electric mixer: 1 cup buttermilk, 2 eggs, 1 tsp. white distilled vinegar, 1 1/2 cups of vegetable oil, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, and 1 oz. of red food coloring (this is an entire bottle of food coloring; the first time I made it, it seemed like too much so I only used about a fourth of the bottle. The second time I used almost the entire bottle. I liked the redder color, but do how you'd like!). Mix on medium speed until it's well incorporated.

In the meantime, sift together the following dry ingredients: 2 1/2 cups flour (the original recipe said "cake flour," but I used all-purpose flour and it did just fine), 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. salt, and 1 tbsp. cocoa powder (the original recipe said just 1 tsp of cocoa powder,but I wanted it to have more of a "chocolatey" flavor; again, do it to your taste!).
Now slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, still in the mixing bowl. Mix together by increments, until it's well blended.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes (do not overcook; you want it to be moist!).

Once the cake or cupcakes are cool, frost with one of my two favorite frostings of all time (the other being simple, but delicious buttercream!):

Cream Cheese Frosting: Mix together one large block cream cheese (softened) and one stick butter (softened) in a mixing bowl. Once they are mixed well, add a capful of vanilla extract and a tsp of milk. Slowly add in a box of confectionery sugar, blending between add-ins. (I'm drooling just typing that in!)

The final step is really quite simple...dig in and ENJOY!!

I now see why Red Velvet Cake (now known forevermore as Crimson Velvet Cake) is such a Southern favorite. It's now up there with Italian Cream Cheese Cake and simple Devil's Food Cake as a favorite...and I think I now realize that the buttermilk and vinegar (which seems so odd to begin with) is what makes it so delicious. If you've never tried one before, you gotta do yourself a favor and make this for you and anyone you love dearly.

Have a wonderfully delicious day!


Stephenie said...

Let me just tell you. Red...Ehm...CRIMSON velvet cake is my ABSOLUTE favorite cake ever. Always has been. And yours was the best I've ever had!! Homemade anything is amazing haha

Kathy said...

OMG! That looks SO GOOD! Now, I want cake! LOL!

Anonymous said...

Not much to say there, but: YUMM-O!!!!!!!!!!


Daisy said...

I can't wait to try this recipe!!! :-)

Cheryl Wray said...

Steph--It WAS good, wasn't it? Mmmm. (I had a piece of the third cake not long ago! LOL)

Kathy--Go get you some! :-)


Daisy--I hope you like it!

hippo chick said...

I couldn't button my pants (which I've not worn all summer) tonight. I think this cake (though I'll copy the recipe) will have to wait. UGH!!!

~hippo hugs~

Phats said...

How about if Purdue beats Alabama in basketball this year you have to make some wonderful dessert that will hold and mail it to me :) hahaha you tempt me with these man they look great and desserts are my weakness

Picks are up, I think you'll like my Bama pick alot better this week

Gin said...

The cake is beautiful and looks delicious, Cheryl. I may really have to try this one out.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Edleen said...

oh my gosh! Cheryl...if only you're my neighbour..hehe

hope you're having a fun weekend!

Leah said...

Can I get a ROLL TIDE!!
Great looking cake!

Andy said...

i love red velvet cake. it looks yummy even though i'm not an alabama fan. :)
you asked about seeing the tutu's. i'm going to try and post a pic of my latest one tomorrow but if you look at my side bar on my blog it will link you to my etsy and that is where i sell them. you can see some of them there and then you can always request colors and all. some maroon and gray and white action for roll tide for football season. :)

CrAzY Working Mom said...

OMG, I ♥ red velvet cake! This looks amazing. I want some...

Gretchen said...

That has me drooling right here.

Adrienne said...

You know red velvet is one of my favorites!! YUMMMMMY!

Deborah said...

I just can't get past all that red food coloring. Maybe I'll try it without and just call it an albino velvet cake?