I’ve been contemplating this for about a week now and still can’t figure it out. WHERE the heck did the velvet in the Red Velvet come from?? Why Red Velvet? It doesn’t strike me as a particularly closely woven fabric of silk, cotton, or nylon. Nor does it really resemble anything remotely Velvet-esque at all. And why red? I think we can all agree that while velvet isn’t that alluring to begin with, RED wouldn’t be the palate to promote it with. The worst yet? It’s made with cocoa powder, but by no means can it pass as chocolate cake. Could it be a ploy to drive sales in the textile industry? And what’s with everyone-and-their-brother LOVING red velvet all of a sudden? Sigh, So many unanswered questions; chalk it up to one of life’s great mysteries.
Oh, speaking of brothers, Happy Birthday to my very own! (If you’re still not clear, it was he who selected this infamously colored baked good). Anyways, back to the point, I had to go about making a red velvet birthday cake, while stifling my fears of intense amounts of red food coloring, and redirecting some odd requests for fillings. I’m sorry but I couldn’t bring myself to fill a kinda-sorta-chocolate-cake with RUM infused chocolate mousse. Both of these things individually, I am quite fond of. Rum? CHECK. Chocolate/Chocolate mousse? DOUBLE CHECK. Together? Thank-you-very-kindly-but-no-way-José!
For the cake as well as the Cream Cheese Frosting, I happened upon Bakerella’s awesome blog and used her recipes. Everything came out delicious and the cake was incredibly moist! (*TypeABaker changes: I only used 1 tablespoon of red food coloring, and cut out a 1/4 cup of oil).
Instead of the mousse, I tried for a texture change by adding chocolate chips in the middle. This probably raises a couple very pertinent questions: Yes they were dark chocolate, and no, I don’t think it ruined it. Honestly though, I would do it again but instead use mini chocolate chips.
On those cake shows, they always talk about their “crumb coat” frosting layer (YES, I DO watch those shows. I know, it’s a bit cliché). I’ll let you in on a little secret; they’re on to something. Especially with such a light color icing and a “vibrant” color cake, this will ensure that you frosting doesn’t have any of those incredibly irksome cake bits showing. Does that bother anyone else aside from me? PLEASE say yes, no? Okay, moving right along then…
For the final product, or ‘ready to wear’ if you will, (yea, over here; still joking about the textile industry and red ‘velvet’… giggle if you want) I dyed leftover icing with red food coloring and wrote a typical ‘Happy Birthday’ and called it a day. Important disclaimer: maybe, instead of attempting to dye the icing RED for your brother and having it turn out pink, go with a more manly color, for example, anything else. But, hey that’s just a suggestion.
It wasn’t the most pretty cake or dessert I’ve ever made, or even recently made, but it was delicious. Sometime, I really get caught up in this blogging and picture taking process, it’s hard to remember that the whole point is taste, that beauty is a happy accident. It feels like a let down, at least when blogging photos, if it’s not a masterpiece work of art, I’m so silly like that sometimes.
Get ready for some very fun thanksgiving posts! Happy eating everybody!
And, in the words of a VERY wise woman – “bon appetite!” – Julia Child