Velvet Cake & Christmas

Red Velvet cake is a simple food cake known for its vivacious color. It is traditionally a red, red-brown, "mahogany", "maroon", colored non-dutched Cocoa, layer cake, layered with white cream cheese icing or Ermine frosting. It has a distinctive fluffy texture owing to the gas-producing reaction of alkaline buttermilk with acidic vinegar and acidic non-alkalized cocoa. The cake is normally served on Christmas or Valentine's Day.
HISTORY OF VELVET CAKE
The first velvet cake was born in the 1800s, during a time when American cooks were perfecting their cake recipes. It was referred to a tender, moist, and smooth texture. Using cocoa, almond flour or cornstarch to break down the protein in flour, a finer textured cake emerged – dubbed velvet cake. Controversy over the ideal color of the cake is still debated: some believe it’s caused by a chemical reaction between the acid and cocoa, while others blame the brown sugar, formally named red sugar. In this vein, the “Velvet Cake” in the August 1871 issue of The New Dominion Monthly and identical recipe in the November 1871 issue of Ballou’s Monthly Magazine (Boston) was a lemon extract-flavored butter cake loaf. A “Brown Velvet Chocolate Cake” without a drop of food coloring was popularized in the 1940s.
STEP-BY-STEP WAYS OF MAKING VELVET CAKES
RECIPE INGREDIENTS
• 1/2 cup shortening
• 1 1/2 cups white sugar
• 2 eggs
• 2 tablespoons cocoa
• 4 tablespoons red food coloring
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 cup buttermilk
• 2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
• 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
• 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
ICING:
• 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1 cup milk
• 1 cup white sugar
• 1 cup butter, room temperature
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• Add all ingredients to list
DIRECTIONS
• First, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease two 9-inch round pans.
• In a large bowl, beat the shortening and sugar until its light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
• Next, make a paste of cocoa and red food coloring; add to creamed mixture. Mix salt, buttermilk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla, together. Add the flour to the batter, substituting with the buttermilk mixture. Mix just until its incorporated. Mix vinegar, soda and gently fold into cake batter. Don't beat or stir the batter after this point.
• Pour batter into already prepared pans. Start baking in preheated oven until a tester inserted into the cake comes out clean. This should take about 30 minutes. Cool cake completely on wire rack.
• Making of Icing: Cook 5 tablespoons flour and milk over low heat till thick, stirring regularly. Allow to cool completely! While the mixture is cooling, beat 1 cup sugar, butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla until light and fluffy. Add cooled flour mixture and beat until icing spreads. Frost cake layers when completely cool.
Lastly, Christmas celebration is deemed incomplete without a yummy and delicious traditional red velvet cake. The reason is the color red is associated with Christmas which stands for love. By eating red velvet cakes, families and loved ones are brought together. Surely these recipes make your Christmas celebration very tasty and delicious.


2 comments

  • I am a huge fan of cakes but I never heard about Red Velvet cake until about ten years ago and only recently tried it. It is a tasty cake but sadly, not many people make it around where I live. I think it’s more of a Southern recipe (thankfully I have a couple friends from the South so they know how to make it). I never knew about the cake’s American origins or the chemistry involved. I enjoy learning about the chemical processes involved in cooking so this article was informative. Thanks for posting the recipe because I definitely want to try making it myself.

    Michael Rickard
  • I’ve never tasted the velvet cake before, but it looks like what anyone would love to taste. Thanks for sharing the list of ingredients and procedure on how to make it. Perhaps, I’ll try it out this Christmas with my family.

    Caroline

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