Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The mystery of red velvet.

I have a confession to make... I had never experienced red velvet cake until just a few days ago.

As a baking fanatic, this is something I am truly ashamed of. But I just couldn't understand what the big deal was... So what? Someone dyed cake red. Crazier things have happened.
How wrong I was.

I couldn't describe the flavor, even after analyzing an entire cupcake, bite by bite. It wasn't chocolaty, but there was a hint of something more than just vanilla...

This cake baffled me; so I've done some research.
As it turns out, my initial reactions when trying to determine the flavor weren't too far off... (I'm impressed with my own enhancing palate and need to take this moment to gloat.) Wikipedia describes it as "a rich, moist, sweet cake with a dark red, bright red or red-brown color. It is usually prepared as a layer cake somewhere between chocolate and vanilla in flavor, topped with a creamy white icing." You really can't go wrong with that.
Fun fact (also learned from Wikipedia): the cake originally obtained it's red color because of the type and amount of coco used in the recipe. When more contemporary cocos stopped enhancing the color, bakers used beets to add some bold red color to the mix as well as moisture. Now red food dye is the simplest solution.
As interesting as that is, isn't it slightly disappointing that the red color no longer has anything to do with the cake's composition or flavor?

Oh well, it's still delicious!

XX bakey love

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