Sunday, August 26, 2012

I dislike red velvet.

There, I said it. I find that darling of the cake world, red velvet, vastly overrated and a little bit perturbing. Maybe it's because the first time I ever recall having it was at summer camp (an incredibly traumatic experience. I cried every day until they let me leave early.), where red velvet was talked up beyond belief but turned to taste just like a dried out grocery store sheet cake that happened to be red. Maybe it's because there's too much cocoa in it to taste like a yellow cake but not enough for me to consider it chocolate cake. Or maybe it's the food coloring. 

I am inherently suspicious of too much artificial food coloring. Especially red. Probably because as recently as 1982, scientists discovered that certain food dyes cause cancer and other health problems. I mean, it's worrisome to me that it's taken us until red dye #40 to find something that's safe, and it's still been known to cause allergic reactions in some people. The almost fluorescent quality of red velvet batter invoked this perverse fascination in me.

Sorry for being so negative! It's not going to kill you to have some red velvet cake once in a while. And I'm not the kind of baker who will refuse to make someone's absolute favorite just because it's not something I enjoy very much. Just to make sure I wasn't going to be feeding anyone poison, I tried one. It had a wonderful, slightly crunchy top and moist, but somehow airy texture. If I could find a way to harness the power of beets (next time I'm trying this recipe!) I think I might actually enjoy red velvet!

Red Velvet Cupcakes 
by McCormick

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 (1 ounce) Red Food Color
2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Set aside.
Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Mix in sour cream, milk, food color and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until just blended. Do not overbeat. Spoon batter into 30 paper-lined muffin cups, filling each cup 2/3 full.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cupcake comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack 5 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely. Frost with cream cheese frosting.

1 comment:

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