A Red Velvet Evening
|February 5, 2012||Filled under Cakes, Desserts, Party|
Last night I allowed myself to be completely swept away. There was dancing and singing. There were voices from the past encouraging and teaching as I strolled the street of another time. I was whisking and spinning around the kitchen to the tisking of the Big Band top hat while Ella Fitzgerald crooned.
I donned my Grandmother Glasgow’s apron, a garment from the 50’s with stains from meals prepared by the woman whose name I bear but never knew. In my hand are the old and treasured recipes for Mema’s Red Velvet Cake & Vanilla Custard Icing. This cake and accompanying icing is the pinnacle of all desserts from my childhood.
Ella sang to me as I used my big Kitchen Aide mixer; “Blue skies smilin’ at me; Nothin’ but blue skies do I see; Bluebirds singin’ a song; Nothin’ but bluebirds all day long; Never saw the sun shinin’ so bright; Never saw things goin’ so right; Noticing the days hurrying by; When you’re in love, my how they fly.” A little sugar, a little red food coloring, a little more red food coloring.
My husband and children peeked skeptically into the kitchen at the unusual scene. I must have appeared completely absorbed because they dared not enter or disturb the unlocking of a time capsule.
Despite failed attempts in the past, the end result was wonderful. I went with cupcakes for Valentine’s Day – a great gift for children’s teachers, co-workers and friends. The red and white color scheme is perfect and the flavor of the cake and icing are very unique. Add some sprinkles for pizzazz.
Red Velvet Cake Ingredients:
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tbs unsweetened cocoa
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 oz red food coloring
Putting the Cake Together:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Dissolve baking soda in vinegar in a small bowl; set asside.
- Cream shortening, add sugar and beat well with mixer.
- Add eggs one at a time, beating well.
- Beat in baking soda mixture.
- In another mixing bowl whisk together flour, cocoa and salt.
- In a separate mixing bowl mix together buttermilk, vanilla and food coloring.
- Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture; beginning and ending with flour mixture.
- Pour batter into 2 greased 9 inch round pans OR 2 muffin pans (24 cupcakes) lined with cupcake liners.
- For cake pans: bake 25-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
- For cupcakes: bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool in pans 10 minutes then remove from pans onto wire racks to cool completely.
Vanilla Custard Icing Ingredients:
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup flour
- dash salt
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Putting the Icing Together:
- Combine milk, flour and salt in a small saucepan and stir until blended and smooth with a whisk.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and cool completely.
- Cream shortening and butter in mixer.
- Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth.
- Beat in cooled milk mixture, scraping sides once.
- Spread onto cooled cakes or cupcakes.