Friday, April 17, 2009

Is Pink the New Red?

Earlier this week, my husband notified me that one of his coworkers was having a birthday (one that divides evenly into 100 only a few times). And would I pretty please make her a cake. Well, as you know, we've been a little obsessed with the Red Velvet cupcakes from Sweet Cakes lately. Hmmm...maybe I could make my own.

One of my friends had offered m the recipe she uses for those luscious gems, so I went straight to her in email to find that recipe. Unfortunately, I didn't factor in the mom/3 kids thing and therefore didn't get the recipe until the next day---reasonable enough for those who plan ahead, but not for a last-minuter like me.

So while I waited, I checked out all my baking cookbooks from the gigantic "Baking" (Dorie Greenspan) to "The Art of Fine Baking" (Paula Peck) to various recipe compilations from church ladies my grandma used to know (there is some very interesting stuff in these books like "Scripture Cake"...but that could be a whole series of future posts!).

Would you believe that none of those books lists a Red Velvet Cake recipe??? I couldn't believe it! So, I went with a slightly likelier source...

Paula Deen.

I know, I know, commercial celebrity chefdom...I get it. But if anyone makes a good Southern R.V.C., it's gotta be the "add more butter" queen, right? Considering that it is probably copyrighted, I'll just post the link...Red Velvet Cupckaes with Cream Cheese Frosting.

But let's just talk about the frosting for a second.

1 pound cream cheese
2 sticks of butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners' sugar

This is the best part of any cupcake, I don't care how good the cake is...cream cheese frosting is what it is all about. The recipe makes 24 cupcakes, but this is enough icing for double that.

I stashed the extra frosting in my fridge, loathe to toss that much goodness. And besides, it was organic cream cheese. That stuff isn't cheap!

The cupcakes were a smash hit, I was told. The birthday girl got to take some home for her family and fiance. And not a crumb was left in the dish.

So what was I to do with all that deliciously creamy, sweet and tangy frosting? Well, besides dipping various things in it, I mean? The only thing to do was to make more cupcakes, of course!

Unfortunately, I was out of red food coloring. Would they taste as good if they were just regularly tan? Probably not. But I did have some Wilton Rose Pink in the cupboard. Maybe if I put enough of that concentrated color in, they would be red or at least deep pink.

They were definitely pink, but not like hot pink. Kind of brownish pink after they baked. Not quite as sinful-looking as Red Velvet is supposed to be. Part of what I love about this cake is it's elegant striking color (also my favorite color). Maybe brownish pink is the new red, at least for Spring.

"Lady in Brownish Pink, is dancing with me..."

No, I guess not.

But they were tasty.


Nurit "1 family. friendly. food." said...

Not related to this specific post... I loved watching the videos. was wowed by that pasta making with the kids. You have so much patience. And was surprised to hear an Israeli song in Hebrew (chicken video)!

julie jams said...

I'm glad you liked the videos, Nurit! I've got to make another one soon. It's been too long. The song in Hebrew was by Yael Naim.

Gretchen said...

Ha! I can just hear Paula Deen's voice..."2 sticks of butter, 1 lb of cream cheese..." mmm. good!
You know you have to go southern for a good red velvet cake!

Kate said...

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! You are absolutely right about the frosting! By far the best part of a cupcake..and yours topped all others! Finger-licking good! Thanks for the great party cakes! I had a super fun time!

-the birthday girl :)

julie jams said...

Well, I'm certainly glad I pleased the birthday girl! You're welcome. Seeing happy people makes it worth it for sure.

Shannon - said...

the frosting is totally the best part. I always say.. cake is a vehicle to serve frosting ;)

looks delish!

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