The Southern Belle

The Red Velvet gained popularity a couple of years ago and had since become 'everyone's favourite' flavour especially for cupcakes. However, I have yet to see it popularised as a whole cake here, as it is originally in the US. You know, with cream cheese frosting layered between the cake. But then again, the term 'original' is loosely used here. The Red Velvet is actually Devil's Food Cake and the reddish hue was simply a reaction between 2 ingredients - buttermilk and cocoa. Over the years, the urbane Red Velvet has evolved with many version of recipes. To the point where some recipes basically called for a chocolate cake recipe + plenty of red food colouring!

Now, I have not tasted a true Southern Red Velvet but I do know that the core ingredients for this cake must be buttermilk (not simply vinegar + milk) and good cocoa. I've been fooling around with recipes after recipes attempting to find the distinct flavour of Red Velvet...that isn't completely chocolatey (I don't see the point of chocolate cake in red except for esthetic purposes..). Sadly, I still have not found anything unique about this cake.

The Red Velvet recipe I've been tinkering with, is so far based on a lighter cake to accomodate the rich cream cheese frosting. I use buttermilk (which supermarkets hardly stock up and awfully expensive!), Dutch cocoa, tiny amount of red colouring, lighter ratio of wheat flour (less gluten) and vegetable oil. The result is a light and slightly sour cake base. The killer of course, is the pure cream cheese frosting to go with the cake. I don't see how any other frosting can add as much depth as the cream cheese can with this otherwise 'ordinary' cake!

I may be missing something and I do hope to find that lightbulb moment with the Red Velvet one day ;-).

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