Thursday, May 13, 2010

She Made Red Velvet... Cake, that is...

This past Sunday, we celebrated Mother's Day with a nice dinner for my Mom and Grandma Jane.

The menu included ham loaf, scalloped potatoes (my first time making them!), broccoli salad and black cherry "Waldorf" Jello® salad (from vintage Joys of Jello® recipe book). My Grandma Jane usually made a gelatin salad of some sort for family dinners and she always made a couple individual dishes of plain Jello® for us fussy kids. I carried on the tradition by serving a bowl of plain gelatin too.

For dessert, I wanted to make something a little different, so I browsed my vintage cookbooks for inspiration. Then I learned that it's better not to browse desserts - they all sound too yummy and it becomes nearly impossible to decide ;) After much consideration, I finally narrowed the choices down to Orange Sunshine Cake (which I've made before) or Red Velvet Cake (which I had not made before)....

Red Velvet Cake was the winner!

And I think my Grandma Elverna (pictured here with my Dad many years ago) would have enjoyed it, since her favorite color was... Red! :)

The recipe I used came from a Pennsylvania State Grange Cookbook that was my Grandma Jane's, so it seemed particularly appropriate. For frosting, I used a basic butter cream frosting, tinted pink.

Red Velvet Cake Recipe

1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 oz. red food coloring
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon vinegar

Cream until light the shortening, sugar, and eggs. Sift the flour, cocoa, and salt, three times. Add this alternately with the buttermilk, and the red food coloring. Beat well. Then add the baking soda and vinegar. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Now, in writing up my grocery list, I neglected to note the amount of red food coloring needed for the cake. So when gathering the ingredients to start baking, I realized I was short by 1 1/2 ounces. My dearest was a bit dubious that so much red was required, but a quick Google search of Red Velvet Cake recipes indicated that, indeed, 2 ounces was the usual amount. I won't repeat what my dearest said about the, er, results of ingesting that much red dye. Then, we were off to Marty's Market, the little grocery store in our tiny town, fervently hoping that we'd find food coloring there. Thankfully, Marty had ONE box of liquid food coloring!

One of the two red velvet layers and a big ol' mixing bowl of pink butter cream frosting.

Somehow I forgot to take a picture of the cake once it was frosted, and before it was served :( But I think it turned out well, since there was less than a quarter of the cake left...

Now, I want to make a Blue Velvet Cake... hmm, Father's Day is coming up, isn't it? ;)


Stefanie Valentine said...

Mmmm, that looks lovely, i may have to try and make it at some point!

Zootsuitmama said...

I love your story about your mom and grandma, the recipes, EVERYTHING, It really made me feel like I was right there in your cozy lil kitchen! Zootsuitmama

Kim @ The Girl Can't Help It said...

It looks so delish! And I love the family backstory! xo

Anastasia said...

i love red velvet cake.