Conversations on this and that. A place to gather and civilly (politely, courteously) discuss current events, happenings, or just fun things to laugh about. You have the right to your own opinion, but remember ... so does everyone else. Those with nothing to add to the conversation will not be warmly welcomed.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Christmas Baking Time - A Sure Favorite and a Bit of History
Red Velvet Cake.
Now where in the world did Red Velvet Cake come from? Some say it was an invention by a chef at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel but what about the recipe's from old southern cookbooks dating back to the mid 1800's? Many a church "cook book" contained recipe's for 'Velvet Cake", some red, some silver and some gold so the origins seem to be a mystery.
Perhaps it all began when John A. Adams came along. His family-owned food colorings and extracts business had fared well since its inception in 1888. But housewives of the Great Depression had little use for his brand of frivolity and sales slumped. So he began setting up displays in groceries throughout the Midwest and parts of the South. These featured Adams Extract Company products under a huge color photo of the reddest Red Velvet cake ever seen. A free copy of the recipe (modified to include Adams Best Vanilla, Adams Butter Flavor, and two bottles of Adams Red Color) came with every purchase. In the austere climate of the day, Red Velvet became a sensation.
What started as an innocent ploy to sell some food coloring has turned into a gross game of one-upmanship as bakers vie to achieve the reddest of reds; as if redness alone defined the cake and not a fine crumb and the rich taste of cocoa and brown sugar. On the other hand, dye deniers, oblivious to Adams' influence, have reconnected elaborate back-stories involving World War Two, thrifty bakers deprived of sugar, and beet juice. I can count my responses to these stories on one hand. With one finger, in fact. Care to guess which one?
There are two kinds of frosting but I use the cooked frosting rather than the non-cooked. I will give the cooked first followed by the non-cooked.
1 cup Milk
1 cup Shortening
Madeira which is a sweet wine with a hint of caramel, almonds, & hazelnuts. Either way, Cheers and enjoy the Cake.