That was then...now people opt for the easy-to-use red food coloring!
Red velvet was the project of the week, to celebrate a friend's 26th birthday. I've made red velvet once or twice before in small batches for nobody in particular, but this had to be good! I tried Cake Boss's recipe and didn't like it too much..maybe I rushed through it too quickly but it turned out to be a culinary disappointment. So instead I went with America's Test Kitchen recipe. Like the receipe states, I added the cocoa powder to the red food coloring and made a paste..which looked like mashed beets. I was reluctant to use so much food coloring because surely back in the day, they didn't work with coloring but instead really did count on that chemical reaction to create the deep red color. Nonetheless, it mixed really well with the rest of the batter and I got a nice red color. Unfortunately, the cocoa separated from the rest of the ingredients in the oven and stayed at the bottom of the cupcake! I'll have to perfect this recipe in the future to avoid that, perhaps by using less cocoa.
And thats the story of how red velvet, the hottest cake flavour out there, was brought to my kitchen!!