Sunday, January 31, 2010

Red Velvet Cake

Food colorings and additives are bad news, but  I made an exception and baked a red velvet cake. I'm still conflicted about pouring an entire bottle of food coloring into a cake, but you eat with your eyes first and the warmth from the maroon color of this cake is unbeatable. An especially festive birthday cake, I love how the brilliantly colored, moist cake is tucked inside a veil of snowy cream cheese frosting. I baked this particular cake for a birthday and used Ghirardelli chocolate chips to trim the cake.

I chose the following recipe for the following reasons.
1- It was one of the few recipes that only used one bottle of red food coloring. One bottle is more than enough to color the cake and cover your kitchen with red batter splatters.
2- It calls for the most cocoa. Now, this cake is supposed to be a chocolate cake with a red hue, not the other way around. The other recipes I considered only required a few tablespoons of cocoa and that is not nearly enough cocoa for a chocolate cake by any stretch of the imagniation. The combination of more cocoa and less food coloring imparts this cake with a deeper red hue than the neon red glow seen otherwise.

I made the following adjustments. First, I used three 8 inch cake pans which shortened the baking time to 28-29 minutes. Additionally, I used my own cream cheese frosting recipe since I prefer a less sweet frosting that allows you to enjoy a bit of cream cheese tang.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 8 ounce package of cream cheese (chilled)
1 stick of butter (room temperature)
~1/2 a box of powdered sugar (to taste)

Beat the butter and cream cheese together until fully mixed and fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar to taste.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Vegan Cupcakes

are taking over the world. I would say my first attempt at vegan baking was a success thanks to the book Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. If you would like to surprise a friend with a delightful cupcake or two this book gracefully takes the guesswork out of creating vegan cupcakes that are not only moist and delicious but are accompanied by rich and creamy frostings. I chose to prepare the Gingerbread Cupcakes with Lemony Cream Cheese Frosting and they were lovely. Each cupcake was topped with a piece of crystallized ginger for a bit of extra zing. Being a dairy-eater I believe you would have a hard time telling the difference between these cupcakes and their egg & dairy filled counterparts.

Here we go.

My first post to start my blog about firsts. Cliché? Perhaps. Unfortunately, a blog about firsts has to begin somewhere so here we go.

My first first? My blog. I'd like to think that I'll be able to set aside enough time to create fresh and insightful posts accompanied by lovely photos, links, and tips but we'll just have to see if that actually happens. Fingers crossed!