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Entries in red velvet (7)

Monday
Sep192011

Pop It: Raspberry Red Velvet Truffle Pops Recipe from Duncan Hines

So, you guys. In case you missed the big news, I was invited to attend the Emmy Awards Red Carpet viewing party with Duncan Hines this past weekend. And it ruled. Of course, it was very exciting to see famous people in pretty dresses and very nice suits. But--here's the big thing--there was also plenty of cake.

A slew of cake pop recipes were created by Team U.S.A.’s World Cup Pastry Team’s captain, Chef Gilles Renusson, and Duncan Hines was the official dessert sponsor of the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards Governor’s Ball; this one in particular impressed this sweet sleuth, with raspberry preserves adding a certain something to Red Velvet cake filling--a certain something that made me wonder how many I could fit in my mouth at once.

They were kind enough to share the recipe, which appears below; the Red velvet pops are the white chocolate coated ones in the photo above. Click on the names for recipes for the other varieties, Chocolate Almond and Chocolate Orange Liqueur. 

Raspberry Red Velvet Truffle Pops 

Duncan Hines® Red Velvet Cake Mix with Chambord, Comstock® or Wilderness® pureed raspberries, and Duncan Hines® Butter Cream Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 2 2/4 cup Baked Duncan Hines Red Velvet cake crumbs 
  • 1 T. Duncan Hines Butter Cream Frosting
  • 1 t. Chambord raspberry liquor 
  • 1/3 cup Pureed Raspberry Pie Filling (or jam would work)
  • 14oz White Coating Chocolate (recommended: Wilton Candy Melts)

Instructions

  1. Bake Duncan Hines® Red Velvet Cake Mix as directed on the back of the box in a 13x9 cake. Allow to cool completely.
  2. Crumble cake up into a large bowl.
  3. Soften glace in microwave for 10 seconds.
  4. Add softened frosting, Chambord and pureed raspberry pie filling and stir until incorporated.
  5. Roll mixture into walnut-sized cake balls and transfer to a wax paper lined baking cookie sheet. Make sure balls are tightly packed and look smooth with no cracks.
  6. Transfer cookie sheet with cake balls to freezer or refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes.
  7. Place white pate glace in a small, deep microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring each time until completely melted. The melted coating should coat a spoon but still be able to slowly drip off. If coating is too thick, add shortening or vegetable oil 1/2 teaspoon at a time. Do not exceed 2 teaspoons per 16 ounces of candy coating or the cake pops will crack.
  8. Remove cake balls from freezer. Dip tips of lollipop sticks into white pate glace and insert sticks into cake balls no more than halfway into center. Let them set for 1 to 2 minutes, resting on the cake ball, sticks in the air.
  9. Pick up cake pop by the stick and dip into white pate glaze. Gently tap stick against side of bowl and rotate cake pop to help excess coating fall back into bowl. (Reheat and/or melt more glace as needed.)
  10. Poke stick of cake pop into Styrofoam block to stand up straight and dry completely, about 5 minutes.
Wednesday
Feb162011

Red-Hot: A Treat-ise on Marilyn Monroe and Red Velvet Cake

If Red Velvet Cake were a celebrity, living or alive, who would it be?

If you ask me, the answer is clear: Marilyn Monroe. 

After all, Red Velvet is one hot number of a cake (the New York Times has even referred to it as "vampy"); Marilyn, one hot number of a lady. But not content to leave it at that, I've created a "Treat-ise" if you will of similarities between these deliciously sensual icons.

Life and Death in 1962: As it turns out, the first recipe for the iconic dessert referring to it as "Red Velvet Cake" was published in 1962. The cake had existed before that, it's true, its red color a reaction of its ingredients, but this recipe calls for red food coloring, which amps up the color and has become a signature of the cake. So while the cake had existed, this was the year that it began its ascent into legendary territory. Similarly, for Marilyn, 1962 was a remarkable year: the year of her death, and also the year she went from starlet to legend with legacy.

Humble beginnings and a Swanlike Transformation: Both Red Velvet Cake and Marilyn Monroe began their lives in much simpler, humbler ways than the icons that we now call to mind when thinking about either party, pastry or person. In the case of Red Velvet Cake, it began as the slightly ruddy-hued outcome of buttermilk and vinegar reacting while baking; it wasn't until years later that bakers began to play up this reaction by adding red food coloring (and lots of it) for the dramatic look. Marilyn Monroe came into this world as Norma Jeane Mortensen--at a very young age, her mother remarried and Norma Jeane took on the last name Baker(!). But it wasn't until the 1940s, when she bleached her hair blonde and took on the name Marilyn Monroe that her career really took off.

A Dramatic Signature Look: There's no denying that both Red Velvet Cake and Marilyn Monroe are both iconic in appearance. In the case of Red Velvet Cake, cutting into the fluffy white frosting which gives way to a highly contrasting, visceral red expanse of cake is a downright heady experience. Marilyn, with her platinum locks, contrasting dark arched brows, signature beauty mark and pretty pout, had the power to draw all eyes to her. Love 'em or loathe 'em, in both cases there is no denying that they're striking visually.

Do these icons sometimes cross into caricature territory, more alluring in looks than in reality? Perhaps, but as Marilyn once said, "It’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring." 

Haute Hotel Connections: Both of these icons have ties to another legend--the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel. In the case of Red Velvet Cake, it comes by form of an urban legend: 

One early story links it to New York. In their new “Waldorf-Astoria Cookbook” (Bulfinch Press, 2006), John Doherty and John Harrisson say that the cake, which they call a Southern dessert, became a signature at the hotel in the 1920s. (It is also the subject of an urban legend: a woman at the Waldorf was supposedly so taken with it that she asked for the recipe — for which she was charged $100 or more. In revenge, she passed it along to everyone she knew. The tale, like a similar one about a cookie recipe from Neiman Marcus, has been debunked.)

As for Marilyn? According to Wikipedia,

In 1955, Marilyn Monroe stayed at the hotel for several months, but due to costs of trying to finance her production company "Marilyn Monroe Productions", only being paid $1,500 a week for her role in The Seven Year Itch and being suspended from 20th Century Fox for walking out on Fox after creative differences, living at the hotel became too costly and Monroe had to move into a different hotel in New York City.

Of course, there's no mention of whether or not she ate the cake while she stayed there.

They both have Famous admirers. It's true: both are famously (or perhaps infamously) favorites of high-ranking notables. I wanted to say that both had Presidential admirers, but after much googling I couldn't find any pictures or references of past or present presidents eating Red Velvet Cake (what's up, Google, not responding to my "Bill Clinton eating Red Velvet" query!?). Although...the President...of the Borough of Brooklyn, that is, Marty Markowitz, was recently a judge at a Red Velvet contest. So Red Velvet does have a presidential admirer! Of course, Marilyn's presidential admirer--a fellow named Kennedy--notably involved an incident with singing (and cake?).

But even without Presidential admirers, Red Velvet is still a known favorite of many famous people, having received public love from Oprah Winfrey (arguably more influential than the President), Katie Holmes, and Russell Brand.

Silver Screen Sirens: Obviously Marilyn Monroe stole the show in just about every movie she was in, but Red Velvet has had its moment too: it was famously featured in the classic film Steel Magnolias and is often cited as one of the most memorable bits about the movie (at least by people I know).

Say "Cheese": Yup--cheese figures into the lives of Red Velvet and Marilyn Monroe--literally and figuratively, respectively. Red Velvet is arguably most deliciously (if not technically most authentically) topped with cream cheese frosting. Marilyn famously did "cheesecake" calendar poses.

Of course, if after reading this you're still not with me on the Red Velvet-Marilyn Monroe connection, I'll leave you with these bits to prove that I'm not alone in comparing this sultry red cake to blonde starlets. “It’s the Dolly Parton of cakes: a little bit tacky, but you love her,” said Angie Mosier (via the NY Times), a food writer in Atlanta and a board member of the Southern Foodways Alliance at theUniversity of Mississippi in Oxford. Also, Lux, a cupcake shop, has a flavor that they call "The Marilyn Monroe". What flavor? You guessed it, Red Velvet.

Wednesday
Jun092010

Shake Me Up Before You Go Go: The Red Velvet Cake Shake

There's a reason why you've never tried a Red Velvet Cake Shake. 

That reason, of course, is that the recipe relies on you having an extra slice of Red Velvet laying around, and as anyone knows, this is a highly unlikely occurrence.

However, after this weekend's Red Velvet Cake tasting, I found myself in such an unlikely situation. And given some time to consider it, a beautiful phrase came to mind: Red Velvet Cake Shake. Could it possibly be as good as it sounded?

The answer, of course, is yes. This shake is basically made of awesome: it has tangy cream cheese frosting, rich, moist cake, and sweet, creamy ice cream--all mixed into one pretty pink parfait.

Of course, if your instinct is to cry "too much", I do have a suggestion: call it a smoothie. No, this doesn't actually alter the recipe, but don't you feel healthier already?

Red Velvet Cake Shake

Ingredients 

  • 1 slice Red Velvet Cake
  • 2 big--and I mean big--scoops of ice cream (I used strawberry; I think that vanilla would also work well)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cups milk

Procedure

Put all of the ingredients in a blender. Blend until the shake has reached your desired consistency--shorter if you like little bits of cake in your shake, longer if you like a smoother texture. Add more ice cream for a thicker shake, more milk for a thinner one, as needed.

Sunday
Jun062010

Sweet Surrender: A Red Velvet Smackdown and Tasting with Lorna Yee and Jackie Baisa at CakeSpy Shop

It began, as so many excellent things do, on Twitter.

Upon rhapsodizing about the most excellent Red Velvet Cake from Seattle's Kingfish Cafe, Lorna Yee responded with what can only be described as fighting words: "My red velvet cake is better". 

Now, as Red Velvet challengers go, Lorna Yee is a formidable one: her recipe comes from her recently published book, The Newlywed Kitchen (which contains this recipe for Chocolate Mudslide cookies, btw), has received rave reviews.

The only way to figure out this battle? A Red Velvet Smackdown, natch! 

With the Kingfish Red Velvet Cake in one corner, and Lorna's Red Velvet in the other, we set up a tasting at CakeSpy Shop, with talented photographer Jackie Baisa to document every sweet minute. Of course, cute husbands Danny (aka Mr. CakeSpy) and Henry were on hand to help out.

Lorna was also kind enough to bring a large batch of cupcakes to share with customers at the shop. She ran out of red food coloring at a certain point, so a lucky few actually got Blue Velvet Cupcakes.

So how did these ladies in red stack up?

Well, on the one hand you've got the Kingfish Cafe Red Velvet, which is something of a Seattle standard. It's dense, it's sweet, it's rich...but depending on what day you buy it, sometimes it can be a little dry. Still, I wouldn't kick it out of bed for leaving delicious little crumbs.

But then you've got Lorna's triple-threat of awesome. Equally dense and rich, this is nonetheless a very different cake, with pronounced contrasting flavors: a very tangy and only lightly sweet, very cream cheese-y frosting and a rich, extremely moist cocoa-infused cake. All of the tasters, who were cut generous slices, zeroed right in on the compelling flavor contrast, and were more than happy to wax poetic about the sweet subtleties in flavor--but perhaps even more telling, everybody cleaned their plate. 

Lorna Yee and very cool kid IrisSimilarly, customers who came in and sampled the cupcakes were thrilled with their sweet treats, and Lorna not only sold through her stock of books but also raided nearby Elliott Bay Books for more.

The final word? You should still order the cake if you go to Kingfish, but for your next special occasion, bake the one from Lorna's book. People will remember and love you for it.Jackie Baisa, Lorna Yee, CakeSpy

Want to see more awesome photos of this event? Visit Baisa Fotograferie (photos coming soon!)

For Lorna's Triple Red Velvet Cake with Bourbon Cream Cheese Frosting recipe, visit her site, The Cookbook Chronicles!

Sunday
Apr112010

Batter Chatter: Interview with Stefanie Gaxiola of Red Velvet Stefanie

Red Velvet has certainly enjoyed a surge in popularity in the past few years--as well it should, due to its high deliciousness factor. But when it comes to red velvet lovers, Stefanie Gaxiola, aka "Red Velvet Stefanie", may just take the cake. Not only is she the award-winning mastermind behind The Cheesecake Factory's bestselling Stefanie's Ultimate Red Velvet Cake Cheesecake™, but she also develops and sells specialty cake mixes--red velvet being the keystone of the line, natch--online at her Red Velvet Stefanie website. Care to get a closer look at this international (red) velvet superstar? Well, you're in luck: here's an interview.

CakeSpy: First off: what is the last baked good you ate?

Stefanie Gaxiola: One of my Snickerdoodle Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese frosting. It was amazing!

CS: OK, down to business. Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you start this company/what is your background / etc?

SG: I am a 25 year-old baking enthusiast, baking since the age of 5. With 20 years of experience under my belt, I felt it was about time to break into the baking industry with a bang! I have the highest dreams and aspirations of anyone I know; I literally, eat, breathe and sleep baking. All of my experience has been self taught or, I learned through my mother. I have not attended culinary school but, I am currently making plans to do so in the very near future. Baking as much as I do, I try to find short cuts for myself. So, my boyfriend and I decided, why not pre-package all of my dry ingredients so that when I bake everything is ready to go, minus the wet ingredients. So, we created our very first cupcake mix! What better way to go to the top of the baking world than with a Red Velvet Cupcake mix? I have googled, shopped and searched for Red Velvet Cupcake mixes and, to my disappointment, there is a very small selection to choose from. As my boyfriend, Jason Heard researched all of the guidelines on business and selling of baking goods, I spent extra time in the kitchen perfecting my mix. One empty box and bag of sugar at a time, Stefanie's Gourmet Red Velvet Cupcake Kit was complete and ready for sale. Within the first hour my website was up and running, we had sold several kits. When I saw that, I knew we really had something good on our hands. Stefanie's Gourmet Red Velvet Cupcake Kit is currently only for sale from my website, www.redvelvetstefanie.com. I am also happy to announce that we have recently introduced cupcake catering to Red Velvet Stefanie, one of our first big events will be catering Coachella Music Festival next weekend. Also new to our website, cupcake apparel, Cupcake mix of the Month Club, downloadable recipe guides  and custom cupcake stands! We are so excited!

CS: What is included in the cupcake kit?

SG: Stefanie's Gourmet Red Velvet Cupcake Kit includes: All dry ingredients for the cupcakes and frosting and 20 baking liners.

CS: What is it about Red Velvet cake that makes it so special to you?

SG: Red Velvet cake is truly my all time favorite dessert. The combination of light chocolate, extra moist cake and sweet and creamy Cream Cheese frosting makes me smile. Every time I take a bite, it makes me feel like a kid again; I get excited, bubbly and light up.

CS: It says on your site that you are the creator of the Ultimate Red Velvet Cake Cheesecake....please, tell us more!

SG: I am the concept creator of the top selling cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory® named Stefanie's Ultimate Red Velvet Cake Cheesecake™. I entered The Cheesecake Factory's "What's your Flavor?" contest. The idea was to find a new recipe concept for their menu. As soon as I heard about the contest, I knew Red Velvet was  going to be my entry and, that I was going to win with it! Moist layers of Red Velvet Cake and The Cheesecake Factory’s ® Original Cheesecake covered with cream cheese frosting. On April 1, 2009, America had voted and The Cheesecake Factory named Stefanie's Ultimate Red Velvet Cake Cheesecake the winner! The moment I saw my name on The Cheesecake Factory's website, I knew this was going to change my life.

CS: Some people have an idea that cake mixes are "bad" -- what is your response to this?

SG: Definitely not true! Before I went pro in the baking world, The Cake Mix Doctor's collection of cook books were my baking Bibles. Anne Byrn, the amazing author behind these books has done an amazing job at bring cake mixes to the next level. As for my cupcake mix, they are all made to order.. The ingredients are the finest and freshest I can find so, each and every confection you will get out of my kit will be 100%, fresh, light, fluffy and sinfully delicious!

Photo from the Red Velvet Stefanie Facebook pageCS: What is the most important aspect in making a great cake (or cupcake)?

SG: Oh my goodness, so much goes into baking a perfect cake! Here is a list of the most important that I utilize in my baking:

-Preheat the oven to the correct temperature and, let the oven heat up for at least 20 minutes so it can reach the temperature.  

-Let ingredients such as eggs, butter, milk, cream cheese, sour cream, etc. reach room temperature before you use them in your baking.

-Sift all dry ingredients, except for cocoa powder. Sifting really makes all the difference in the world, it's a pain but you have to do it!

-Make sure not to overmix the cake batter, it will turn out dry.

-It is important to rotate the cake pans at least once, halfway through the baking time to make sure, they are evenly cooked.

-Make sure to time your baking. If the package recommends a 20 to 22 minute baking time, check after 20 minutes. you do not want to over-bake your cake. Also, if you can smell the cake throughout your house early, check on the cake. If you can smell it, it is probably done!

-Always let your cakes cool on a baking rack.

-Wait until the cakes are completely cool to frost if you don't, the frosting will run right off.

CS: What is next for Red Velvet Stefanie?

SG: After seeing the quick success of my Gourmet Red Velvet Cupcake Kits, I started working on more. Red Velvet Cookie Mix and Red Velvet Brownie Mix are among the next to come out. Red Velvet is so hot right now, I figured I would stick with that. Other than that, I am looking to apply to Culinary School and continue with my cupcake catering so I can eventually open a store front. Red Velvet Wedding Cake is the most requested catering menu item from my friends, family and fans. So, stay tuned for my unique version of Stefanie's Red Velvet Wedding cake, you will truly be amazed!

For more information, or to get your hands on some of that delicious red velvet mix, visit redvelvetstefanie.com.

Sunday
Feb102008

Red-Hot: Have a Red Velvet Valentine's Day, With Love from Cakespy

 

Red Velvet Cupcakes at Saint Cupcake

Valentine’s day, that polarizing bitch of a holiday, is just around the corner--a holiday loved or hated depending on romantic status. Well, this year we're raging against the red velvet chocolate box in favor of Red Velvet Cake! No problem if you're unattached-- just more cake for you. Really, no matter where you are in life and/or love, you're bound to have a sweet Valentine's Day with these red-hot Red Velvet suggestions:

Here: For if you, like the Cakespy headquarters, are in Seattle...

 

Seattle loves Red Velvet! If you're in the Emerald City, don’t miss some of our favorite Red Velvet cupcakes around, at Café Sweet Posie in Ballard—or try a slice at the Kingfish Cafe in Capitol Hill. South of Seattle? No problem--hello, cupcake in Tacoma's got you covered with sweet and adorable Red Velvet cupcakes with a southern (well, south of Seattle, anyway) flair!


There: Not in Seattle? Perhaps you can find Red Velvet Nirvana at one of these spots in your town:

If you’re in NYC, be sure to stop by Sugar Sweet Sunshine on Manhattan's Lower East Side for some of their Sexy Red Velvet Cake (photo left) which certainly lives up to its name! There’s also a damn fine one at Cake Man Raven, not to mention Cheeks Bakery--the latter two both in Brooklyn.

In Portland, we hear that Saint Cupcake makes a mean Vegan Red Velvet Cupcake, and their dairy ones are no slouch either (photo top)!

Or perhaps you’re in Chicago? Trust the expert opinion of Natalie from Bake + Destroy!, who suggests hitting up Molly's Cupcakes not only for their awesome Red Velvet cupcakes but for their cute decor too.

Or if you’re in San Francisco, check out Cake Gumshoe Bridget’s favorite: red velvet cupcakes from That Takes the Cake.

In central New Jersey, they really know how to make Red Velvet layer cakes right at The Baker Boys in Ocean Grove (photo left).

Even in Britain, you can still get your stateside fix: Outsider Tart, opened by American expats, happily serves up delicious Red Velvet in London.

Everywhere: Online and accessible no matter where you are:

 

 


Not into Red? Think Pink with the Pink Velvet Cake from Zabar’s (photo left), which can be shipped anywhere in the US (2-day shipping required). As an added bonus, part of the sale price goes toward Breast Cancer Research--and we can all feel good about contributing to that cause! Available at zabar.com.
On a diet? Shame on you. Nonetheless, we have a sweet and calorie-free suggestion: get crafty with Red Velvet Soap dyes from the lovely and amazing Brambleberry


Can’t bother with pre-orders or leaving the house? Well, we've got the thing for you, too: a recipe for Red Velvet Black and White Cookies, which will appear in an upcoming issue of Every Day With Rachael Ray:
Red Velvet Black & White Cookies

 

Makes 10 large cookies
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Bake Time: 15 minutes


Ingredients:
  • 1 ¼ cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon red food coloring
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cut buttermilk
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate
Directions:

 

1. Preheat the oven to 350oF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
2. Using a mixer, beat 5 tablespoons butter with the granulated sugar until fluffy, 3 minutes.

3. Beat in the egg, food coloring and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk until smooth.
4. Place ¼-cup scoops of batter 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet; spread out. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry, 12 to 15 minutes. Let the cookies sit for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool.
5. In a bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, remaining ½ teaspoon vanilla, 1 tablespoon corn syrup and 2 tablespoons hot water until smooth. In another bowl, combine the chocolate, remaining 3 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon corn syrup; microwave until melted, about 1 minute.
6. Coat the cookies with the vanilla, then the chocolate icing. Refrigerate until set, about 20 minutes.
Happy Valentine's Day! Xoxoxo, Cakespy

 

 

 

Thursday
Aug232007

The Next Big Thing: Tres Leches Cake


Through our lives, we've seen so many cake phases come and go. There was the Funfetti phase; the ice cream cake phase; the cupcakes baked in sugar cones phase. We've seen cakes come and go out of vogue. Carrot cakes have made way for Hummingbird cakes; Red Velvet was tacky, but now it's kind of cool again.

Well, it's time to make way for the new cake on the block: Tres Leches (or, Pastel de Tres Leches, literally meaning "cake of three milks"). It's long been a staple dessert in Latin America, and it's coming to the USA with the fervor of Selena's crossover album. Usually made sans butter and soaked in three types of milk (evaporated milk, condensed milk and either whole milk or cream), in spite of being so dairy-dominant, the cake remains quite light and unsoggy when made correctly.

We predict you'll be seeing it a lot more in the future, but for the meantime check out these places in the Seattle area:

Borracchini's Bakery: Who would have thought an old-school Italian bakery would be on to this trend? 2307 Rainier Ave. S (between S. Walker St. & S. College St.); online at nowcake.com.

El Diablo Coffee Co.: Call for availability; their menu rotates. 1811 Queen Anne Ave. N (between W. Howe St. & W. Blaine St.); online at eldiablocoffee.com.

Salvadorean Bakery: Don't go here for the ambience--it's in a strip mall--but rather go for the authentic cakes. 1719 SW Roxbury St (between 17th Ave. SW & 18th Ave. SW).

NB: We've also heard it's on the menu at El Camino (607 N. 35th St b/t Evanston Ave. N & Fremont Pl. N; online at elcaminorestaurant.com) and Senor Moose Cafe (5242 Leary Ave. NW b/t 20th Ave. NW & NW Ione Pl.; online at senormoose.com.)

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