OK, so I made a red velvet cake and the recipe calls for buttermilk which I've never tasted before. The cake has what I think is a bit of a sour/bitter taste (and I only used about 1/2 oz food color) and I'm wondering if this is the way red velvet is supposed to taste or if my buttermilk is just bad (isn't close to expiring)?
Sometimes it depends on which brand of food coloring you use. Some reds have a bitter flavor. I prefer Wilton's No-Taste Red.
The cake shouldn't be bitter at all, redgardless of the food coloring. I doubt it's your milk though, that should have baked off. Did you add the full amount of sugar called for?
The only time I made red velvet, it was a very light, yet sweet chocolate taste. There was no bitterness whatsoever. I'm not sure what could have caused that taste but it definitely is not what red velvet should taste like from all the reviews I've read.
One time I had a slightly metallic taste to a cake I made in a tube pan and realized it was only the pieces that were cut from around the tube. I always wash new pans before using but this one my DH washed for me and turns out he did not clean the tube part. This may be a long shot but is it possible that it's the pan itself?
Just offering ideas...HTH.
I tried liquid food color (McCormick) as well as CK paste food color. I added 1 1/2 cups sugar one time and 2 cups of sugar the next, which is more than I would normally use. I tried two separate recipes and have gotten the same result. I'm so frustrated and don't know what to do! I need this cake Friday and don't know what else I can do. I've never liked Red Velvet cake and now I have another reason to hate it
I'm no expert but I know that even if the buttermilk was bad it likely wouldn't create a bitter or sour taste. I'm thinking biscuits and how they taste better when made with sour milk... You could try having someone else taste the cake and see what they say. Sometimes I swear foods take on a different taste and I don't know if it is just hormonal or for real. Just a thought, good luck!
This is the recipe I use and it never comes out bitter:
As you can see it calls for the no-taste red.
Thanks for the advice everyone! Looks like I'll be getting up early tomorrow and trying to bake it with no taste red food color. The recipe I used is almost exactly the same as yours aliciag829 and if it's not the buttermilk it must be the dye.
Let us know how it turns out. Good luck.
This is the recipe I used from the Food Network's Bobby Flay. This was for a throwdown and his supposedly won over Cake Man Raven's who is famous for his red velvet.
I think it's probably the dye too if you've tried two different recipes.
I agree w/ some of the pp about the dye. I've had some good red velvet cake in my life, but the one time I made it myself I used the McCormick dye. Needless to say, it didn't leave me wanting more. But, my niece and nephew ate it up, so at least it didn't get thrown out
Try the recipe from this site - Southern Red Velvet II. It's the same as CakeMan raven's except it uses AP flour instead of cake flour. This is my favorite RV recipe. It's awesome! And you shouldn't need to use no taste red food coloring, I still think something else caused the bitter taste.
Update: I baked the cake again with the same recipe as before and used the Wilton red no taste food color and.....success! Everyone loved it though I have to admit I still don't like it (not like this experience helped change my mind LOL). Thanks again to everyone for your advice. It's really nice to know that there are people out there who will take time out of their schedule to help someone they've never even helped! May you all be blessed!