Hi all, I have been asked to make a cake for a friend at work who is throwing a baby shower for a friend of hers. My friend was unsure what to ask me to make, becuase the mommy-to-be couldnt decide if she wanted her moms red velvet cake or a decorated cake from me. It ends up that she has sent me the recipe, asking me to duplicate her moms cake.
I am nervous for 2 reasons. 1- I have never made a red velvet cake before, and 2- I dont want to screw up her moms "famous" recipe.
The shower is still 3 weeks away, late notice from showers hostesses grr, so I am thinking about practicing the recipe once before. Any insight on red velvet cakes?? Any suggestions, or advice, is welcome!
First, do you normally bake from scratch? If not, I'd DEFINITELY do some practice on this thing. Baking from scratch takes a great talent and not just anyone can pick it up and do it.
Plus she's going to be comparing this to how her mom makes it. Yea, no pressure there!
Reading your dilemma, makes me cringe. I've had one customer ask if I would PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE use her grandmothers recipe. I foolishly agreed, but told her that I knew my recipe worked and it was good. Her mother even came for a tasting just to make sure it was good. The nut loved the cake, but they didn't want mine, because it just wasn't grandma's. As I suspected, it didn't work and she ended up with a flavor of cake she never even wanted in the first place.
So, to make sure they understand as long as the recipe "works" you will be happy to do it. If you are not pleased with the out come, just let her know it won't work out, but you are happy to use one of your recipes.
Sorry it's so long, just be careful of customers recipes.
With all that said, Red Velvet is not difficult, so I know you can do it.
I would just let her know that it may not be exactly like her mothers cake. 5 different bakers could make cake from the same recipe and you may end up with 5 fairly different cakes....
Ditto on the practicing if you are not a scratch baker normally, or even if you are... I'm totally a scratch baker--nothing against mixes, I just love it. I made a new cake recipe this weekend and it was a total disaster--ended up being the texture of a truffle cake without any of the flavor. Always good to practice unfamiliar recipes.
My advice to you about Red Velvet Cakes.
I make mine from scratch - my recipe has vinegar (some do not) ... If your (or her) recipe calls for vinegar... my tip to you is to NOT over mix the batter. You can over do it and the cake will be so thick/heavy that you will be pulling it off the roof of your mouth. My other tip to you is to sift your flour/sugar etc before you mix, this will help with the finish look. If you just throw it in and bake you could end up with Red cake and white poka dots all thru it.
I had a similar request recently. I informed them that "homemaker" recipes rarely work on a large scale. It's not always a matter of doubling or tripling the recipe, as there's chemistry involved.. I said that I'd need to test their recipe several times, and of course they'd have to pay for that.
However, I have a tried and true recipe that's similar, and perhaps we should use that.
Whether you can bake from scratch or not, I have found that when you use someone's recipe they are going to compare to the original and you will never meet up to standard even if you nail it.
Sorry for being so negative but I love to bake from scratch and have used many friends and families recipes.
I had one instance where I made a cheescake and everyone thought it was my sisters and were complimenting her on yet another great cheesecake (it's her specialty and she is good).
Well as soon as my sister said that I made it all of a sudden everyone was oh, I thought it was a little different!
Even my sister said it was bang on the money! LOL
Either way good luck with it and I would suggest that you use your own recipe that your comfortable with. Using her Mom's Famous recipe you cause it's a no win situation.
HTH and best of luck to you
Thanks all for the advice.... I am pretty nervous about it!! Although I have done some, I am not typically a scratch baker so that definitely adds to the pressure. I appreciate the tips for the red velvet, too... the recipe does call for vinegar. I guess I better start practicing!!
Send prayers! (:
I have only made one Red Velvet Cake. Everyone--except me--loved the taste. I could taste a chemical flavor from all that food coloring. (The recipe I used called for a whole bottle.) There was a thread about the taste last summer. Apparently, some people are very sensitive to the taste of food coloring. And some are not.
You can do it! When icing, just remember it has the tendency to have crumbs as bad as regular chocolate cakes. Also, you may want to ask your friend about the icing her Mom typically uses with her Red Velvet Cake. It could obviously change the flavor (as I state the obvious Good luck!