Okay, after searching for weeks, and testing 4 different recipes/methods this week, I FINALLY found the best RV cake. My goal was to try to find a recipe that used only non-dye ingredients to achieve the color. I first tried an all-beet powder recipe: although my kids liked it, I tasted the beets and did not like it. Also, the color was not consistent or great throughout.
The next one was a full-scratch RV recipe that used some dye, but tried to replicate some of the age-old chemical reaction to achieve color--again, I didn't want to use dye, so this was not ideal. Also, the method was very labor-intensive, and I can't see making a 4 layer, two tier cake doing that! It was also too light and fluffy (this cake will be torted, filled, and have to withstand fondant).
Third, I tried a box mix of German chocolate, just adding dye. It was the best of those three, but I still felt like I wanted one that used little to no dye! Then, today, I found Sarah's RV scratch recipe. . .
I first halved it, since it's another tester, and I've had cake all darn week!!! So, the measurements for the color ingredients were then: 1/2 ounce of red food coloring, 1 1/2 tablespoons of cocoa. Here's what I did:
I added only 1/4 ounce (1/2 tablespoon) of red food coloring. To make up the liquid, I added the other 1/2 tablespoon by increasing the buttermilk by that much. I then added 1/2 tablespoon of beet powder to the dry ingredients, and shrank the cocoa measurement by 1/2 tablespoon.
I was nervous, because when the batter was done, it was very thick--not like a typical cake batter. But I baked it anyway. . .
IT IS SOOOOOOOO DELICIOUS!!!!!! The color is great, you canNOT taste any beets at all (and I have a very sensitive tongue!) Here are several pictures of it!
I may even completely halve the dye measurement, and use 50% beet powder and 50% dye.
I was trying to edit this post, but can't figure it out. . . I ALTERED EVEN THAT ALTERATION AND IT'S EVEN BETTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I ended up adding pudding mix, and it is like HEAVEN!!!!!!! I basically tripled Sarah's recipe, with the alterations I originally posted (re. the beet powder, dye and cocoa) and added one box of chocolate pudding, one box of vanilla pudding and 2 eggs (one for each of the boxes of pudding).
O-M-G. . . my husband ate the scraps and was drooling!!!!! I'm SO happy! Also, the consistency is SO good for torting, filling, stacking and applying fondant, all while still being rich and moist!
So, if you were just using one batch of the recipe, I guess you would just pick one box of pudding mix and use 1 egg (even though that would be a tad more than I used, since I used 2 boxes, but *tripled* not doubled the recipe). I just was afraid to toy too much and add one box per recipe.
Glad you liked her recipe, it's the only one I use.
Your cake looks like it is moist and has a good crumb. The color is really good. I like the idea of not using all the food coloring. In the recipes I have tried I've either been able to taste a chemical tang from the food color or it's been overly chocolate-y. Where do you get your beet powder? Is it something the health food stores carry, or is it a mail order item?
I know--I felt the same way. . . I tried a full beet powder recipe, but it tasted like beets. This is the best of both worlds, and you don't have to sacrafice color! You may be able to find it at a whole foods store, but I ordered mine online. I found this company on Amazon:
I chose this, over others, because it looks brighter, and it is BRIGHT red!
And trust me, adding the pudding mix added another level of moistness to it that I did not photograph! (Those pics were from the test yesterday, with Sarah's recipe just incorporating the beet powder). I will take pics of this one when we cut into it Sunday!
oh wow, I can't wait to try this...so I should do the entire recipe with 1 box each choc and vanilla pudding? or 2 each since u halved it?
No, no. . . I know, it sounds confusing. I TRIPLED the recipe as Sarah wrote it. So, 7.5 cups of flour, 4.5 cups of sugar, etc. But, per recipe, my original alteration, for color only, would be 1/2 ounce of red dye, 1/2 ounce added to buttermilk measurement; 1 1/2 T. cocoa and 1 1/2 T. beet powder. With respect to pudding mix, I added 2 boxes for the *tripled recipe* which is just because I needed to triple it and mixed it all together, and decided instead of doing 3 boxes of pudding (one per recipe) I'd just use 2, one chocolate and one vanilla. So that means in my tripled batch, there was a little less than one box of pudding per recipe. But, if you just did one recipe, you'd have to add one whole box of pudding mix and one egg!
OMG my head just exploded
LOL its ok...just tell me, are u using her tweaked recipe, or the original...I have the TWEAKED saved...but can u post a link to the one ur referring to if thats not correct,...I can't seem to find the original...
Sure (sorry. . . we've got a lot going on here!!!) It's this one:
Yeah, so I tweaked the tweaked!
Mine would read like this:
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 T. baking cocoa
1 1/2 T. beet powder - added when sifting dry ingredients
1/2 t. salt
1 1/4 t. baking soda
1 small box instant pudding (chocolate or vanilla) - added when sifting dry ingredients
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
1/2 ounce ( this is equal to 1 T.) red food coloring
1 t. vanilla
1 cup plus 1 T. buttermilk
Then Cakepro or Sarah's mixing/baking directions.
thanks, I can't wait to try it!
k so I've always been meaning to ask this...one thing I never understood was about the food coloring...it's just the liquid stuff from the grocery store, right?
it's been so long that I've used liquid coloring!! It seems so weird to me!!
I believe yes, the recipe calls for liquid. I did add a tad of gel Wilton red and burgundy, but not enough to change the liquid/dry measurements!