DeniseNH Posted 5 May 2011 , 12:01am
post #1 of 52

I just don't get it. TV cake shows expound the virtues of Red Velvet cake so 50% of my brides want to taste it during a consultation. Because it doesn't have any taste they end up not ordering it. Doesn't taste like Vanilla and Doesn't Taste like chocolate either. Honestly, it's very blah. I used the standard recipe with buttermilk. Searched the web for recipes that have been kicked up a notch but found the same old ingredients - seems to be pretty standard. In an effort to make it taste like something, I drizzled cherry brandy over a piece and that made all the difference in the world. Besides the striking color, I just don't get the attraction.

51 replies
soapy_hopie Posted 8 May 2011 , 10:33pm
post #2 of 52

i don't get the attraction either....i have made several recipes and it just tastes like cake...i am glad it is not just me who has that problem

Valkstar Posted 8 May 2011 , 10:57pm
post #3 of 52

Here in Ireland red velvet cake isn't very common, and I've been making it for a few months now. Without exception, everyone has raved about it! I make the traditional flour frosting and the whole thing is gorgeous icon_biggrin.gif

Rose_N_Crantz Posted 8 May 2011 , 11:02pm
post #4 of 52

I've had that issue with Red Velvet, but for Christmas this year I made one and accidently added too much vanilla in it. The family just raved! Said it was not only the best red velvet, but the best cake they'd had. So maybe play around with the flavorings. SeriousCakes uses Vanilly Butter Nut flavoring in hers. I think she said McCormick makes it, but I've yet to find it.

emiyeric Posted 8 May 2011 , 11:12pm
post #5 of 52

It's definitely a matter of personal taste. I absolutely love CakeMan Raven's recipe ... I'm generally a much bigger fan of caking than I am of eating the cake, and while I'll have a a few bites of cake and appreciate it, I'm not the person who can't help herself and has to have another bite of cake.

But this recipe of Red Velvet has a lovely taste. Like you said, not vanilla, and certainly not chocolate. Just its own delicious, mildly sweet, slightly tangy taste. Icing is, literally, just icing on the cake for me icon_smile.gif.

But I can see how it would not be for everybody, particularly if you're looking for a strong taste (such as chocolate or lemon).

Bri122005 Posted 8 May 2011 , 11:39pm
post #6 of 52

I'm a southern girl, so I love red velvet. A good red velvet cake should taste similar to a frosty from Wendy's (which I also love). I usually add 1 or 2 tbls of extra cocoa powder to any recipe I use. And, for every tbls of cocoa added, you need to also add 2 extra tbls or fat (ie butter or oil).

thin4life Posted 9 May 2011 , 12:15am
post #7 of 52

I agree with the OP, I just don't get all the hype of red velvet, I have yet to find a good red velvet cake recipe.

mplaidgirl2 Posted 9 May 2011 , 1:09am
post #8 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by emiyeric

It's definitely a matter of personal taste. I absolutely love CakeMan Raven's recipe ... I'm generally a much bigger fan of caking than I am of eating the cake, and while I'll have a a few bites of cake and appreciate it, I'm not the person who can't help herself and has to have another bite of cake.

But this recipe of Red Velvet has a lovely taste. Like you said, not vanilla, and certainly not chocolate. Just its own delicious, mildly sweet, slightly tangy taste. Icing is, literally, just icing on the cake for me icon_smile.gif.

But I can see how it would not be for everybody, particularly if you're looking for a strong taste (such as chocolate or lemon).




I don't know if hes back in business but did you hear the health board shut CAke man Raven down over the winter. He had 4 health critical violations. Gross!

KitchenKat Posted 9 May 2011 , 1:53am
post #9 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by mplaidgirl2

Quote:
Originally Posted by emiyeric

It's definitely a matter of personal taste. I absolutely love CakeMan Raven's recipe ... I'm generally a much bigger fan of caking than I am of eating the cake, and while I'll have a a few bites of cake and appreciate it, I'm not the person who can't help herself and has to have another bite of cake.

But this recipe of Red Velvet has a lovely taste. Like you said, not vanilla, and certainly not chocolate. Just its own delicious, mildly sweet, slightly tangy taste. Icing is, literally, just icing on the cake for me icon_smile.gif.

But I can see how it would not be for everybody, particularly if you're looking for a strong taste (such as chocolate or lemon).



I don't know if hes back in business but did you hear the health board shut CAke man Raven down over the winter. He had 4 health critical violations. Gross!


This aint the first time he's been shut down either. I *used* to love his cakes. Sigh...

I love Red Velvet. My ultimate favorite recipe is Rose Levy's Red Velvet Cake from her book Heavenly Cakes. Very moist and tender and the flavor is the best!

pmarks0 Posted 9 May 2011 , 2:51am
post #10 of 52

I have made CakeMan Raven's red velvet and I quite liked it. This past weekend I wanted to try another recipe so I made Bobby Flay's Red Velvet cake. This was from one of his Throwdown shows that I believe he won. They do have a bit more chocolatey flavour.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/red-velvet-cake-recipe/index.html

I also wanted to try a different cream cheese buttercream because I don't like traditional cream cheese icings. So I made a variation of IndyDebi's buttercream. With the white chocolate added it tasted amazing. And my taste testers all raved. Even DH liked them. It's on page 3 of this thread, posted my Mamawrobin.

http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=685989&postdays=0&postorder=asc&&start=30

Here's what they looked like:

http://cakecentral.com/gallery/2028904

tahoengirl Posted 15 May 2011 , 9:33pm
post #11 of 52

Red Velvet is my biggest seller here in California. The taste your looking for is not the vanilla or the cocoa it's the twang if you will that the vinegar and the buttermilk give it. I use the Cake Raven recipe too, and I have had a great success with it. I do of course add a twist to the cream cheese frosting.

grammecakes Posted 15 May 2011 , 9:39pm
post #12 of 52

My favorite Red Velvet cake i have made or ever tasted is the Red Velvet Cake on Martha Stewarts web site.........YUMMY....PROMISE.

ConfectionsCC Posted 15 May 2011 , 9:40pm
post #13 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by emiyeric

It's definitely a matter of personal taste. I absolutely love CakeMan Raven's recipe ... I'm generally a much bigger fan of caking than I am of eating the cake, and while I'll have a a few bites of cake and appreciate it, I'm not the person who can't help herself and has to have another bite of cake.

But this recipe of Red Velvet has a lovely taste. Like you said, not vanilla, and certainly not chocolate. Just its own delicious, mildly sweet, slightly tangy taste. Icing is, literally, just icing on the cake for me icon_smile.gif.

But I can see how it would not be for everybody, particularly if you're looking for a strong taste (such as chocolate or lemon).





LOVE cake man ravens RV Cake! the recipe calls for only a teaspoon coccoa powder, I add two table spoons and ITS PERFECT! Ive had brides taste it, and they have raved over it!

scp1127 Posted 15 May 2011 , 10:22pm
post #14 of 52

Red Velvet is my favorite cake. I think there are many recipes out there... just like any other flavor... that aren't that great. My favorite starts with Cakeman Raven's and I adjust it. I also tend to dump vanilla bean paste in all of my batters, so that may be part of it. I hate chocolate (and own a bakery). If you love chocolate, this cake may just taste like a diluted chocolate cake. So this cake is just a matter of preference... some like it, some don't. Also, in my opinion, this and spice cake are the worst box mixes. I only bake scratch, but have had the mixes. This may be another problem with the flavor.

HappyCake10609 Posted 15 May 2011 , 10:57pm
post #15 of 52

I had actually never had Red Velvet cake until earlier this year. I figured that since I plan on starting a business some day and Red Velvet is so popular I should be able to make it. I tried a WASC recipe with the Duncan Hines Red Velvet mix, I tried Cakeman Raven's recipe and I bought a grocery store cake just cause I didn't know how a Red Velvet cake "should" taste. The Cakeman Raven recipe was hand's down my favorite. I have to say each cake I sampled was distinctly different, so I still don't know how it is supposed to taste and what people expect when they ask for red velvet, lol! But if anyone ever asks me to make them a Red Velvet cake I would go with Cakeman Raven's.... As far as liking the taste, I really did like it, it was really yummy and just talking about has got me craving it!

scp1127 Posted 15 May 2011 , 11:19pm
post #16 of 52

Cakeman's reipe is all ove the internet and seems to please the most people. I have an old family recipe that I love, but it is very heavy. I like it, but when selling, I will go with the recipe that is more mainstream. I have made his recipe my own, but it is the best base I have found.

charliecakes Posted 12 Jun 2011 , 10:36pm
post #17 of 52

I was always taught to make red velvet cakes with butter instead of oil and to me the butter gives much more flavor but that's just my personal preference.

cbiscuit85 Posted 12 Jun 2011 , 11:48pm
post #18 of 52

I always use apple cider vinegar, and at least 2T of cocoa powder in red velvet cake.

I never liked red velvet until I tried Magnolia Bakery's cupcake recipe with vanilla icing and I could taste the cake with the complex flavor combination of cocoa, buttermilk, cider vinegar, and vanilla. It seems like with cream cheese icing that's all I tasted was cream cheese and I could never really taste the cake. In fact, Red Velvet cake with Vanilla Bean SMBC is my most requested cake by family and friends.

ddaigle Posted 13 Jun 2011 , 12:17am
post #19 of 52

I'm from the south, and personally, I don't get it---nor do I like it. I think 2 things make red velvet such a big deal. #1 is those not from the south think its the most novel cake because they are not used to eating it and #2 and the most important thing...the cream cheese icing. I think if red velvet was put on a plate without the cream cheese icing and people were blind folded, they would have not clue what they were eating. It is a non descriptive cake flavor without the cream cheese icing. I thought Cakeman Raven's was pastey, stinky and resembled corn meal. If I ever get an order, I just get the boxed stuff. But----food is subjective. I like frog legs and alligator! How bout you? LOL.

tiggy2 Posted 13 Jun 2011 , 12:18am
post #20 of 52

SArah's red velvet recipe on this site is very good. I get rave reviews with it.

scp1127 Posted 13 Jun 2011 , 11:33am
post #21 of 52

Red Velvet cake is a buttermilk cake with the addition of a hint of chocolate. I have several recipes that incorporate vinegar. If you do not like chocolate cake, as I don't, then this is a great cake.

I see no reason to run it in the ground, as it is a most popular request for most bakeries. If you can't bake a good one, ok. But not all bakers have problems with Cakeman's being pasty, stinky, and cornmeal-like. Many bakers are successful with this recipe. That is why it comes up the most on a google search. I do tweak it, but even as written, it is a good recipe.

artscallion Posted 13 Jun 2011 , 12:06pm
post #22 of 52

I thought it was interesting that on a recent episode of "Cupcake Wars", one of the judges, renowned french pastry chef, Florian Bellanger said this when judging the contestants' efforts at red velvet, "I can't taste the chocolate. Red velvet is supposed to be chocolate cake with a little red coloring, not red cake with a little chocolate."

Seems that whenever this discussion comes up here, people say the opposite...that it is NOT a chocolate cake and should only have the vaguest hint of cocoa flavor. That seems to be the predominant feeling. So I wonder where he's coming from. He really is one of the world's most honored chefs, trained at Paris' most prestigious school, etc. I'd love to have his recipe because I also see RV as an uninteresting delivery system for cream cheese frosting. And it's not because I can't make a successful one.

mena2002 Posted 13 Jun 2011 , 4:48pm
post #23 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by artscallion

I thought it was interesting that on a recent episode of "Cupcake Wars", one of the judges, renowned french pastry chef, Florian Bellanger said this when judging the contestants' efforts at red velvet, "I can't taste the chocolate. Red velvet is supposed to be chocolate cake with a little red coloring, not red cake with a little chocolate."

Seems that whenever this discussion comes up here, people say the opposite...that it is NOT a chocolate cake and should only have the vaguest hint of cocoa flavor. That seems to be the predominant feeling. So I wonder where he's coming from. He really is one of the world's most honored chefs, trained at Paris' most prestigious school, etc. I'd love to have his recipe because I also see RV as an uninteresting delivery system for cream cheese frosting. And it's not because I can't make a successful one.




I saw that episode too and I was also wondering the same thing. I wonder if anyone else has insight to this, I'm interested to know what a red velvet cake should really be.

KathieB Posted 13 Jun 2011 , 5:00pm
post #24 of 52

I haven't tried this myself yet but I heard someone say that they use apple cider vinegar instead of regular vinegar.

mena2002 Posted 13 Jun 2011 , 5:03pm
post #25 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiggy2

SArah's red velvet recipe on this site is very good. I get rave reviews with it.




There were two Sarah's, so is it the

red velvet cheesecake cake

or

awesome red velvet cake?


Thanks

SugarandSpice3674 Posted 13 Jun 2011 , 5:20pm
post #26 of 52

I'm so glad I'm not the only one who noticed what Florian said! I was like what?, i thought red velvet was a buttermilk cake with a hint of cocoa?! oh well , i use the cakeman raven recipe as well but with dark dutch process cocoa and it it my best seller, I always sell out when I do the markets, personally red velvet isnt my favorite, but you know what they say,
if something isnt broken , dont fix it !
lol

macie2011 Posted 13 Jun 2011 , 5:23pm
post #27 of 52

I love the Better Homes and Gardens recipe. It has a different name, but it tastes really delicious.
http://www.bhg.com/recipe/layer-cakes/red-waldorf-cake/

mena2002 Posted 13 Jun 2011 , 5:44pm
post #28 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by macie2011

I love the Better Homes and Gardens recipe. It has a different name, but it tastes really delicious.
http://www.bhg.com/recipe/layer-cakes/red-waldorf-cake/




Thanks for posting, I'm going to try this out.

Colorful-Bliss Posted 13 Jun 2011 , 5:57pm
post #29 of 52

I agreed with his comment.....everytime I watch cupcake wars I'm like why do they want to make it so red. It's not about the red but about the chocolate. I grate german chocolate into my Red velvet and add a white chocolate cream cheese frosting.

gatorcake Posted 13 Jun 2011 , 6:58pm
post #30 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by artscallion

I thought it was interesting that on a recent episode of "Cupcake Wars", one of the judges, renowned french pastry chef, Florian Bellanger said this when judging the contestants' efforts at red velvet, "I can't taste the chocolate. Red velvet is supposed to be chocolate cake with a little red coloring, not red cake with a little chocolate."

Seems that whenever this discussion comes up here, people say the opposite...that it is NOT a chocolate cake and should only have the vaguest hint of cocoa flavor. That seems to be the predominant feeling. So I wonder where he's coming from. He really is one of the world's most honored chefs, trained at Paris' most prestigious school, etc. I'd love to have his recipe because I also see RV as an uninteresting delivery system for cream cheese frosting. And it's not because I can't make a successful one.




Frankly that he is a French trained pastry chef is telling in itself. Why would this would make him an expert on a decidedly American pastry? In fact it would not be surprising if it was dismissed in french pastry training. Not trying to sound nationalistic or bash the French (just ate at Le Cirque and was one of the best meals I have ever had) but national origins of food do matter in culinary/pastry training. That he is a top class french trained pastry chef could easily influence his understanding of what red velvet cake is supposed to be.

In addition looking at the history of red velvet cake one finds versions that are basically a devil's food cake dyed red. Not surprising as the phrase "red cake" was often used to describe devil's food cake which because of the type of cocoa powder can have a reddish hue. Thus if this is the history of "red cakes" he is familiar with then it is not surprising that he would emphasize red velvet as more of a chocolate cake.

There is however also the "southern" approach to red velvet. A number of recipes will highlight "southern" red velvet cake--although they tend be characterized simply as red velvet cake. Thus while there are instances where red velvet is more like a chocolate cake, "southern" red velvet cakes seem to emphasize the cake as buttermilk cake with a slight chocolate flavor --- not a chocolate cake dyed red.

Compounding the uncertainty is the origins of the cake are unclear. Although there is the legend of the infamous Waldorf Astoria cakes it certainly was not the first instance of a red velvet cake recipe. Frankly you will find those that say red velvet is chocolate cake dyed red and those that say it is not.

At this point is seems like it is a matter of preference. But there are a host of examples within food of people preferring different approaches to a particular food item, calling it by the same name, claiming they have the right approach to the food item, each with contested histories to support their approach.

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