Red Velvet

Baking By Cam525 Updated 12 Mar 2012 , 5:15am by CookieHead

Cam525 Posted 23 Oct 2011 , 1:16am
post #1 of 14

I want to make a red velvet cake. I have read and seen on TV that using buttermilk or vinegar will turn cocoa powder red. I have tried but did not have any luck with it.

I have made a red velvet cake using red food colouring but I don't like the idea of using that much food colouring.

Any suggestions?

13 replies
MadMillie Posted 23 Oct 2011 , 1:45am
post #2 of 14

In order for that to happen, I think you have to use noncultured buttermilk. I use CakeMan Raven's recipe, using cake flour and adding an extra tsp of cocoa. It only calls for 1 oz of red dye.

shuswapcakes Posted 23 Oct 2011 , 2:23am
post #3 of 14

Whenever I make red velvet cake it doesn't just "naturally" turn red either and I'm very curious to see if anyone else has this problem. It always seems to go kind of an earthy brownish color (definitely not the beautiful deep red you always see!) So I like to add a bit of beet juice along with red food coloring and then it turns out to be a beautiful red! Maybe I'm not using the right kind of buttermilk?

Hoping someone who is an expert of red velvet cake will chime in icon_biggrin.gif

Mexx Posted 23 Oct 2011 , 2:44am
post #4 of 14

There is a recipe in this site (1920 waldorf astoria red velvet cake) that uses pureed beets and only 1 tbsp of red food colouring. It is an amazing recipe...absolutely moist and a wonderful red colour. I make it all the time and it gets huge raves. I used canned beets so there isn't any work in cooking fresh ones.

shuswapcakes Posted 23 Oct 2011 , 2:45am
post #5 of 14

I find by using the beets it adds a lot of moisture to the cake too... icon_smile.gif

Cam525 Posted 23 Oct 2011 , 3:43am
post #6 of 14

Thanks for all the suggestions. I have thought about beet juice as well but have yet to try it.

I would still like to find a way to make the cocoa and acid trick work.

Apti Posted 23 Oct 2011 , 4:35am
post #7 of 14

If you google "red velvet history", you'll come up with all sorts of references. Here's an excerpt from this article:

http://stephanie-jolly.suite101.com/origins-of-red-velvet-cake-a90997

Role of Cocoa Powder and Buttermilk in Early Red Colored Cakes

Prominent food writers, including James Beard and Harold McGee, have described how early cakes incorporating cocoa powder and buttermilk may have had a reddish hue due to the reaction of the cocoa pigments with the acid present in soured milk. Unprocessed cocoa contains anthocyanin, a food pigment like that found in red cabbage, which reacts with acidic and alkaline ingredients. In the presence of acid, anthocyanin reddens, theoretically giving the baked product a pinkish hue.

But as home bakers who have attempted to recreate these naturally dyed red velvet cakes will attest, this is more science theory than kitchen fact. Shanini & Naczk, in their text Phenolics in Food and Nutraceuticals, describe how during the fermentation and dying of cacao beans anthocyanins disappear and the formerly purplish red hue of the cocoa turns a decidedly brown color. Dutch-processed cocoa, a readily available alkalized cocoa powder, has basic properties which interfere with the anthocyanin-acid reaction.

Read more at Suite101: History of Red Velvet Cake: Origins of Red Colored Cakes From Cocoa in Devil's Food to Food Dyes | Suite101.com http://stephanie-jolly.suite101.com/origins-of-red-velvet-cake-a90997#ixzz1bZnDG9MV

OMeuBolo Posted 23 Oct 2011 , 7:44am
post #8 of 14

I've been trying the red velvet too and can't get it red. It always turns more burgundy. I'm going to try the beet as well!
Thanks for the suggestions!

Cam525 Posted 23 Oct 2011 , 1:51pm
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apti

If you google "red velvet history", you'll come up with all sorts of references. Here's an excerpt from this article:

http://stephanie-jolly.suite101.com/origins-of-red-velvet-cake-a90997

Role of Cocoa Powder and Buttermilk in Early Red Colored Cakes

Prominent food writers, including James Beard and Harold McGee, have described how early cakes incorporating cocoa powder and buttermilk may have had a reddish hue due to the reaction of the cocoa pigments with the acid present in soured milk. Unprocessed cocoa contains anthocyanin, a food pigment like that found in red cabbage, which reacts with acidic and alkaline ingredients. In the presence of acid, anthocyanin reddens, theoretically giving the baked product a pinkish hue.

But as home bakers who have attempted to recreate these naturally dyed red velvet cakes will attest, this is more science theory than kitchen fact. Shanini & Naczk, in their text Phenolics in Food and Nutraceuticals, describe how during the fermentation and dying of cacao beans anthocyanins disappear and the formerly purplish red hue of the cocoa turns a decidedly brown color. Dutch-processed cocoa, a readily available alkalized cocoa powder, has basic properties which interfere with the anthocyanin-acid reaction.

Read more at Suite101: History of Red Velvet Cake: Origins of Red Colored Cakes From Cocoa in Devil's Food to Food Dyes | Suite101.com http://stephanie-jolly.suite101.com/origins-of-red-velvet-cake-a90997#ixzz1bZnDG9MV




Apti, thanks for this information, its much appreciated icon_smile.gif

scp1127 Posted 23 Oct 2011 , 2:26pm
post #10 of 14

Apti, I think you are joining us baking geeks. Thanks for the info.

I have been thinking of offering the Waldorf Astoria recipe to my authentic recipe menu. For those who have made it, how does it stack up in taste? I'll still offer Cakeman's recipe.

AmbitiousBeginner Posted 23 Oct 2011 , 2:47pm
post #11 of 14

I have also been using Cakeman's recipe with extra cocoa and love the taste, but I've still been wondering about using beet juice. Does it affect the taste?

Apti Posted 23 Oct 2011 , 4:26pm
post #12 of 14

scp1127~~I am an official cake nerd. (I suspect a great many of us on CC are also part of the "cake nerd herd".) [/img]

Mexx Posted 24 Oct 2011 , 10:29am
post #13 of 14

Everyone who eats my red velvet (made with pureed beets, not juice) cannot taste the beets in it. In fact, they are absolutely floored when they find out. Even folks who claim to "hate" beets, love it. When I make the cake, I puree the beets first and then let them drain in a sieve while I'm doing the rest of the cake. There's a lot of moisture in beets and I find that they need a little more draining than the recipe suggests. HTH.

CookieHead Posted 12 Mar 2012 , 5:15am
post #14 of 14

If you want a red color from cocoa powder, you can't use one that's Dutch processed or dark cocoa powder. To achieve the red color, you can really only use natural cocoa powder, which is easy enough to find. Hershey's cocoa powder works fine.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%