Food & Drink

Red velvet cake fits perfectly with this holiday season

Michelle Madden's red velvet cake is topped with fluffy icing and strawberries drizzled with icing. This not-too-sweet c
Michelle Madden’s red velvet cake is topped with fluffy icing and strawberries drizzled with icing. This not-too-sweet cake was baked in a Bundt pan, yielding slices that are iced all around. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
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Well everyone, we made to the 12th month of 2020 and I think that is a very real reason to celebrate and live a little! The end of the year is here and I for one, would like to stay focused on the positives in life. I find that what you give more energy and focus to is what will manifest, so let’s talk CAKE!

This Red Velvet cake is a Christmas holiday tradition for my family, as well as a favorite dessert for two of my four children. Keylah Thomas and Martise Thomas both request — no, demands — this cake on their birthdays and, of course, I comply. This year was no exception.

I’m not sure what part makes them so intrigued by my version of Red Velvet Cake, but it must be contagious because once I make it for others, they couldn’t get enough of it either.

I love to top my Red Velvet Cake with chocolate covered strawberries and homemade whipped topping. My daughter, Keylah likes to add chopped pecans on her birthday cake. Pecans do add the perfect little crunch to the cake that I also enjoy.

The reason I have made this cake a Christmas holiday tradition is because the color is amazing, and once you cut into it, the frosting is so white against the crimson cake that it reminds me of Santa’s outfit. And who doesn’t like Santa? OK, the Grinch, but even he was won over at the end. Plus, the strawberries look like the top of his cap.

Now that I am a grandmother, I find it especially important to have family traditions. Traditions add value to a family unit. Passing down your mother’s wedding ring, or an old watch from your father’s collection, and of course, traditional family recipes are special because they are significant to your family. When I hear my kids tell they’re significant others and friends “You have to try my mom’s ...” it warms my heart. Knowing that they are proud of what I do for them is a wonderful feeling.

During these trying times we all need some staples and traditions to hold our families together, as well as to create new memories. As unpredictable as 2020 has been, we can all appreciate a little stability — event if they are just memories.

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I love baking and cooking for people because that’s the one thing nobody can duplicate. Yes, you can make the recipe, but nobody can do it I like can or like you will. That’s our super power! That’s the stuff that helps create memorable moments that will be shared for generations.

I made this version with whipped cream, strawberries and pecans. You may like cream cheese icing with chocolate chips or dark chocolate drizzle and cinnamon candies. Either way you make it just be sure to add as much love as you can spare.

Now, let’s roll up our sleeves and wash our hands and get started creating your own version of Red Velvet Cake.

Red Velvet Cake

1/2 cup butter at room temp (plus 2 tablespoons to coat pans)

3 tablespoons Coco powder divided

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 tablespoons (Wilton’s) Red Velvet food coloring

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 1/2 cups flour sifted

1 cup whole buttermilk

1 tablespoon vinegar

Heat oven 350 degrees. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by buttering then sprinkling 1 tablespoon of flour in it and tapping the pans until evenly coated.

Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs one at a time and then mix in vanilla

In a separate bowl make a paste with the cocoa and food coloring. Blend into butter mixture.

Sift together remaining dry ingredients. Alternating in two batches each, add dry ingredients and buttermilk, mix in the vinegar before adding to the batter. Mix until blended.

Divide batter among two pans (possibly three) and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on a rack or plate completely and then frost with your preferred icing. See Whipped Cream Frosting below.

Source: Michelle Madden

Whipped Cream Frosting

2 cup heavy whipping cream

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup confectioners sugar

Chill a glass or aluminum medium sized bowl. Remove bowl from freezer after about 5 minutes and add the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla and whip together until stiff peaks form. Make sure not to over beat, cream will then become lumpy and butter-like.

Reach Michelle Madden at Da Munchie Plug LLC on Facebook.

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