The Curious Incident of the Red, Red Velvets.

I have a funny story to share, and all you bakers our there will really appreciate this having, I’m sure, been there and done that at some point yourselves. The other night, I was making red velvet cupcakes for a dear friend’s birthday, as red velvet is her favorite. I planned on topping them with a sour cream buttercream I had made once before, that was uber delicious. So I got to work.

i hope i didn't just give away the ending.

i hope i didn’t just give away the ending.

Everything was going along well – I’ve made red velvets from this recipe a handful of times, so I knew what results to expect. I started measuring, mixing, pouring, and beating. When all was said and done, I added the red food coloring and mixed well. At this point, I realized something was amiss. It looked very red – too red. This was a clown-nose red, as opposed to a deeper almost maroon red – the color red velvet batter should be. I tasted the batter, and it tasted good – a little sweeter than previous batches, but still a good batter. Did I use too much food coloring? No, the bottle is always the same size! Maybe there was something wrong with the food coloring and it was heavier on the dye. I convinced myself that must be it and lined the pans with cupcake papers. I grabbed my trusty scoop and was about to dip in for the first cupcake, when I paused, and contemplated the extreme redness one more time. “What would make the batter darker?” I silently questioned. Then, like a bolt of chocolate lightning from above, it hit me – I forgot to add the cocoa powder.

nearly lost you.

nearly lost you.

Hoping that it wasn’t too late, I quickly added the key missing ingredient, and tasted the batter again. This time, it looked and tasted like a red velvet should. The mystery of the red, red velvets was solved. I scooped, baked, iced, and served. And all was once again right with the world.

simply red.

simply red.

We All Scream for Sour Cream.

I love experimenting with recipes – it may be one of my absolute favorite pastimes. So this weekend, I really wanted to try a new icing – a sour cream-based buttercream. I just needed the perfect cake to test it out on. It was kinda like getting a brand new pair of shoes and planning your outfit around them, rather than getting dressed first and choosing the shoes to match. I had my heart set on this new icing. So I picked up this tub of sour cream, and thought, “well I’m sure not gonna use this whole thing; I hope I can figure out another use before it goes bad.” And like a bolt of lighting to the brain, it hit me  – red velvet cake calls for sour cream in the recipe. Eureka! I’ve found my test cake!

I quickly went to work, and whipped up a batch of red velvet mini cupcakes, then proceeded to use almost all of the remaining sour cream for the icing. The result? One of the most-loved desserts I’ve created, to-date.

what comes is better than what came before.