Bubble, Bubble Toil and Trouble
It's a Dawg's Life

Red Velvet Redux

001489_redstone_rocket_pinup_06oct5 Never one to let the absence of an ingredient weigh me down, I find that necessity is indeed the mother of invention and as often as not leads to some delightfully delicious discoveries.

I'd been to the market without my shopping list and when I decided it was time to make my luscious red velvet cake with a recipe purloined from foodtv.com, I discovered I was short what most might deem essential ingredients.  No buttermilk, in fact no milk at all, nothing but a can of Carnation evaporated milk. 

Nothing to do but forge ahead using a few tricks learned from my mother.  The first being that you can experiment with cake recipes and the second that a tablespoon of vinegar added to milk will make it clabber up for -- voila! -- instant butter milk.  What would happen with canned evaporated milk?  I had no idea, but I wanted that cake and I wanted it bad.

I'm exceedingly happy to report the little tweaks I made resulted in one of the best cakes I've ever made  -- moist, rich, scrump-diddly-icious!  The icing is to die for, but be sure to make a little extra if, like me, you bake four layers instead of three.  Although I'm sure the coconut and pecans are divine extras in the icing, as well as decorative, I lost them because my son likes his icing plain. I also would recommend putting parchment in the bottom of your pans. Nothing worse than cake stuck to the bottom of your pans, little mister and missy.

Grandmother Paul's Red Velvet Cake Reinvented

2 cups sugar
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
2 eggs
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 ounces red food coloring
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoon vinegar

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup melted marshmallows
1 (1-pound) box confectioners' sugar
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, add 1 T of vinegar to the evaporated milk and let sit for about 10 minutes. It's ready to go when it looks thickened and curdled.

In a mixing bowl, cream the sugar and butter, beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well after each addition. Mix cocoa and food coloring together and then add to sugar mixture; mix well. Sift together flour and salt.

Add flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with your milk-vinegar mixture. Blend in vanilla. In a small bowl, combine baking soda and vinegar and add to mixture. Pour batter into 4 (8-inch) round greased and floured pans. Adjust baking time to just under 20 minutes for the smaller cake layers, adding extra time in 3-5 minute increments.  Cake is done when it springs back to a light touch or when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Undercook by about five minutes for a mositer redsulty.  Remove from heat and cool completely before frosting.

Blend cream cheese and butter together in a mixing bowl. Add marshmallows and sugar and blend. Spread between layers and on top and sides of cooled cake.


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