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Red Velvet Cake

One of My Best
I made this dessert for my family in Mexico City. A word of caution – be careful choosing your food color. I bought my food coloring for this cake at a store in Mexico. Everyone who ate the cake said that they had ‘caca roja’. Since this is a food blog, I am not going to discuss that too much.

One of the things I love the most about making desserts is that people really appreciate them. There is nothing more wonderful than presenting a beautiful pastry to your friends and family. Of all the things we cook for others, I find that desserts get the most appreciation.

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 ounces red food coloring
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon white vinegar

1 cup milk
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Grease two 9 inch round pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Make a paste of cocoa and food coloring. Set aside.

Combine the buttermilk, salt and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and 1 1/2 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the cocoa mixture. Beat in the buttermilk mixture alternately with the flour, mixing just until incorporated. Stir together baking soda and vinegar, then gently fold into the cake batter.

Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

To Make Icing: In a saucepan, combine the milk and 5 tablespoons flour. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Set aside to cool completely. Cream together butter, 1 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla until light and fluffy, then stir in the cooled milk and flour mixture, beating until icing reaches spreading consistency.

Decorating the Cake: I decorate my red velvet cake with strawberries and red velvet cake crumbs. Decorating the cake is probably my favorite part. I love making things beautiful. 

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