A few days ago I asked my son what he would like for his birthday dinner. He is turning 16 and our family will be celebrating on Sunday. “Burgers… really BIG burgers,” he answered. “For a vegetable I want chips and for dessert I want Red Velvet Cake.” The burgers and chips were not a surprise but Red Velvet Cake? Where did that come from? I’d never made it before.
I know, I thought. Since I don’t know how to make it, maybe this year I’ll order a cake. I called the new “Cakeabake Bakery” I driven past many times but never had reason to stop. They almost laughed me off of the phone for calling three days before a birthday. Chagrinned, I tried another nearby bakery. They didn’t laugh at me but could only offer a sheet cake, Red Velvet cake. I may have been trying to pawn off the baking of this cake but I was not willing to give up on a traditional round birthday cake.
Next, I looked at the Food Network site for a recipe for Red Velvet Cake. Five stars! I was in luck! I read through the ingredients. It looked fairly straight forward although it was leveled “Intermediate.” Wait a minute, I thought. What makes it red? Not tomatoes, not Catsup? Two tablespoons of red food coloring! While I was shocked, I had to laugh at myself as many of you are probably laughing as you are reading this now. The secret is out!
Today is Saturday and I am off to shop for Red Velvet cake ingredients, making sure to buy a large bottle of red food coloring.