Am I the only one who doesn't really like red velvet cake?


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I'm making kind of a necro-post by resurrecting this old thread, but if I'm not mistaken, Red Velvet wasn't always made with gallons of dye. The dye was Adam's company's "cheat" to doing RVC the "easy way". Originally it was boiled beets that added the color, and made the cake much richer and more savory than a simple chocolate cake with bitter petrochemicals flooding it, the same way using lard as a fat can add a nice savory note to otherwise sweet goods. On the rare occasion I find a baker insane enough to boil beets to do it the right way, it's quite enjoyable and very different from other cakes. But finding that is a rarer thing that finding someone that makes pumpkin pie by straining their own crook neck gourds.

The ugly fad was, if I recall, a mix of it having played a role in some movie, I forget which, and simply because it was "different" and was a marketing hook for the food industry. The popularity in taste, I'm convinced, is simply because most of the public actually has no taste whatsoever for quality baked goods, and food in general, despite gourmet food spending going through the roof. Most people can't taste the difference between a "bakery" that just makes boxed cakes, a supermarket bakery, and a real scratch bakery and sees them all as equivalent quality. Presentation and image is what most are tasting. Though, sweet cream cheese and petrochem bitters, I admit, does have kind pleasant mix on the palate that either one on its own does not.

A real RVC with real beet juice is actually a great cake. It's also not as "hazard red" color in bright primary colors, but is a darker, deeper "drying blood red" that some might not find as appealing as food science chemicals, but looks more like a deep red stained chocolate. Most will never get to taste one. And you'd have to truly hate yourself to try to make one. :)
Theres a ton of money made by home bakers selling wedding cakes from boxed mix.
The clients really can't tell the difference, I have dreadful taste but I know chemicals from real cake.
Always wondered about red velvet, interesting history there.

I recall Gordon Ramsey fooling all the contestants on hell kitchen with purre of hotdogs, told them it was pate and they all commented how it was delicious and smooth like foi gras.
All they saw was his chef status and honesty be damned.
 
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It's true, food is a depressing place when you realize it's all show, and the customers don't actually care about quality, or rather, can be told there's quality when there isn't and don't seem to really have the palate to differentiate for real. The taste is determined by the price tag and interior decorating. Why sweat over scratch cake when you can just tell them Betty Crocker is the real thing and they'll believe you? Taste buds in the food industry, ears in the audio industry, eyes in the video industry, noses in the perfume industry. If there's one take-away it's that most people's senses are disastrously weak, untrained, or both. But they'll always spend more money trying to believe otherwise. And they're all the more eager to if it's the current fad.

I've heard some people even drink Starbucks' "coffee"...... :p

That story about the hotdog purre makes me equal parts laugh and gag a little, though. Kind of like food-coloring based red velvet...
 
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It's true, food is a depressing place when you realize it's all show, and the customers don't actually care about quality, or rather, can be told there's quality when there isn't and don't seem to really have the palate to differentiate for real. The taste is determined by the price tag and interior decorating. Why sweat over scratch cake when you can just tell them Betty Crocker is the real thing and they'll believe you? Taste buds in the food industry, ears in the audio industry, eyes in the video industry, noses in the perfume industry. If there's one take-away it's that most people's senses are disastrously weak, untrained, or both. But they'll always spend more money trying to believe otherwise. And they're all the more eager to if it's the current fad.

I've heard some people even drink Starbucks' "coffee"...... :p

That story about the hotdog purre makes me equal parts laugh and gag a little, though. Kind of like food-coloring based red velvet...
Yrs ago I hung out on a food website, a woman said she got her wedding cake from a place I know doesn't have legal kitchen, I've been in the kitchen and the walls are shelved with boxed cake mix.
She loved the cake until I told her it was betty crocker. She went back to the place and raised hell, well she had a tasting, they gave her the dog and pony show, she had no excuse, and thats why I quit trying to educate people, they just get angry and really don't want to know. The place has since started buying cake blanks from a real bakery.

Really..., it takes a heart of stone not to laugh.
 
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Yrs ago I hung out on a food website, a woman said she got her wedding cake from a place I know doesn't have legal kitchen, I've been in the kitchen and the walls are shelved with boxed cake mix.
She loved the cake until I told her it was betty crocker. She went back to the place and raised hell, well she had a tasting, they gave her the dog and pony show, she had no excuse, and thats why I quit trying to educate people, they just get angry and really don't want to know. The place has since started buying cake blanks from a real bakery.

Really..., it takes a heart of stone not to laugh.
Only serves to prove, everybody loves hotdogs! I find the EZ Cheese knock-off to be the most fun. Lets be honest, pate tastes like canned Vienna Sausage and hot dogs even if it's the real deal. Less chemical, but close enough that even Gordon couldn't tell. And I'm betting, but unwilling to experiment, that for all the rave commentary on caviar, all fish eggs just taste like fish eggs to most people. Fun foods that exist mostly for posturing and chefdom chest thumping. But if you can't tell EZ Cheese you should probably go into insurance sales. It looks like foam insulation, it feels like foam insulation and it tastes roughly similar to how foam insulation smells like it should taste. :)

That's the most disheartening thing of all with food. It's so much a con game. It's an industry P.T. Barnum could have ruled. All fine cuisine is guaranteed not to turn pink in the can. Restauranting is booming, prices are soaring, gourmet is everywhere.....and it's all fancy cuts with fancy garnishes on fancy plates, not real food excellence driving it all.

Baking fortunately seems to avoid so much of the grand charade, with only the box mix bakers really participating in it. But we do get the fads like red velvet that disrupt things for a while. A few years back every bakery had to make RVC, otherwise they had a huge menu hole missing the demand. The biggest charade in baking is simply that bakeries are vanishing because the public decided that supermarket bakeries are good enough. Even though they're not actually much cheaper (and are often more expensive per-lb), portions are smaller, and quality is worse. Even presentation is worse. People just like paying more for less of worse things presented more poorly because it's conveniently next to the gluten-free vegan TV dinners. So the role of bakeries moved into the "pastry chef" market which jumps back into Barnum's circus.

There was a guy, real retail shop, that was open for at least 30 years around here. There were two other really really good scratch bakeries in either direction down the street from him. He did basically only cakes (and refrigerators full of other non-bakery food because apparently he actually wanted to be a caterer, not a baker, all along.) But he was the birthday/event cake shop. People had to have HIS cakes. They'd bring out his cakes with pride "Oh, it's HIS cakes!" It was all boxed cake. You'd see him emptying the shelves in the supermarket whenever mix was on sale. Brand didn't matter, whatever was cheap. Probably was a mix of brands in the mixer at any time. People somehow thought it was such amazing cake - even with two bakeries with genuinely amazing cake 5 minutes away from him. It's unbelievable. It wasn't even about presentation. The store was nothing fancy. In fact the dumpiest of the 3, little more than a counter to order at. One was a dated, but classic late 60's early 70's bakery, and the other was actually a large fairly lavish farm store, though, they were also the most expensive of the 3 and probably more known for the big tiered wedding pound (wedding pound....I guess that dates things.)

He had ok icing for Crisco-based crusting American buttercream. It had so much shortening that the 10x didn't come across excessively sweet like most shops, and he didn't overdo the food coloring. That's actually a rare feat, so I'll hand him that.

For a time he was the only shop in town, though. I stormed the kitchen once. He wasn't there, and the high school kids at the counter couldn't be bothered. A cake came out that was barely decorated at all. I told them to fix it, and the attempt wasn't worth mentioning. Finally I demanded to simply go back and do it myself. I'm not even a good decorator, but I can at least do far better than that! Being clueless, they actually let me. Of course, I wasn't actually going to give them any money if they didn't at that point....

Years after he retired, one of his apprentices opened shop across the street with the same boxed cake shtick. Only somehow worse (why add fats and protein when you can just add water!), and it cashed in on the cupcake trend (I swear I'd go by and never see a single customer in the parking lot for years, yet there were always 8 dozen cupcakes in the case.... ) As for him, I eventually saw him selling packaged cake and pastries at Harry & Davids level pricing, mail order, on Ebay. I'm not even joking. I wish I were. You can now pay $18 shipping to buy his Betty Crocker cake in a vacuum bag delivered right to your mailbox!

Most of that pre-dates the red velvet fad. Is the cake pop fad over yet? It seems to be. I'm not sure what the current fad is.
 
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Only serves to prove, everybody loves hotdogs! I find the EZ Cheese knock-off to be the most fun. Lets be honest, pate tastes like canned Vienna Sausage and hot dogs even if it's the real deal. Less chemical, but close enough that even Gordon couldn't tell. And I'm betting, but unwilling to experiment, that for all the rave commentary on caviar, all fish eggs just taste like fish eggs to most people. Fun foods that exist mostly for posturing and chefdom chest thumping. But if you can't tell EZ Cheese you should probably go into insurance sales. It looks like foam insulation, it feels like foam insulation and it tastes roughly similar to how foam insulation smells like it should taste. :)

That's the most disheartening thing of all with food. It's so much a con game. It's an industry P.T. Barnum could have ruled. All fine cuisine is guaranteed not to turn pink in the can. Restauranting is booming, prices are soaring, gourmet is everywhere.....and it's all fancy cuts with fancy garnishes on fancy plates, not real food excellence driving it all.

Baking fortunately seems to avoid so much of the grand charade, with only the box mix bakers really participating in it. But we do get the fads like red velvet that disrupt things for a while. A few years back every bakery had to make RVC, otherwise they had a huge menu hole missing the demand. The biggest charade in baking is simply that bakeries are vanishing because the public decided that supermarket bakeries are good enough. Even though they're not actually much cheaper (and are often more expensive per-lb), portions are smaller, and quality is worse. Even presentation is worse. People just like paying more for less of worse things presented more poorly because it's conveniently next to the gluten-free vegan TV dinners. So the role of bakeries moved into the "pastry chef" market which jumps back into Barnum's circus.

There was a guy, real retail shop, that was open for at least 30 years around here. There were two other really really good scratch bakeries in either direction down the street from him. He did basically only cakes (and refrigerators full of other non-bakery food because apparently he actually wanted to be a caterer, not a baker, all along.) But he was the birthday/event cake shop. People had to have HIS cakes. They'd bring out his cakes with pride "Oh, it's HIS cakes!" It was all boxed cake. You'd see him emptying the shelves in the supermarket whenever mix was on sale. Brand didn't matter, whatever was cheap. Probably was a mix of brands in the mixer at any time. People somehow thought it was such amazing cake - even with two bakeries with genuinely amazing cake 5 minutes away from him. It's unbelievable. It wasn't even about presentation. The store was nothing fancy. In fact the dumpiest of the 3, little more than a counter to order at. One was a dated, but classic late 60's early 70's bakery, and the other was actually a large fairly lavish farm store, though, they were also the most expensive of the 3 and probably more known for the big tiered wedding pound (wedding pound....I guess that dates things.)

He had ok icing for Crisco-based crusting American buttercream. It had so much shortening that the 10x didn't come across excessively sweet like most shops, and he didn't overdo the food coloring. That's actually a rare feat, so I'll hand him that.

For a time he was the only shop in town, though. I stormed the kitchen once. He wasn't there, and the high school kids at the counter couldn't be bothered. A cake came out that was barely decorated at all. I told them to fix it, and the attempt wasn't worth mentioning. Finally I demanded to simply go back and do it myself. I'm not even a good decorator, but I can at least do far better than that! Being clueless, they actually let me. Of course, I wasn't actually going to give them any money if they didn't at that point....

Years after he retired, one of his apprentices opened shop across the street with the same boxed cake shtick. Only somehow worse (why add fats and protein when you can just add water!), and it cashed in on the cupcake trend (I swear I'd go by and never see a single customer in the parking lot for years, yet there were always 8 dozen cupcakes in the case.... ) As for him, I eventually saw him selling packaged cake and pastries at Harry & Davids level pricing, mail order, on Ebay. I'm not even joking. I wish I were. You can now pay $18 shipping to buy his Betty Crocker cake in a vacuum bag delivered right to your mailbox!

Most of that pre-dates the red velvet fad. Is the cake pop fad over yet? It seems to be. I'm not sure what the current fad is.
15 yrs ago pastry chef magazine surveyed bakeries , 70% were relying on sandwiches, its probably more now.
So I'm glad I got out even though we were well established.
Then I followed the money into a cafe catering business.
I did that for 5 yrs and sold out, it was more fun working for other people .
All your observations match what I saw , bakeries are dying out, many deserve to, they aren't much better than supermkts anyway. Their time has passed.
Our original location is a cafe now with a bit of baking, thats the trend.

I remember chatting with a french guy , he observed the American food scene is going in various directions, whilst they have impressed with the glamorous food and trends there a distinct lack of understanding "the little tastes".
He described little tastes as a slice of raddish with some butter and a sprinkle of salt.
A sandwich made of baguette, roast beef and butter, no mayo, lettuce, tomato, pepper, onions etc etc.
Just the simple clear tastes.
If you walk into a pastry shop in Paris thats what you get and they're all premade on the counter.

No one is ever going to catch the french, I've been surprised over the years but how educated their palate is, not food professionals , just the average citizen.
A young french girl was working with me and remarked how the fanciest restaurants in America such as the french laundry ruin the food by filling the bread basket with sourdough bread, she said sourdough is great by itself but it "cuts the palate" and interferes with the taste buds..
It would be similar to drinking beer with an expensive meal. Its eating...not dining.
Thats not something I would have thought of but its true.
In France she wasn't a pastry chef, she was a school teacher. Thats what we're up against.
 
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15 yrs ago pastry chef magazine surveyed bakeries , 70% were relying on sandwiches, its probably more now.
So I'm glad I got out even though we were well established.
Then I followed the money into a cafe catering business.
I did that for 5 yrs and sold out, it was more fun working for other people .
All your observations match what I saw , bakeries are dying out, many deserve to, they aren't much better than supermkts anyway. Their time has passed.
Our original location is a cafe now with a bit of baking, thats the trend.

I remember chatting with a french guy , he observed the American food scene is going in various directions, whilst they have impressed with the glamorous food and trends there a distinct lack of understanding "the little tastes".
He described little tastes as a slice of raddish with some butter and a sprinkle of salt.
A sandwich made of baguette, roast beef and butter, no mayo, lettuce, tomato, pepper, onions etc etc.
Just the simple clear tastes.
If you walk into a pastry shop in Paris thats what you get and they're all premade on the counter.

No one is ever going to catch the french, I've been surprised over the years but how educated their palate is, not food professionals , just the average citizen.
A young french girl was working with me and remarked how the fanciest restaurants in America such as the french laundry ruin the food by filling the bread basket with sourdough bread, she said sourdough is great by itself but it "cuts the palate" and interferes with the taste buds..
It would be similar to drinking beer with an expensive meal. Its eating...not dining.
Thats not something I would have thought of but its true.
In France she wasn't a pastry chef, she was a school teacher. Thats what we're up against.

Thankfully, I've yet to see a bakery sell sandwiches of any sort, here. I've seen awful "bakeries", I've seen wonderful bakeries, but none that stoop that low, and I wonder how that survey were run. Panera considers itself a "bakery-cafe". I wonder if they count. I don't know when that dreadful chain will go under. $25 for a mix-made bundt cake? Get real. People love chains and mass production. The new American way seems to be either mass production factories masquerading as boutiques, or little craft shops that charge 10x value but sell "the experience." Honest value was forgotten some time ago. When I look at the relics...the 60's bakeries left over, the value strikes me. Quality, scratch products, deep menus, modest prices. That used to be the staple. Now people want "fancy" for a lot more money, or "mass produced" for about the same price. I imagine that lasts as long as the next recession, though.

Although, I think it's half about supermarkets and chains claiming the mindshare of a fast-consumption oriented public, and a lot of it is that desserts as a whole have been abandoned with current health trends, maybe forever, and Americans never understood bread. There was a west coast bread revival 15 years or so ago, but it was west coast only, Panera stole it nationally, and seems to have faded in the west as well. It's mostly the death of dessert that's hurting now. Maybe health-wise people are right, but I'd rather live briefly with dessert than have immortality without it. :)

There's also the problem that the American pace of life is not about enjoying or appreciating anything at all, but about completing as many checkboxes in as short a space of time as possible - operating as mechanically as possible. That informs cuisine. Food is consumed to not feel hungry. If fancier food is purchased, food is consumed to enjoy time with others in a socially honored manner. It's never about the actual food. Now take bakeries where it's about unhealthy non-essential dessert in an unsocial manner, and it's a problem. Restaurants are booming not because people want to enjoy fine cuisine. They're booming because they're too busy to make food and the restaurant fulfills their consumption need expediently, socially, in a luxurious, pampering way. Food is never the point. The pampering and being treated temporarily as a noble while saving time is the point.

The epitome of this is the dine-in movie theater. Why do dinner and a movie when you can do both at the same time, and fully pay attention to neither?

We're up against a lot more than "little tastes." It's a complete cultural meltdown with food as the most obvious casualty. I'd like to think that the bakery isn't wholly dead. When a real one does pop up it seems to do rather well. The apprentice of one of the leftover 60's bakeries (that's still running) opened shop some years ago. It was shaky at first. Product was inconsistent. But he's remodeling now,after only a short time and really booming - and product consistency went up considerably. So did pricing, but that's an aside. I'm envious, if I'm honest.

Compare to the expensive place that supposedly had amazing cake, and was featured on a Food Network star's show once. They served slices of cake for like $7 wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated. I bought one once. It had mold growing on it.

The French are on a whole other plane with food, and I adore the French baker in the area. I wish he were closer, but in reality, my survival probably depends on him not being closer. I'd have to be moved by forklift. Though I must admit, I'm partial to the Italian school of food. They are both as similar as they are different. Compared to the American thinking of food, both are the other end of the spectrum. Both are about purity of flavor. But while the French seek to separate every flavor, the Italians try to marry them in every combination. At least for cuisine. When it comes to desserts, I can't choose a favorite.

Probably if we had the abundance of good bread the French do we'd get used to the "little tastes". Instead we're used to formaldehyde bread dyed teal that doesn't go stale on the counter if you leave it for months. When we dine out we want the best that can be offered. Sourdough, not baguettes. Something special on its own, not a compliment to the other things. (Of course I love baguettes on their own, but I'm a bread obsessive, I'm supposed to be weird.)

The bakery-cafe thing, however, isn't a poor development. It's consistent with the Italian school. Except the American scene follows Starbucks with minimal baking involved. To be truly full service it can't be "coffee plus some baked goods" It needs to be BOTH a full bakery and a cafe all in one, with luxurious decadence and richness in both. That's not an easy task. About as easy as running two unrelated bakeries at once. Coffee may look simple, but what goes into it is every bit as complicated as baking, and the science of it and techniques is probably the one place the American food scene really is developing beautifully. And supplies and equipment make baking look cheap. Just like managing protein and yeasts, and fats, there's managing water composition, bean characteristics, and if a roastery as well, roasting coffee effectively is a form of baking on its own where 1 degree and 10 seconds is the difference between perfect and burnt mess. For me, coffee was the gateway to baking - I started in that realm first, and my heart is fully in both worlds - hard to maintain both worlds at home, but I try! They're both quite time (and money) consuming! Of course most people (ahem) think Starbucks is good coffee. But in the real cafe world, it really is all in the "little tastes" (and I'd never trust the French with coffee ;) ). Although posturing, just like with wines exists with coffee and those that can't taste it as well. Take cooking wine, give it a French name, and charge $100 and people will rave. Same goes for coffee. But like with wines, there's a lot of the real deal out there. Unlike food and pastry.

I'm convinced tiramisu exists solely for me. Coffee & baking all at once. :D I used to make a heck of one if I do say so myself. I don't think I see myself with the double boiler these days, but it was sponge cake, meringe, and a marsala zabaglione, with a ricotta cream icing, all soaked in fresh pulled, chilled espresso, I think I pulled half a dozen doubles to soak into the sponges, and topped in grated chocolate. It took hours to make happen though. And you ended up with a tiny cake that took hours to make and cost a fortune in ingredients. Definitely my most intricate cake. I don't see myself making it again...but I'd love to eat it again.

The only reason I don't blend and roast my own coffees at home is a lack of viable exterior ventilation. Coffee roasting throws some serious smoke, and the chaff pans are fire hazards if you can't maintain them well. Roasting is a ton of fun though.
 
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I order chinese red yeast powder for making chinese sausage.
It also listed it for use in red velvet cake.
The powder has been used for chloresterol in china for hundreds of yrs.
It was difficult to locate without ordering direct from china but I found it on ebay.

I wonder if this was the original recipe ingredient in red velvet.
 
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I order chinese red yeast powder for making chinese sausage.
It also listed it for use in red velvet cake.
The powder has been used for chloresterol in china for hundreds of yrs.
It was difficult to locate without ordering direct from china but I found it on ebay.

I wonder if this was the original recipe ingredient in red velvet.
Wow, I haven't been here in a while. That's really interesting! I've never heard of red yeast powder (or Chinese sausage , for that matter. I've never seen that anywhere for some reason.) That's a theory on the origins of Red Velvet that I don't think I've ever seen offered, but that actually makes a whole lot of sense and might really be it. It originated in the central South, where there was a large Chinese population and a ton of Chinese influence in culture, food, music, etc at the time due to the influx from railroad construction. It would make a lot of sense that was a locally common, otherwise foreign ingredient in the region at the time that wasn't much available in a later era, and cake just kind of came out red using local yeast. Maybe long before any of the "red velvets" we know specifically as "red velvet" came about, people were just using whatever yeast was around and it was that, so cakes came out red.

If nothing else it's another interesting internet rumor to add to the pile of theories on red velvet!
 
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I'm making kind of a necro-post by resurrecting this old thread, but if I'm not mistaken, Red Velvet wasn't always made with gallons of dye. The dye was Adam's company's "cheat" to doing RVC the "easy way". Originally it was boiled beets that added the color, and made the cake much richer and more savory than a simple chocolate cake with bitter petrochemicals flooding it, the same way using lard as a fat can add a nice savory note to otherwise sweet goods. On the rare occasion I find a baker insane enough to boil beets to do it the right way, it's quite enjoyable and very different from other cakes. But finding that is a rarer thing that finding someone that makes pumpkin pie by straining their own crook neck gourds.

The ugly fad was, if I recall, a mix of it having played a role in some movie, I forget which, and simply because it was "different" and was a marketing hook for the food industry. The popularity in taste, I'm convinced, is simply because most of the public actually has no taste whatsoever for quality baked goods, and food in general, despite gourmet food spending going through the roof. Most people can't taste the difference between a "bakery" that just makes boxed cakes, a supermarket bakery, and a real scratch bakery and sees them all as equivalent quality. Presentation and image is what most are tasting. Though, sweet cream cheese and petrochem bitters, I admit, does have kind pleasant mix on the palate that either one on its own does not.

A real RVC with real beet juice is actually a great cake. It's also not as "hazard red" color in bright primary colors, but is a darker, deeper "drying blood red" that some might not find as appealing as food science chemicals, but looks more like a deep red stained chocolate. Most will never get to taste one. And you'd have to truly hate yourself to try to make one. :)
i’ve studied quite a bit of food history and I have never seen any documentation on red velvet cake beyond the Addams company. i’ve never seen a vintage recipe for red velvet cake using beet juice. Conjecture is one thing, but we have to go back to the historic record.

The American cookbook record isn’t that extensive, but we do have some record of the development of cake. And the red velvet cake is not that old. But if you do have references for The origin of red velvet cake through beat juice through the Adam’s company I would love to see it.

i’ve never used beet juice but I do know that beet juice doesn’t necessarily make a great red dye. I do know a few bakers who have tried it and come out with her perfectly flat color My sister is a spinner and weaver. So she makes natural dyes. interestingly, beets do not make good dye at all. So they never use beets for dye. To get a beautiful rich purple color they use lichen. Which isn’t even purple at all; it’s a green like my mossy grows on trees.
 
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I love authentic red Velveeta cake. Since the craze has become so popular, it seems like everyone and their momma wants to bake red velvet everything. There is just something wrong about being able to buy a red velvet cup cake at walgreens. Now we have the red velvet pancakes , lattes , cookies, brownies , and red velvet cheese cake. Some many of these items taste nothing likes true red velvet cake. I think many more people will come to dislike red velvet cake as it becomes less authentic and taste nothing likes what it is truly meant to be. So many people have never tasted real down home from scratch red velvet cake just cheap imitations.

I would hate to have to correct you, but, Velveeta is the cheese. You wouldn't want to put THAT in the cake batter, would you?!!:(
 
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Wow, I haven't been here in a while. That's really interesting! I've never heard of red yeast powder (or Chinese sausage , for that matter. I've never seen that anywhere for some reason.) That's a theory on the origins of Red Velvet that I don't think I've ever seen offered, but that actually makes a whole lot of sense and might really be it. It originated in the central South, where there was a large Chinese population and a ton of Chinese influence in culture, food, music, etc at the time due to the influx from railroad construction. It would make a lot of sense that was a locally common, otherwise foreign ingredient in the region at the time that wasn't much available in a later era, and cake just kind of came out red using local yeast. Maybe long before any of the "red velvets" we know specifically as "red velvet" came about, people were just using whatever yeast was around and it was that, so cakes came out red.

If nothing else it's another interesting internet rumor to add to the pile of theories on red velvet!
It wasn't easy finding red yeast powder, all the google links led to health and medical websites discussing the benefits.
Its often taken in capsule form. That was no use to me.
I don't think it has any yeast action, its made from a certain type of rice. Its easy to find it in grain form, the powder isn't available from most sellers.

I bought a metal meat grinder for the kitchenaid, it will probably explode but thats life.
cantonese sausage is a dried sausage, slice thin and use in any stir fry or fried rice, it has a fragrance very similar to soppresata.
This girl has good recipes , you can see how strong the red yeast color is.
 
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i’ve studied quite a bit of food history and I have never seen any documentation on red velvet cake beyond the Addams company. i’ve never seen a vintage recipe for red velvet cake using beet juice. Conjecture is one thing, but we have to go back to the historic record.

The American cookbook record isn’t that extensive, but we do have some record of the development of cake. And the red velvet cake is not that old. But if you do have references for The origin of red velvet cake through beat juice through the Adam’s company I would love to see it.

i’ve never used beet juice but I do know that beet juice doesn’t necessarily make a great red dye. I do know a few bakers who have tried it and come out with her perfectly flat color My sister is a spinner and weaver. So she makes natural dyes. interestingly, beets do not make good dye at all. So they never use beets for dye. To get a beautiful rich purple color they use lichen. Which isn’t even purple at all; it’s a green like my mossy grows on trees.
heres a recipe that calls for red yeast powder in red velvet cake, its definately red.
 

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