Red Velvet Cake with Basket Weave

Red Velvet Cake is a decidedly Southern treat. According to the NYTimes it originated in Texas in the 1940s, but red velvet cake spread to the rest of the south and then found it’s way north. I first heard about it from my stepmother, who is from Alabama. Her mom made it for her when she was young and now I make red velvet cake for her at her birthday. I think this recipe, which is adapted from Sarah Kieffer’s white cake recipe from her book The Vanilla Bean Baking Book, is the best one yet. It is not a traditional take, but the results are tender and tasty, with a beautiful color. I just added cocoa for flavor and color, red food coloring (otherwise the cake is not red velvet) and a bit of vinegar to keep the color as cheeky as possible. I always pair red velvet with cream cheese icing (which is one of the classics), but if you are going to attempt this basket weave finish (see my video on instagram to watch how I did it) I would suggest going with a buttercream icing, which is much easier to pipe and less temperamental in a warm kitchen.

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Valentine’s Day Desserts!

I asked you what your favorite Valentine’s Day Dessert is, and almost all of you answered Chocolate. Chocolate in any and all forms. Although it was the hands down winner, there were also a large number who craved strawberries. Some of the treats on your list I haven’t made on Zoë Bakes yet. You can be sure I will now! Here are a few that caught my eye; tiramisu, molten lava cakes and a flourless chocolate soufflé cake.  Thanks for the chocolatey  inspiration. Feel free to add to the list.

Here are a few Valentine’s desserts you requested. For the recipes just click on the pictures. (more…)

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