Red Velvet, to be precise.
Yesterday, for the Women's Dinner & Book Group Holiday Fete, I made red velvet cupcakes as one of my dessert offerings.
If you've never had red velvet cake, it's a goody!
Duncan Hines makes a decent box mix, which is what I used yesterday with some modifications. In fact, if you want to make a Duncan Hines cake mix into a super yummy, oh-so-bad-for-you cake, you can substitute the directions on the back and do the following:
1 Duncan Hines cake mix, any flavor
1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1/2 cup sweet and condensed milk
1 small package instant pudding (for white, spice, yellow, marble, carrot, etc., use vanilla; for chocolate, use chocolate.)
Mix all the ingredients together and return to and follow the instructions on the box.
But getting back to the red velvet cake...
What is red velvet cake exactly? As it turns out, it's chocolate cake with a load of red dye in it.
Custom holds that it's a Southern thang, but according to About.com and Wikipedia, the legend of red velvet cake and its origins is tied to New York City's most storied hotel--the Waldorf-Astoria. But the story is along the same lines as the $250 Nieman-Marcus Chocolate Chip cookie myth that has circulated on the internet for years. The origin of red velvet cake, apparently, is equally dubious. Still, it's an eye-catching cake and one that generates conversation wherever it's served.
If you want to make this cake from scratch, here's a good recipe.