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first ever...

Monday, September 12, 2016
...red velvet cake. It is likely the last time as well. I think the carrot cake I've made too many times to count is so embedded in my head I could put one together with referring to the recipe. But this one,  originates from the fabulously wealthy person who only shows up for the photography and likely never does her own cooking: Martha Stewart.

It calls for 1/4 of a teaspoon of red gel. Which apparently must be purchased at a store where commercial bakers shop, or on line. All I could find before daylight was the little bottles of food color that come in a teeny tiny four pack box, with red, yellow, green, blue. The kind you get when you want to dye eggs with kids. But could not at 6:30 am, find the gel the recipe calls for that is so potent you need use only 1/4 tsp. Sometimes you just gotta' make do. So I bought the wee little box with the wee little bottles, and now have yellow, blue and green I will likely never use. As I squeezed drop by bright red drop, down the the final drip of all the liquid that was in the one color I needed.

I guess it turned out ok, reminding me of how I am prone to try out a new recipe in circumstances where I could abandon or dis-own the food if need be. Should the particular dish prove to be a bomb, I would just appear to have no idea who contributed that to the pot-luck meal. I don't do it as often any more, as there are some tried-and-true things I like (or get requests for) that I think of as mostly 'fool proof'. I can tell you right now that was not only my maiden voyage into red velvet cake-dom but my swan song as well.

The only blip in the recipe was when I was looking at the swirling liquid in the mixing bowl and decided to not include the full amount of buttermilk. After concluding just the basic idea of adding buttermilk was strange, as I doubted the consistency of the batter, I made a judgement call and stopped pouring before the entire cup went in the mix. Other than that, I pretty much went right by the ingredients and instructions, so feel that it had to come out pretty well.Sadly, when it came time for the layers to come out of the pan: they didn't. So instead of having four layers, which is what usually happens when I slice the two layers in half, there are only three. I doubt they will even notice... and if there is anyone that does, there is enough cream cheese frosting to sent them all off on a sugar high.

As soon as the layers were cool enough to ice, I glued the whole thing together with frosting, and immediately got it out of my house, to keep my fingers from temptation. It was to be a birthday cake for a friend of a friend, passed through several sets of hands before getting to the birthday boy, who desperately wanted home-made instead of store bought. The moral of this tale being: You can cover a lot of baking mistakes with a generous recipe of a combination of the following.

Cream Cheese frosting
1 8oz block cream cheese, softened
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup) softened
4 cups confectioners sugar (one box)
1 tsp. vanilla flavoring

Bring cheese and butter to room temp., blend well, add flavoring, gradually add in confectioners sugar, mix till smooth. Try to  get the cake covered before you begin to lick the bowl.

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