Lots of feedback on last week's rant about red velvet cake.
Among my supporters: “I totally agree with you,” wrote one web commenter, “it’s gross.” Another suggested that “it’s a fad because it’s all over the Food Network.” Rachel Moore of Northport opined “I can’t count how many times I’ve gone to an event or to someone’s home and I’ve been breathlessly told ‘AND I made a RED VELVET cake!!!’ I just want to say ‘Too bad you didn’t make a cake that tastes good.’”
Some justified their affection for the cake by recounting fond memories. WVSweeney first had it in Memphis, Tennessee, “and it was amazing. It was NOT cake with red dye in it. Not sure what it was, but it was unique and quite delicious.” BETHC14 got her recipe, “a family cake staple,” from her Missouri-born great grandmother. One day, about six years ago, BETHC14 wanted a red velvet cake for her youngest son’t birthday but was too busy to make one. “I went to Copenhagen Bakery in Northport requesting said cake; and although they had never heard of it, they ended up researching and making …one…for my son’s birthday. The cake is now on their menu.”
Um, thanks alot, BETHC14.
Others offered up defenses, the most common being the icing defense: “It’s not the cake but the cream cheese frosting that I like,” wrote Rosemary Mirabella. “I eat the frosting and leave the cake!” In the same vein: “Red velvet cake is my #2 favorite, just behind carrot cake,” wrote Scott Boudin. “The reason for that is the cream-cheese frosting. I love it. So, I’m assuming if there was a purple velvet cake, people would like that too.”
Among the unalloyed red-velvet boosters, Islandgirl deemed it “delicious!” and challenged me to “make it from scratch omitting the ‘offensive’ red food coloring. It’s a pretty mocha color and will taste just as fabulous.”
I even heard from a red-velvet perpetrator, albeit a reluctant one. Bill Reinwald, owner of Reinwald’s Bakery in Huntington, has mixed feelings about the cake. “For the most part, everything we bake is made fresh with real ingredients.” he wrote. “We tried a traditional recipe with no food coloring—it sat in the showcase. We tried a healthy alternative with red beets for color—customers said that it wasn’t red enough.” Ultimately, Reinwald’s blinked, settling on a “traditional” low-cocoa, artificially colored cake, but frosting it with chocolate ganache. Now there’s a cake I’d be happy to just eat the frosting of.