I love baking the red velvet cake because of the color and texture it attains after baking. But do we all know the science behind it. Today, red velvet cake gets its coloring from the food color added in cake mixture, staining the cake a vivid red, but it wasn’t always so. Originally red velvet cakes got the “velvet” part of their name not because they resembled bright red velvet dresses, but because their texture was so smooth and velvety. Their texture was, in part, influenced by the special ingredients added into the cake. Cake recipes varied, but almost all contained baking soda and either vinegar or buttermilk (yogurt too). Both yogurt and vinegar are acidic, and anyone who has made a volcano in school knows the bubbles that erupt when vinegar (or any acid) is mixed with baking soda. The bubbles fluffed up the cake, making it light and smooth.
The vinegar and yogurt didn’t just react with the baking soda. They also reacted with the cake’s cocoa. Cocoa powder traditionally has anthocyanins; these are compounds that are also found in foods like red cabbage. It’s the anthocyanins that change color in the cocoa, giving it a red finish.
But this does not happen these days. Most of the cocoa powder in the market is processed with an alkalizing agent — a base which neutralizes its acidity. The agent darkens the powder, and keeps it from giving off a red tint when mixed with yogurt or vinegar. So even if you got hold of an old recipe for red velvet cake, you probably wouldn’t get the same results your cake-loving ancestors did :). Nevertheless, still i would say cake made with just the right ingredients taste right ;).
Red Velvet cake is a chocolate cake made with a titch of vanilla for flavor and its beautiful red color gives it a romantic touch.
- All purpose flour (cake flour/maida)- 3/4 cup
- Cocoa powder – 1/4 cup
- Sugar- 1/2 to 3/4 cup (depends upon taste buds)
- Baking powder- 1/2 tsp
- Baking soda- 1/4 tsp
- Curd- 2-3 tbsp
- Cooking oil- 1/4 cup
- Vanilla essence- 1tsp
- Red food coloring – 2-3 drops
- salted butter (at room temperature) – small cube
- Milk 2tbsp ( approx, added to have a flowing consistency)Method for Preparation:
- Preheat the oven @ 180 C, 10 minutes before baking.
- Sift together maida, cocoa powder, baking powder & soda bicarbonate. This step is generally recommended for getting a fluffy cake.
- Beat oil, softened butter, sugar, milk, yogurt and vanilla essence till light & fluffy.
- Fold in the sifted flour.
- Add red food coloring and mix it nicely.
- Line a muffin/cupcake tray with liners. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cupcake cups. This recipe generally makes 6-8 cupcakes. The batter should be poured only half filled in cupcake liners to give the cake room to rise.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 mins or until the toothpick/fork inserted comes out clean.
- You can bake it as a cake also. For the above mentioned quantity, you can use a 6 inch round cake tin.