Hubs and I took a trip to see family in Minnesota and got to spend time at several state parks (we saw two bald eagles and a black bear!), but really the best part was getting to be with my awesome relatives. I’m so happy to be related to them. These people are smart, interesting, and funny. They also still seem to like me in spite of the fact that I regress to the maturity of a two year old, complete with a crying tantrum, when they beat me at cards. (To be fair, I had been losing at all the games we played ALL WEEKEND and there’s only so much of that a reasonable person can take. Please see this study, which corroborates the idea that self-control is a resource that can be depleted by difficult tasks).
The last night we were there, my aunt baked an amazing red velvet cake that really changed my mind about cake mixes. Before, I felt like there was going to be no way I ever baked a cake from scratch because it seemed really challenging and like they just don’t taste as good. I realize now how wrong I was and how excited I am to try some cakes from Whisk Kid. The recipe follows, and it’s best eaten with people you love:
Cream together (with an electric mixer of some type):
1/2 cup of vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups white sugar
Make a “paste” and add it to your already creamed mixture:
2 T cocoa (unsweetened kind)
2 oz red food coloring
2 oz red water from rinsing out the food coloring bottle (You’re actually supposed to put a whole ‘nother 2 oz of food coloring in, but Auntie M can’t stomach the cost or double the Red Dye No. whatever. It’s plenty red as you can see. Also, watch out if you have a wooden countertop and spill any red on it because that is never coming out.)
Now mix that sucker and add:
1/2 t salt
1 t vanilla
Mix and then add alternately while mixing:
1 c buttermilk (split up a bit)
2 1/4 cups of flour (split up a bit)
BEAT and BEAT
Mix 1.5 t of soda with a tablespoon of vinegar (it should fizz in a fun way) and then fold gently into the batter. Then bake it in two 8 or 9 inch roundy pans for 30 minutes at 350 F (or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean).
While it was baking we started the icing. This part is kind of gross because first you make a paste like when you do papier-mâché and then you cook it to thicken it up.
5 T Flour
1 c Milk
Stir and pour through a sieve to get the lumps out. Cook over medium high heat stirring constantly until it turns into a paste, then boil and stir about a minute. Then remove from heat, put on the lid, and let it cool to room temperature. While it was cooling, we ate dinner, but before that we got out 2 sticks of salted butter to soften at room temperature.
Later, cream together (until light and fluffy):
2 sticks (1 c) of softened butter
1 c granulated sugar
A splash of vanilla or almond or whatever flavoring suits you
Then add your cooled paste that you made earlier to your butter and sugar and beat it until it looks like icing. Frost your yummo cake and don’t forget the SPRINKLES!