06 November 2008
Red Velvet Deliciousness
A while back, the New York Times ran an article about red velvet cake. Until then, I had never seen one, or tasted one, but I was willing to try. Besides, as we all know how much I love cake, why not? Also, this cake looked unequivocally, unapologetically fun. So I made it.
My cake wasn't beautiful, wasn't charming, wasn't witty. It wasn't even Dolly Parton trashy. It was just kind of this red blob of a cake with crumby, white frosting (I have since figured out how not to make the frosting full of crumbs, I promise). Jeff was really skeeved out by all the red food coloring. We couldn't eat enough of it to make it go away. It was a less than promising moment.
So I steered clear of Red Velvet, until the other day. Jeff and our friend Sally and I were walking in Brooklyn. While Jeff and Sally stopped to attempt to make use of her new GPS, I perused the Not For Tourists Guide, only to discover that we were a very short distance away from Cake Man Raven's bakery.
Cake Man Raven is reported to be the master of Red Velvet cake, and I had been wanting to go to his store for quite some time. It took very little convincing to usher Jeff and Sally inside--once we got there, we discovered that he only makes Red Velvet cake--or, at least that's all there was in the bakery case. Choice number one: with nuts. Choice number two: without. We bought a piece--not cheap, at $6 per slice--but man was it worth it. It was everything that I had been hoping for: dense, moist, chocolatey but not sickeningly so, with cream cheese frosting that was sharp and sweet and that beautifully offset the cake. I urge you to obtain a piece and try it. Because I will be going back. Because, like the French, I have found a bakery that makes me say, "Why would I make that? That's what bakeries are for."