Is it 2013 already?? Where did 2012 go? I know I am not alone in thinking this. I want to apologize for disappearing for 2012. Since I last posted I have had some very exciting life events take place including finishing my dissertation, graduating, moving, accepting a position that I love, and sadly caring for a very ill dog. Our house is empty without our Leo. He was my kitchen buddy, waiting patiently right outside the kitchen at our old house and right by the sliding glass doors at the new house. When he got sick he chose to lay in front of the stove. I would usually make him move before he was sick but I realized he just wanted to be as close as possible. Opening the oven door without hitting him while holding a pan became an art. When we were caring for Leo, there wasn’t much time to cook or bake so my blog was neglected. The little extra time we did have we chose to spend together since we didn’t know how many more precious moments we would have with our sweet pup. After Leo passed we were heartbroken, we just never expected our time together would be so short. Between being heartbroken, settling into a new job that requires considerable travel and a 2-hour round trip commute, I decided to give blogging a break. Not to be a Debbie Downer, but I wanted to share why I had disappeared. I know some people have asked where I was or when I would post, and that meant the world to me. I am excited to get back in the kitchen and I realize it is what I need to mend my broken heart. So for my readers who came back after a long hiatus, thank you and to those of you who are new, welcome.
After a long break, I thought I would share one of my favorite recipes. My Aunt Cathy’s Red Velvet Cake is one of my favorites cakes. I have had the joy of baking this with my Aunt Cathy for two very special occasions, my high school graduation and my mom’s 60thbirthday. I still have my old tattered recipe card that my cousin, Stephanie, wrote out when we were kids after I first tasted this cake while visiting in Memphis. Under “yields” Stephanie wrote out 10 lbs. fat cake. I still get a good laugh out of that when I look at the recipe. I made this over the weekend for a belated Valentine’s Day dinner for my sweetie. So make this for your sweetie, you don’t need a special occasion to make this fabulous cake.
Our sweet pup, Leo aka Mr. August for the Harford Humane Society 2012 Calendar. Rest in peace, sweet friend.
Aunt Cathy’s Red Velvet Cake
Yields 2 9-inch cakes or 3 8-inch cakes
1 ½ cups sugar
2 cups vegetable oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vinegar
2 ounces red food coloring
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 Tablespoons cocoa
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 stick (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1 8 ounce package cream cheese (I used 1/3 less fat cream cheese/neufchatel), softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound (box) powdered sugar, sifted
1 cup chopped pecans
Directions for Cake
1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Place a piece of parchment paper in the bottom of 2 9-inch round cake pans or 3 8-inch round cake pans, then grease and flour the pans.
3. Cream sugar and oil, add eggs and beat well.
4. Add vinegar to sugar mixture and food coloring, beat well.
5. Sift dry ingredients and add alternatively with buttermilk, starting with flour and ending with flour
6. Add vanilla and beat well.
7. Pour batter into pans, evenly and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean, rotating after 20 minutes
8. When the cakes have finished baking, let them cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and let cool completely on wire racks.
Directions for frosting
1. Cream butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy about 1-2 minutes.
2. Add vanilla and sifted powdered sugar, beat 2-3 minutes.
3. Add nuts to frosting and frost cooled cakes.*
*For these pictures, instead of mixing the nuts into the frosting I sprinkled the chopped pecans between the layers but I prefer the nuts mixed into the frosting.