While no one really knows the real origins of this cake, a story popped up in the US in the 1920's about an amazing cake that was supposedly served at New York's famous Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.
The story began when a woman was dinning at the most famous and stylish hotels in New York. She ordered a red velvet cake and was so pleased with it that she asked the chef for his recipe before she left. The kitchen accepted her request and sent her the red velvet cake recipe along with a charge of over $200 or more according to the different rumors. Appalled by this action, the lady decided to share the hotel's red velvet cake recipe in the form of chain letters, which she sent to hundreds of people around the country, exposing the big 'secret' and setting off a great demand for the red velvet cake as an elegant cake.
The cake grew in tradition, bringing a great number of bakers and dessert enthusiasts to go through the 'secret' recipe and adapt to craft their own style. Despite its history, the red velvet cake is suddenly all what people are talking about.
Today's popularity is tomorrow's glory. Bakeries all around the United States are starting to add this to their dessert and birthday menus. Even in New York City, the red velvet cake is threatening to take over the one and only cheesecake as the traditional city cake.
I have adapted the 'secret' recipe to my own liking. As I am a big fan of cupcakes, I thought of integrating the red velvet idea, but soon found out over the Internet that it had already been done; you can find many Red Velvet cupcake recipes online, but here is mine. It's easy, quick and delicious!
Chopped pecans, fresh raspberries or strawberries, or grated chocolate for garnish
For the cake:
1. Preheat oven to 200C and line two 12-cup muffin tray with cupcake papers.
2. Prepare and measure all your ingredients so they are ready for use.
3. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, salt, and cocoa powder.
4. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer.
5. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the last mixture and mix until smooth and well combined.
6. Separate the batter evenly among the cupcake tins. Fill in about 2/3 of the cupcake papers.
7. Bake in the oven for about 20 to 22 minutes. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick before removing them from the oven.
8. When they are ready, remove and set to cool before applying the frosting.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth.
2. Add the sugar and beat on low speed until everything is well blended. Increase the speed to high and mix until the paste becomes light and fluffy.
3. When the frosting is ready, apply on the cupcakes and garnish with chopped pecans and a fresh raspberry or the grated chocolate.