I hate taking down the tree, and always leave it up until after New Year’s Day. Beppo helped me put it up, but I fear he won’t be a lot of help on the way down. A lifelong heathen, it’s the color and brightness of Christmas that I love. I’m always reluctant to give that up, packing away the light and settling into Darkest Winter.
It’s the only time this year that we had oysters and Champagne, and although we made up for that by having them two nights in a row, I’m sorry to set aside their utter luxury and festivity.
With “the kids” here for Christmas it was the first and last homemade pasta of the year, although it’s something we used to do fairly often, when more of us were around the nightly table. I hate to give up that larger dinner circle too, even though our sons are way past the age of needing us to feed or fend for them.
And when but Christmas would I get to bake Red Velvet Cupcakes? Even though I no longer eat them, I remember how delicious they are, in all their shocking crimson beauty. I’d love to be able to have one again sometime, but even if I can’t, you can. Please do eat an extra one for me.
This recipe is adapted from one I found on egullet.com years ago, and as far as I know it’s just about perfect.
Red Velvet Cake
2 1/2 c sifted cake flour
2 c sugar
2 T cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 c buttermilk
1 T cider or white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1 oz red food coloring
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 c canola oil
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Combine wet ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix together and stir until smooth.
Pour into 2 8″ round cake pans or 18-20 muffin cups. Bake at 300°, 40 minutes for cake layers, a little less time for cupcakes. Frost with this basic cream cheese frosting.
1 stick butter
1 tsp vanilla
8 oz cream cheese
1 lb powdered sugar
dash of salt
Sift the sugar well before creaming ingredients together until fluffy. I do this in the stand mixer for the best texture.
News From The Mixing Bowl – We Have a Winner! The winner of the absolutely fair and random name-drawing for Italian Desserts is Eden. I’ll be contacting you for shipping information, and my thanks to the rest of you for entering.