I first read about the Red Velvet cake in the New York Times on February 14 this year.
A red cake? I was sceptical. I read on. Apparently, the cake, which purportedly originated from the South (of the US of A, not Malaysia!) had been around for several years already, but only gained popularity of late thanks to various celebrity endorsements. Cocoa is normally used to obtain the dark colour which is further enhanced with red food colouring, although some purists use red beet as an alternative for natural colouring.
I scoured the internet for recipes, but never got around to baking the cake. And so I archived it in the recesses of my memory.
Blogger, Riz, after learning about my mini-obsession with the Red Velvet, surprised me yesterday with a couple of beautifully presented boxes of cupcakes, one of which contained, surprise surprise, Red Velvet friands. Thanks, man!
The cupcakes and friands, baked by his friend, Aida, not only looked good but were scrumptious too. Aida takes orders, so if you wish to contact Aida, do drop me an email and I'll give you her number. (Check out Riz's gorgeous collection of photos of Aida's cooking and baking here.)
As for the Red Velvet friands, they were exactly what I expected them to be. Mini cakes that were moist but not too dense, with a very slight recognisable taste of chocolate and with a texture that resembled a cross between a butter cake and a muffin; but the deep red colour throws one off into a different dimension, defying all sense of rationality and expectation. I love the cheese frosting which was very good and perfectly complemented the cake.
In the words of Alannah Myles, with a slight twist of course....
Red velvet and that little boy smile
Red velvet with that slow southern style
A new religion that'll bring you to your knees
Red velvet if you please.