Sunday, October 17, 2010

- Time flies: Old recipes in a new home

This is the best I can do for a picture since
I don't have any red velvet cake or birthday bites on hand
I recently ran across the planning sheet for Bridget's bridal shower, which featured 60 scones among other things. I must admit that I can't recall making half the stuff on the menu (which might have something to do with the mind-altering pharmaceuticals I was taking for my back at the time), but I do recall that everything was bite-sized ... 90 fruit kabobs, 90 shrimp cocktail, 72 crab tarts, 90 Smithfield ham tarts, 30 salmon pinwheels, 90 cucumber and chive finger sandwiches, 60 artichoke-filled phyllo shells, 120 birthday bites, 90 simnel cake bars, 90 lemon curd tarts (which I do recall did not work out very well), and 1 red velvet cake (which did).

Both the birthday bites and the red velvet cake recipes evolved as a result of requests for Bridget's birthday bashes over the years. The birthday bites had their genesis in a fudge pie recipe from my college roommate and bridesmaid, Jane Tucker. And the red velvet cake was concocted after comparing umpteen internet recipes and coming up with a a version that has stood me in good stead ever since.

Now Bridget is expecting her first child in December. Guess it's time to pass on those recipes so she can start practicing for future birthday parties.

Birthday Bites

  • 2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 1/2 cup butter 
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup flour
Melt chocolate and butter in microwave. Cool slightly. Beat in sugar, eggs, and flour.
Scoop into 24 mini-muffin cups that have been prepped with Baker's Joy.
Bake at 350 until just set ... I start peeking at the 10 minute mark.
Best topped with whipped cream and raspberries.

Red Velvet Cake
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 ounces of red food coloring (no scrimping here)
  • 1/4 cup Droste cocoa
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 scant cup buttermilk
  • 1 Tbs. wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
Cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine the food coloring and cocoa in a cup, then blend into the batter.
Mix in flour and buttermilk alternately by thirds. Sprinkle baking soda over batter and beat in vinegar by hand.
Put in two layer cake pans or a 9x13 baking pan prepped with Baker's Joy spray.
Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, being careful not to overbake ... I usually turn off the oven and open the door for about five minutes or until the cake just pulls away from the sides of the pan so it won't collapse in the middle.

Frosting (aka Butter Overload)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk (don't substitute cream, it doesn't work)
  • 1 1/4 cup butter (yes, that's two and a half sticks)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
Whisk flour into milk and cook on the stove until thickened. Put in a bowl and place plastic wrap over the surface to prevent a "skin" from forming (very unappetizing). Cool in the fridge.
Cream room temperature butter and sugar until thoroughly combined. Then beat in vanilla and milk/flour paste until light and fluffy.
Frost cake and keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve (or the butter will melt off the cake)


Meghan said...

good timing...Bridget and John's 6 year anniversary was yesterday...bring on the recipe!

Liz Ackert said...

Ah, you caught me in the middle of writing ... Happy 2nd anniversary to you and Paul tomorrow!