Red Velvet Cakes with Sweet Neufchâtel Spread

13 Feb
Velvetine's Day?

Velvetine's Day?

For the record, I don’t hate Valentine’s Day. Personally, I think the ire against it is every bit as cliche as the day itself anymore. Sure, if you drill down on it even a little, you quickly reveal the ridiculousness of the whole thing. But for a few years now I have chosen to apply to it my Twilight Zone Rule.

Since you asked, the Twilight Zone Rule refers to the total lack of scrutiny with which something is enjoyed. The Twilight Zone itself–perhaps my all-time favorite television series–has never been confused with hard sci-fi. Subjected to even the slightest weight of scientific scrutiny, it collapses like a poorly folded pancake batter (zingo…a cakes reference!). The person who approaches the show with any level of pure scientific scrutiny, however, was never commited to liking it in the first place. Suspension of scrutiny is an obvious prerequisite to liking such fare. If I can suspend scrutiny long enough to believe that the bus passengers in Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up seriously cannot collevctively decide who among them was not on the shared bus trip to the diner, then I can believe there’s something good about Valentine’s Day beyond the two aisles of crappy ephemera at Walgreen’s.

So, it has been with a suspension of scrutiny that I have approached the last few Valentine’s Days, and I’ve even found I kind of like it a little. Not more than a little, mind you, but a little. And because of that, I acquiesed pretty easily to my wife’s request for some Valentine’s cakes, specifically the Red Velvet buggers described in greater detail below. I would not agree to any heart-shaped nonsense, but given time, this iceberg may yet melt some more. Probably not, but you never know. I do manage to get past the flight staff’s ignorance enough to enjoy Nightmare at 20,000 Feet each time it’s on (just switch William Shatner to a son-of-a-bitchin’ seat that doesn’t look out onto the wing if he’s so crazy!), after all. Anything’s possible.

The Red Velvet Cakes are a bit labor intensive, which I understand is typical of the Red Velvet thing in general. You’re also going to want to griddle them low and slow, though you won’t want to wait for bubbles to flip. As soon as you can sucessfully get the spatula under them, flip and monitor. And keep them thin on the griddle, lest your insides be a bit raw. And as to why one shouldn’t just go ahead and make a red velvet cake after getting this far into the preparation? It’s a pancake blog is all I can say. Go elsewhere on the interwebs for logic or reason.

Oh, and as for the scary amount of butter–just do it. Don’t do it every day (I’m looking at you, Paula Deen), but do it here. And if you are having stuff like this every day (ahem, Paula), you need a different blog entirely.

Onward.

Pants: No and no.

Planning: Not much; just finding the recipe I wanted to try.

Gathering: Nothing crazy.

Execution: Pretty easy, though as mentioned, making sure they cook through but don’t burn is a bit of a dance. Just be vigilant.

Results: Some of the best yet, and my sample size ain’t small anymore. Damn fine cakes, and an even better spread.

Crossover Potential: Hmmm…other fruits for batter and topping?

Sweet Neufchâtel Spread:
  • 8 oz. Neufchâtel
  • Juice from one wedge of lemon
  • .5 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar (organic, pure-cane)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons prepared strong coffee
Combine spread ingredients in small bowl and beat until smooth. Refrigerate until using.

The cakes recipe:

  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour (organic)
  • 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder (organic)
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar (organic, pure-cane)
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar (organic)
  • 1.5 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon (organic)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1.5 cups buttermilk (organic)
  • 2 large eggs (cage-free)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract (organic)
  • 2 Tbsp. white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. red food coloring
  • 4 Tbsp. melted, unsalted butter (organic)
  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees, or engage warmer drawer
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together all the dries
  3. In a separate bowl, beat together the wet ingredients, including the food coloring
  4. Add wets to dries, gently stirring to combine, folding to combine
  5. Preheat your griddle to about 325 degrees and melt butter to coat the surface
  6. Ladle batter onto griddle using a 1/4 measuring cup, flipping after about 2-3 minutes, keeping completed cakes warm in the oven while you prepare the rest
  7. Top cakes with spread and fresh raspberries
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One Response to “Red Velvet Cakes with Sweet Neufchâtel Spread”

  1. Amber Cummer February 14, 2012 at 8:49 am #

    Thank you for indulging me! Loved these.

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