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Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Red Velvet Event

I attempted a recipe today I found online. It was an utter fail. I used this recipe for Magnolia Bakery's red velvet cake WHAT a mess!

I'm always irritated when someone's recipe just creates complete crap, especially if I had to go out and buy special ingredients for it. Which I did. The reviews called the product of this recipe, "a religious experience". Well heck, that's always worth trying, eh? I don't know if standing over a giant bowl of cocoa-flavored cement with colorful language teetering on the edge of my lips counts as a religious experience, but if that's what they were referring to, I'll pass next time, thanks.

I should have known from the start. The proportions seemed really off... Three and a half cups of flour?? For a CAKE?? But I went with it, determined to do the recipe by the book and see how it turned out.

I followed its unnecessarily complicated steps to the letter (except replacing the food color with fresh beet juice for kosher purposes), and ended up with a messy kitchen and bland, mealy cupcakes that tasted like bran muffins. Oh, and the "batter" was so thick, it broke my hand mixer. Yep, you heard that right.

The motor completely blew and left me with a bowl of laughably thick batter to mix by hand. Poor hand mixer. You led a busy, busy life. You'll be greatly missed.

...Until I replace you with a younger, sexier model.

After baking my one test cupcake and being sorely frustrated with the unspeakable result, I did manage to fix the recipe and the rest of them came out tasting pretty decent. Not shabby. But I had to add so much extra ingredient, I ended up with enough batter for 4 dozen cupcakes. So... now what?

So. Just a word to the wise. Follow your instincts. If something in a recipe looks off, and there's no explanation as to why it looks odd, ditch it and find a new recipe. Lesson well learned.


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