Black velvet in that slow southern style

Well either black or purple I’m not entirely decided yet. Am I talking crazy? I know I must sound like it, but its really quite simple when you know what I’m talking about. My sister in law’s birthday is the day after tomorrow and we plan to have a surprise party for her on Saturday. I was informed to my dismay that her favorite cake was red velvet. The one experience I had ever had with the stuff was at a Golden Corral (buffet restaurant) several years back and the stuff was inedible. Dry and oddly flavored it tasted extremely synthetic and fake. I assumed like most people that it was made with cherries and I decided that the taste was not for me as it was beyond reminiscent of cough syrup. I was game however to give it a shot for her sake. I did some research online and was really surprised to find out that there is no cherry whatsoever in the cake. Further research explained the chemical reaction between the cocoa powder and the vinegar that produces the red color that is also seen in devi’ls food cake to a lesser extent. (who knew??)

I made a trial run on Saturday after I found out we would be having a surprise congratulations party for Jarell at our house. (he got his drillers license YAY!!!)When I say found out I really mean just that. We ended up with 20 people here and boy was I surprised. The cake came out really good despite being a little on the dry side because I didn’t have a correct baking time for the cake pan that I was using.

So now for my true test. My SIL’s favorite color is purple and she loves purple and black together too. Knowing that with the Dutch style refinement of cocoa the effect of the vinegar is greatly reduced I am pretty sure that I can dye the cake purple or black with little or no trouble which is awesome. I know some people out there are probably flinching at the amount of food coloring required but I think life is to short to never eat something because the ingredients might be bad for you.

Whats really special about this cake is the fact that its going to be a layered ice cream cake. At first I was going to make it velvet and chocolate ice cream, but I just couldn’t quite convince myself to do that because I want the contrast in coloring to be really striking so its going to be vanilla ice cream instead. If I can manage it, the whole cake will be coated with chocolate shell topping. For those of you unfamiliar with this miracle product, its basically the stuff the use on eskimo pies  in a bottle. Yum! If that works out as I hope, the cake will be encased in chocolate shell with dark chocolate Ferrero Rocher candies on top. I hope to have pictures to post of this on Friday after I make it. If I can’t make the chocolate shell work for me then it will be coated with a whipped cream style icing provided I can find a recipe that I like.

In a related cooking theme, I’d like to share a quick recipe that I made for dinner this evening because it was ohmygod so good.

I was in the mood for Chipotle burritos but we’re low on funds till payday so I decided to make my own version at home. Armed with a copycat recipe for their famous lime basmati rice I invaded the kitchen. Here’s the results.

  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 a medium sweet onion
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Lime juice
  • 1 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ground corriander
  • 1 can red kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • tortillas

Serves 4

In a 10 inch skillet heat olive oil. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat till slightly transparent. Add rice to skillet and cook for about a minute. Add water, salt and a healthy dash of lime juice and bring to a boil. Once water is boiling reduce heat to low and cook till the rice is done. (about 20-25 minutes) Meanwhile brown the ground beef with a  little salt and pepper till cooked through and drain off the fat. Add the kidney beans and the beef. Coat liberally with lime juice. Add a dash of corriander to the rice (for those of you who need a measurement I’d guess a 1/4 tsp or less) and pour on some more lime juice as well. Add the rice to the beef and bean mixture and cook till warm. Serve this as a burrito filling along with homemade guacamole (for me its a dash of lemon or lime juice, 1 avacado, and some salt to cut out the extra everything) and your other favorite toppings. We had this with salsa, lettuce, cheese, sour cream (for him) and plain yoghurt (for me) and I was in heaven!


How not to make croissants

Or Wow you really ARE dumber than you look

Step 1: gather 6 or 7 different recipes from the internet to go through for the easiest one to make. Paste them all to a word document and print. Mix the pages up a bit so that no two are in the right order. Insure before printing that each recipe is long enough to require space on more than one page so as to make the mix up even better.

Step 2: Attempt to sort pages into correct order. Begin making a recipe. Realize that you don’t have evaporated milk. Resort pages into correct order. Look for another recipe that calls for similar ingredients. Decide that you’re going to mix and match as you go.

Step 3: Add only half the amount of butter called for because really, who needs 1 1/4 cups of butter in their diet even if its only light margarine. Start adding ingredients at random and then read the recipe. Realize you’ve royally screwed up and decide to have fun with it. Mix everything in and stick bowl in the fridge according to half of the recipes.

Step 4: Ignore the part where the recipes say to leave the dough in the fridge for 4 hours to overnight- you  want these now not next Tuesday. Make nifty triangle shapes on the cookie sheet from the gooey dough mess and heat the oven to the recommended temperature. Cook for the minimum time suggested. Check and see that they’re still gooey. Add 10 minutes. Add 5 more minutes. Remove from oven and taste test. Definitely not croissants. More like a dough-ey biscuit or scone.

Say to yourself, “Oh well- they’ll still taste good with that gravy”

Recipe for I can’t believe their not croissants

  • 5 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 packet yeast
  • 4 tbsp powdered milk
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 egg beaten with 2 tsp water

Mix the yeast into the warm water. Mix everything else except the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast and water mixture. Heat the butter till soft and add. Mix well. Put in the fridge for an hour or so. Make triangles the size of the palm of your hand and bake at 350 till golden brown on top about 25 minutes. They’re on the sweeter side, but not horribly so.