Saturday, August 21, 2010

Waiting for Gâteau

Remember that book Waiting for Godot that many of us had to read in high school? Well I'm sure none of you felt like Vladimir and Estragon, eagerly awaiting my next post about gâteau (that's French for cake), but I'm here to assure you that I have several new reviews, recipes and stories to share.

In the last two weeks alone, I've done tastings in New Orleans and DC, as well as baked (and blogged about) the yummy cake balls pictured below. It's all coming soon, so don't forget to subscribe to my posts (top right under subscribe). You can also follow my updates on twitter or like The Velveteen Baker on Facebook.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Red Velvet: Tastes Like Chicken?

From bacon cake to bacon chocolate chip cookies, I've been seeing a lot of interesting meat-infused desserts lately, but this one takes the cake...and far too literally at that.

A San Francisco-based chef has invented red velvet fried chicken. Shocking, I know. And with cream cheese infused, garlic mashed potatoes nonetheless. Why I hesitate to understand this odd pairing is that you can't just make something red velvet.

See, red velvet is as much about texture as it is about flavor. Without its velvety, melt-in-your-mouth consistency, red velvet cake would simply be cake with an excessive amount of food dye. However you spin it - drenching and frying in red velvet - or tar and feathering in red velvet, does not a red velvet make.

Regardless of how jaded I may sound, I would like to commend American Cupcake with their creativity, and I am quite curious to hear any reviews of said red velvet fried chicken. If any of my ten whole visitors from the greater San Francisco area decide to check it out, please let me know. Heck, it may even be pretty good. But good, bad or indifferent, you can count on the Velveteen Baker for keeping the poultry out of her baked goods.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Red Velvet: It's Not Just for Dessert Anymore

So my first attempt at red velvet pancakes (technically my first attempt at pancakes, ever) and they were actually quite successful. I started with two different recipes, but thought they had too much cocoa and not enough buttermilk, so I ended up just scrapping both and winging it. I was pleasantly surprised that they turned out and were actually really good. Fluffy with a nice velvety texture and not too sweet. Next time I'll probably add some cream cheese to the topping (in lieu of the creme fraiche), but was a little too impatient to wait for it to soften. Try them out and let me know what you think.

Teen's Red Velvet Pancakes No. 5

Teen's Red Velvet Pancakes No. 6

Teen's Red Velvet Pancakes
Yields about 16 pancakes

For the Red Velvet Pancakes:
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted twice after measuring
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup creme fraiche
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon red food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup walnuts (or pecans), toasted

For the Mascarpone Topping:
1/3 cup softened mascarpone
1/4 cup creme fraiche
1 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cook walnuts in a skillet at medium-high heat for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, creme fraiche, melted butter, red food coloring and vanilla extract. Add in the dry ingredients and walnuts (reserve some for garnish) and whisk until combined. The batter will have a thick consistency.

Heat a frying pan or griddle over medium heat. Add butter to grease, followed by a small scoop of the batter. Wait for the pancakes to bubble, flip and cook for another minute or two. Meanwhile, mix all of the ingredients for the mascarpone topping together and garnish along with maple syrup and remaining walnuts.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Red Velvet Meets Breakfast, Lives Happily Ever After

You have to imagine my surprise when I discovered this whole red velvet pancake phenomenon. I mean, how could I not see this one coming? They have so much in common that one day they were just destined to meet and hit it off, right?

Well, it sounds like a viable reason to bake again this weekend. Red velvet flapjacks anyone?

 Red Velvet Pancakes with Mascarpone;
Red Velvet Pancakes from
With Whipped Cream Cheese & Butter Pecan Syrup;