"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand." - Margery Williams, from The Velveteen Rabbit
I've always loved baking, but never considered myself a real baker. I used to bake a lot with my mother growing up, but that fell out of fashion for me somewhere in between boys and high school. It wasn't until I moved to Atlanta for work, where didn't know a soul, that I returned to my long lost love for baking.
That was just shy of three years ago. Since then I've been baking all sorts of pies, cakes and cupcakes, but always revert to my muse...red velvet. I don't know where my obsession began, but I vaguely recall trying red velvet years ago at a wedding. I've evolved my red velvet recipe over the past few years, changing each measurement and ingredient ever so slightly in hopes of creating the perfect red velvet that I once remember.
Every time I pass by a bakery or restaurant that makes red velvet I absolutely have to order it. Then I assess it across multiple variables of what I consider to be the optimal color, texture, flavor...and icing (everyone's favorite). Then I compare it against my own creation. While I do think my current recipe is pretty spot on, I don't feel I've perfected red velvet, nor do I think anyone else has either (or so that I've tasted).
Hence the reason for this blog. I figure that if I dig back to the roots of red velvet (which by the way seem completely inconclusive); bake enough and test enough (ie feed my co-workers); that one day I will be able to truly master red velvet.
And at that point I still probably won't be a real baker, but I'll be damned if I can't make a killer red velvet cake. Feel free to join me in my quest. I'll be baking, blogging and doing all of the painstaking research in between.