Red Velvet: Unearthing the origin and name
Red Velvet is gaining the explosion of popularity. People looking for birthday cakes in Coimbatore have the catch when selecting the cake from the menu. Besides the name of the cake, now the flavour Red Velvet is available in numerous forms such as cakes, cookies, lattes and ice cream. Even though people assume it is a 20th Century cake, it roots further back. The cake’s origin can be traced over the years back in the cookbooks, recipes and food production spaces. While we are still discussing the history of Red Velvet, here is the discovery about its name.
History of Velvet cakes
Red Velvet cake dates back hundreds of year ago. There was no timeframe when the cake came into existence. However, the 17th Century, Victorian Era is when the cake was found to be in the market. During this time, the cake was merely a sweet bread and people used to put fruits and nuts on the cake to make it a dessert.
People call cocoa-made cakes a luxury cake. When the desserts are placed at small parties and weddings, it was called ‘Velvet’. Velvets are fancy deserts, and they would have a smooth and soft texture compared to other desserts. But later in the 1900s, when bakers started introducing different flavours, they became famous across the world.
Red Velvet Origin
Most people assume that red Velvet is named after the bottle of food colouring was added to the cake. Errr! Wrong. Here is what happened. During the Great Depression, families were using fewer extracts and food colours, considering it was an unnecessary expense. However, a famous extract company came up with the idea of making instant Velvet cake recipes. (The name is unknown. Based on the history, it is seen that Adam Extract Company is the one that introduced Red Velvet to the market. But this is not proven). Red Velvet came into the market that used red food colouring and butter extract instead of usual ingredients.
Initially, the hue was much more subtle because vinegar, cocoa, and buttermilk reacted together. This became a hit, and the brilliant coloured cake became famous in households. The recipe was offered at the grocery stores for free, along with the purchase of the ingredients.
Since Red Velvet became famous and did not hurt the pocket, many extract companies later introduced the cake in minor variants. Before this came in, Devil’s food was widely used, which contains cocoa as a significant ingredient. Many chefs thought devil cake was the one that became Red Velvet now until the recipe was authentically placed in the cookbook.
During World War II, the rations and food supplies were cut off. Essential baking products were rationed off, such as sugar and butter. During this time, some bakers took the initiative to make the Red Velvet cakes using Beet juice. This recipe can be found even today in some countries. The colour of the beets gives rich redness and a more delicious appeal. However, this was not just used for the sake of colour or to make it pretty but to make the cake soft.
Honestly, Beets was the right choice for colours and also to keep the cake moist for a longer time. People were pleased when the alternative was found. It was placed as a dramatic dessert at weddings. Also, this is the time when Red Velvet was made in multiple forms such as pie, cupcakes, and even as Red Velvet chicken (Weird, Isn’t?)
Red Velvet As Original
In 1943, the book ‘Joy of Cooking’ debuted a Red Velvet cake curate by Irma S Rombauer. Even at that time, she comically stated that “She Doesn’t care for the cake, however it is her duty to include the cake as a recipe”. The Joy of Cooking was the first cake’s national mention.
After World War ended in 1945, cocoa powders have become better accessible, and the production phase became simpler. The cocoa was used as a neutralizing agent, which means other extracts used was not reacting with the cocoa. The recipe created a big catch in public. The original cake recipe includes real butter, eggs, vanilla extra, buttermilk, all-purpose flour, vinegar, salt, cocoa and baking soda.
Bakers and chefs started adding cream cheese for frosting. The smooth and silky texture made the cake a perfect dessert. They later became the unique gifting option for birthdays, weddings and even when they wellness cards.
The variations made the cake more familiar across the world. However, this also became a disadvantage since the original taste became subtle. Even if you are looking to send birthday cakes in Coimbatore, all you need to see is how the cakes are made authentically. Even though people now think its cliché, the original taste of Red Velvet cake is always unbeatable.