In my perusal of the National Days (and you know there is something for each day of the year), much to my shock and amusement, I found that September 2nd was National Beheading Day. I kid you not. Go a"head" and Google it - you know you want to.
I really don't know who ever comes up with stuff like this. Seriously??? National Beheading Day??? But far be it from me to argue. Fortunately, I am not the only
The image that this day conjured up was that of Alice in Wonderland - you know, the Queen of Hearts and her famous cry "off with her head". So along that theme, we decided to celebrate with headless muffins and red-velvet cake. (Hey, any excuse for cake and muffins, you know?) I wish I had a shot of her muffins, because they were really clever. She has a white batter on the outside and filled them with a mixed-berry batter that came out pink. Really cool effect.
Now, I am one of those people who never has understood the appeal for red-velvet cake. I just don't get it. It looks kind of cool, but it doesn't really taste like anything to me. Fortunately, my baking buddies at KAF had a recipe for Red Velvet Cake which I only slightly modified (I increased the amount of cocoa by a tablespoon and added a tablespoon of espresso granules to heighten the flavor of the chocolate.
I was a little mortified when I saw that the recipe called for a quarter cup of red food dye. REALLY???? But it all worked out okay in the end. I feel compelled to mention that liquid food dye is almost impossible to find these days. The only things they sell in the store are multi-packs of food coloring GEL. Fortunately, I had a couple of mostly full bottles of red dye from Christmas's past and I added a little gel to get the extra color and topped it with an extra 1/8 of a cup of buttermilk to make sure the liquids were good.
I topped the cake with an creamy boiled icing that used granulated sugar. It was very creamy. Although, I am sure that a traditional buttercream or cream cheese frosting would have been great too.
The verdict: the cake was moist and visually appealing. It tasted fine, but it didn't really have any flavor that jumped out at me. I guess I am just too much of a Yankee to understand the appeal.